[Coral-List] Re: Destructive Fishing Practices

Stephen G. Dunbar sdunbar at ns.llu.edu
Fri Apr 30 13:59:58 EDT 2004


While I agree that there has been a great lack of education resulting in 
the devastating toll on coral reefs in the Caribbean and, in fact, around 
the world, what we must draw from this are some important lessons. Some may 
suggest that the lack of education, especially with regards to the marine 
environment, is a result of our distance from and ignorance about the 
marine world, until only recently when much of the general public (and we, 
as scientists) have been able to access this environment for themselves by 
the use of SCUBA. This is when the general public has, at last, realized 
the importance of marine conservation issues. So, education does play a 
vital role.

I also agree that poverty issues are key ones for developing nations. 
However, the importance here is that environmental destruction not be seen 
as the only possible way to address the needs of the poor. Rather than a 
loose-loose situation in which developing nations loose their marine (and 
other natural) resources, then loose the important tourism sectors that 
they rely on because there is 'nothing left to see', there are ways in 
which win-win situations can be devised. Examples of win-wins are 
increasing when it comes to coral reefs and MPA's, but education and a fair 
return of assets to those reducing their 'take' and increasing their 
'stake' are key.

This is a very important thread and I appreciate the inputs of all.

>Let us not fail to acknowledge the crippling social and environmental
>legacy of colonialism that leads to lack of education and opportunity in
>most Caribbean nations.  Environmental managers cannot possibly implement
>effective conservation policies without sweeping economic and social
>changes.  It is difficult for people in the grip of "grinding poverty" to
>worry about environmental issues - survival usually tops the list.
>Amanda Bourque
>Biscayne National Park
>9700 SW 328 Street
>Homestead, FL  33033
>305-230-1144 x3013 phone
>305-230-1190 fax
>amanda_bourque at nps.gov

Dr. Stephen G. Dunbar, PhD
Assistant Professor, Marine Biology
Graduate School of Natural Sciences
Loma Linda University,
Loma Linda, Ca. 92350
Ph. (909) 558-1000 Ext. 48903
Fax (909) 558 - 0259
LLU Faculty Page:

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