Divers and Fish

Ursula Keuper-Bennett howzit at turtles.org
Sat Nov 3 09:49:40 EST 2001

Hi Craig,

Regarding the aquarium hobby ou wrote:

>If you want to keep them alive, and everyone who buys a live fish has some
>interest in maintaining it in live condition, then you need to learn some
>biology and chemistry.  If you want to keep a reef aquarium, you are
>absolutely forced to confront many of the same problems that confront
>corals in the wild (eutrophication, disease, calcium carbonate saturation
>state, importance of herbivores, etc.)

Sure, you're "absolutely forced to confront".  But make no mistake the 
hobbyist CREATED those problems.   And that's the other problem.  Most 
people seek to learn some biology and chemistry AFTER they make their live 
purchases and they've experienced several crashes.

And you got to love the irony of a hobby cognizant of the "importance of 
herbivores" who then proceeds to remove them from the coral reefs of the world.

But as someone said earlier, food harvesting by one fisher of reef fish 
removes far more than a responsible professional fish collector (I believe 
such people exist).

I guess what I'm having problems with is the hobby summoning the "good" it 
does to justify its existence.  Right now we see the same thing in Florida 
with the "shark feeding hobby" squawking about a recent ban on 
shark-feeding tours.

You get the same talking heads insisting shark feeding has value in that it 
educates people about sharks and brings that close contact that will help 
people appreciate sharks and therefore fight on their behalf in 
conservation efforts etc etc.

Marine aquarium keeping is no more about helping the world's reefs as 
shark=feeding tours is about giving people a "quality" shark experience.

Best wishes,

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