Divers and Fish

James M. Cervino cnidaria at pop.earthlink.net
Sat Nov 3 08:18:43 EST 2001


The problem with Craig's suggestion is that there is a very small 
number of peoples who  understand the basic RESPONSIBILITIES of 
owning a home living-room aquarium. Many peoples get into this 
hobby(without understanding basic chemistry) and consistently have to 
purchase new valuable endangered corals due to mistakes and not 
maintaining there aquariums. Hence the revolving door of wild caught 
corals continues the influx of corals into the USA.  There are still 
to this day, stores selling dead corals for coffee tables.  Has the 
MAC addressed this problem, and what are they trying to do to stop 
the imports of dead corals ? This trade can never be sustainable 
unless we build farms that harvest these valuable corals. Then they 
must train the locals to farm and fish with nets, then sell their 
product to those in the USA who need to have these valuable organisms 
in there living rooms, and for those who choose this line of work to 
support themselves. I am still alarmed as to what I see arriving at 
all the local aquarium shops in the USA. Many of them are telling me 
that they have long wait times for certain corals and fish due to the 
fisherman claiming the abundance has dwindled. From the 20 or so 
store owners I spoke with, they claim that the abundance is not like 
it was in the 80s, and this is not due to restrictions.

While surfing the net I came upon a Web Site that sells corals and 
live-rock in Tonga. This group collect the corals and rock from 
selected areas, after collection they culture the specimens in huge 
labs/greenhouses (it seems to be temperature controlled). Has anyone 
seen this site and operation? It seems impressive and from what the 
web-site says; they train the locals to work on board with them. Is 
this a sustainable operation, I am wondering? If anyone has feedback 
please let me know?

Thank You, James Cervino

James M. Cervino
PhD. Program
Marine Science Program
University of South Carolina
(803) 996-6470
e-mail:cnidaria at earthlink.net
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