[Coral-List] sustain vs. sustainable development

clarionreef at aol.com clarionreef at aol.com
Mon Feb 27 17:24:59 EST 2006

I relize that many folks in the scientific community and academia often refer to the Marine Aquarium Council [ MAC ] as some kind of intelligent response to ensuring "sustainability" in the growing trade in reef tropical fishes and organisms.
 Having followed them for years since their inception, I can assure you that they are adrift and without results, achievement or leadership to go with all the public relations that have fooled so many.
 They have endeavored to "train" collectors to fish sustainably and disdain cyanide and yet have pretty much driven collectors back to cyanide with their ill-advised, culturally insensitive, top-down  approach. 
Faced with a mass exodus from their well financed "cause", they re-certified marinelife dealers with out cause and without clean fish supply.
The lack of fish supply to go with all the trouble and expense to become certified had left many dealers with a desire to end the game and not re-certify this year.
The non interest in re-certifying as the years deadline approached left MAC in a panic at the pending  loss of all their members on a single date. So, in an effort to prevent the exodus from MAC and a collapse of the small level of industry support that existed anyway...they just automatically re-certified for free all those who were certified before.
 Have a look and see the admission of chronic failure to provide substance to go with the wordplay in 7 year old drama...in quotes from memos to the dealers who carry cyanide fish for lack of any certified, netcaught fishes. 
On paragraph two regard the following ;
"This was based on an assumption that there would be a steadily increasing supply of MAC certified organisms from the early days of certification.
Unfortunately this supply has not materialised and this has left MAC certified exporters, importers and retailers without access to a meaningful supply of MAC certified organisms on a regular basis."
 And then everyones certification status was automatically extended til 2008!
And so on it goes, fooling people who hope and want a cleaner industry ...cashing in on it without reforming it.
Steve Robinson
commercial collector & past president AMDA American Marinelife Deales Assoc
PS. 5 years and 5 million dollars of Packard, McArthur and US AID money etc. ... and no fish supply?
As I said long ago..."That dog don't hunt"..
-----Original Message-----
From: JKoven at aol.com
To: Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Sent: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 18:05:29 EST
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] sustain vs. sustainable development

 Yes, Jim, "sustainable" and "development" ARE  oxymorons.  It all depends on 
what level of income/development the community stakeholders need to produce 
from their reefs, absent other income sources.  Their choices are often limited 
- they can bring in tourists/divers or over-fish, even though that diminishes 
or damages the resources. 
Reefs provided sustenance for entire island communities for millenia - they 
can't now sustain other urban communities with growing populations.  The needs 
of these stakeholders has changed over the past 50 years - they want to send 
their children to schools off-island, they want the same techological 
"improvements" in their lives that those in the urban areas have and to catch up 
the 21st century world. 
Both climate change and over-fishing have  affected many Pacific reefs that 
have not been subjected to gross land-based pollution.  Nothing the 
stakeholders of small islands can do will change the global climate picture and 
is part of their culture.  The search is on for other ways to sustain the way 
of life they wish to have, without further destroying fisheries and thus reefs.
It's interesting that outrigger canoes once sped villagers to other islands.  
Then came the diesel powered boats - slower and costly, although one was less 
dependant upon weather and perhaps drier upon arrival.  Now faster fiberglass 
boats are the thing.....they travel as swiftly as an outrigger in a decent 
wind, but leave one beholden to the fuel companies.  Progress? 
Joan Koven
Astrolabe, Inc.

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