Michael Risk riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca
Fri Feb 7 16:50:26 EST 2003

Dear Mark, and Duncan, and the rest:

I had already replied to Duncan privately re his posting, but your
response has prompted me to make this wider submission.

I did NOT read his posting as saying, divers are good for reefs. I'm
sure Duncan is way too smart for that. There are many factors involved
here, some of which you point out. As divers are taken to good spots,
these also tend to have higher diversity, duh.

In my experience, divers per se do not produce a lot of stress on
reefs. Some of you should dive Sipadan, which receives several 10's of
thousands of divers to an island that is only a few acres. We reef
scientists need to be clear that what the locals do to attract and keep
the divers is far more damaging.

Duncan is right on the money when he says, look to the wastewater
treatment facilities. All debates on "carrying capacity" need first and
foremost to deal with land-based sources before any diver headcounts
are attempted.

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