[Coral-List] Remnancy vs Resiliency: Part 2

Mark Tupper mtupper at picrc.org
Sat Feb 25 02:00:14 EST 2006

Rick Grigg wrote:

         "Coral reefs are not dying all over the world.  We have 1000's that
are very healthy in the Pacific, not to say there are not problems but it
doesn't help to make sweeping false generalizations."

Isn't that just a matter of semantics? There are many dead or dying reefs in 
the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and Caribbean, and probably everwhere that 
coral reefs are found. So one could say, as Phil Dustan did, that "coral 
reefs are dying all over the world". However, since there are also healthy 
reefs in all of these places, someone who's agenda did not include coral 
reef conservation could just as easily say "coral reefs are healthy all over 
the world." I have heard exactly that claim from several politicians and 
agency spokespeople in the last few years.

Rick is right, though, in that sweeping generalizations are not helpful to 
management of coral reefs (or any other resource). If one "side" makes 
sweeping generalizations to support their view, it becomes easier for others 
to support an opposing viewpoint with their own generalizations. I think 
that it's important to be as specific and factual as possible when 
emphasizing the need for coral reef conservation. It's much harder to argue 
against specifics than generalities.

Having said that, I liked Phil's idea about finding a set of action items we 
could use to move forward now.


Dr. Mark H Tupper, Senior Scientist
Palau International Coral Reef Center
PO Box 7086, Koror, Palau 96940
tel (680) 488-6950; fax (680) 488-6951


Adjunct Research Associate
University of Guam Marine Laboratory
UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923, USA
tel (671) 735-2375; fax (671) 734-6767 

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