Divers and Fish

Prasanna Weerakkody firefish at sltnet.lk
Sat Nov 3 21:18:25 EST 2001

As some of the pro-aquarist group has been keen to show how the trade
supports the local economy I would just like to bring up one more aspect of
economics that could play a main role in the equation.    Eco-tourism. 

I know this is no-cure all, and it is not all that benign in itself either.
but the basic idea that if the fish collector can be weaned into being a
Trained Under-water tour guide or would depend on reef based tourism money
there is a higher incentive for them to up-keep the reef intact with more
"fish" on the reef.  

I don't believe the removal of the "fish collector" on the reef need to be
accompanied by a loss of economic value to the reef.  

In addition to above; During the past few years the local reefs keep showing
series of reef infestations and population explosions of reef organisms that
take a heavy toll on the reefs. The causes of these are mostly unexplained
and may be linked to selective removal of predators. (E.g: At least on one
occasion an Algal bloom followed an intense collection of the Reef urchin
Tripneustes for the Live Foodfish export trade (also operated by the
Ornamental fish exporters themselves)  supplying S/E Asia.) 



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