[Coral-List] expanded listing of coral species

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Mon Mar 1 15:07:41 EST 2010

Martin Moe, I was a little hasty with my comment that there is little 
we can do to save Acropora or the  82 species now being pushed 
forward for ESA listing.  As you know my basic concern has been the 
futility of regulating something when we don't know what to regulate. 
I had forgotten about your basically  self-funded (with some help 
from state sources) research into culturing and raising Diadema. We 
who have spent a lot of time in the water all know that Diadema kept 
the reefs clear of turf algae before 1983. Growth of algae 
accelerated and corals, Caribbean-wide, began to decline much more 
rapidly after the original crash of 1983-1984. I commend you and Ken 
Nedimyer for taking it upon your selves to do the experimentation 
that is showing positive results. I fear that what may happen is that 
other coral scientists will ramp-up the  questioning of t"he ethics 
of this manipulative research and resort to increasing esoteric 
sophistry such as  bottom up or top down concerns." Such questioning 
can thwart innovation and delay funding for important work if we 
continue to "talk it to death." Fortunately you knew that so you went 
ahead with the work anyway.
     Acropora was put on the threatened list and critical habitat 
areas were created. These actions alone have not led to a comeback of 
Acropora. Laws will not make coral grow! The money and effort would 
have been better spent supporting the kind of work you are doing if 
for no better reason than to increase our knowledge of the coral 
I would hope that those pushing for listing of the additional 82 
species would take heed and put some real money into the kind of 
innovative research you have been doing. Instead what we see over and 
over on the list  are advertisements for coral and marine management 
jobs. We need more of the kind of hands-on research you two are doing 
and less time sitting in air conditioned offices manipulating data on 
computers and dreaming up new activities to regulate. Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
Marine Science Center (room 204)
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 

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