Divers and Fish

FAUTIN DAPHNE G fautin at falcon.cc.ku.edu
Mon Nov 5 08:55:40 EST 2001

Dear Coral-listers,

As I wrote, from the perspective of the environment, I see no difference
between removing something that remains alive and something that does not.
I explicitly was not addressing any value that may accrue to the keeper.
No matter how much a person learns, or multiple people learn, by keeping
an organism, it will be contributing no more genes to future generations,
its carbon and nutrients will be unavailable for recycling in situ, and
the physical structure it provided will be absent.

I realize that vegetative propagation has been successful.  As I wrote
before, that works only with clonal organisms -- a minority of anemones,
not all of which will survive captivity and only a tiny fraction of
which are desired by enough aquarists to be commercially viable -- and
perhaps half the species of corals -- many of which are unsuitable for
keeping.  Recognizing the successes of such propagation, as well as
increasing successes in breeding, I urge all marine aquarium keepers
never to acquire another organism that has come directly from the wild.
If that were done, the problem I understand us to have been discussing
(removal of reef denizens from nature) would be solved.

Concerning aquaculture at the village level, that of giant clams showed
more promise than that of most organisms because of ease in spawning and
in rearing.  Of the efforts of which I have been aware, none is currently

As others have written, if there were no other stresses on reefs,
collecting for aquarium keeping might be harmless.  But the sad fact is
it's one of many stresses.

Daphne G. Fautin
Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Curator, Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center
Haworth Hall
University of Kansas
1200 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7534  USA

telephone 1-785-864-3062
fax 1-785-864-5321
for e-mail, please use fautin at ku.edu

lab web page: www.nhm.ku.edu/~inverts

direct to database of hexacorals, including sea anemones, released
                           12 July 2001 
           *** http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Hexacoral/Biodata/ ***

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