[Coral-List] #oceanoptimism, sort of...
riskmj at mcmaster.ca
Mon Jan 30 08:28:29 EST 2017
I have not read Peter's essay, but with respect to the structure "will remain long after the coral ecosystem
is dead", we can put some numbers on "long after."
Tom Tomascik has described the death of the reefs around Jakarta, something that occurred long before the global climate changed. Judging by what can be seen on a transect from the inner harbour up into Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands) we are talking about 15-20 years to go from a complex three-dimensional (but dead) reefal structure to a low-lying array of boulders. Not a long time.
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov] on behalf of Douglas Fenner [douglasfennertassi at gmail.com]
Sent: January 29, 2017 11:19 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] #oceanoptimism, sort of...
I would agree that we in developed countries do not have to have
coral reef ecosystems, the many countries that don't have reefs don't have
to have them, and humans as a species will not disappear if coral reef
ecosystems as we know them disappear. In fact most humans would hardly be
affected, and many wouldn't know. But there are probably around 100
million people in poor countries that live along coasts and are heavily
dependent on coral reef fish for food to survive. Many of these people are
only steps away from malnutrition if not starvation. The loss of coral
reef ecosystems will have huge impacts on them as most of the fish
disappear after the loss of their habitat (death of the coral will likely
have minor effects on fish, but collapse of the skeletons will; dead rubble
beds have few fish). Two of the top countries are Indonesia with 230
million people and 16% of the world's coral reefs and the Philippines with
100 million people and about 8% of the world's coral reefs, but there are
many other tropical countries in a similar situation, because most
countries with coral reefs are poor. The people most dependent on reefs
did not cause global warming, and they have little if any international
clout to push for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
I completely agree that coral reefs are the canaries in the mine
shaft, and the northern Great Barrier Reef is a stern warning of what is
going to happen if we don't get greenhouse gas emissions reduced, and fast.
On a different topic, I note that Peter points out in his essay that
the rocks that make up the reefs will remain long after the coral ecosystem
is dead. I think that's correct.
On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 9:37 PM, Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca> wrote:
> Brendan and others on the list,
> Nice to see people looking at ways to get the message out. I’m sure there
> are ways to enhance the environmental understanding of divers within their
> training programs and know that some attempts in this direction are already
> made. But I am much more concerned about how we reach people who do not
> dive, people who have less opportunity to see a reef with their own eyes.
> Because we need a much larger change in behavior than could be produced if
> every diver out there became 100% committed.
> Also, nobody so far has picked up on one of my main points. The oceans do
> not have to have reefs, and we do not have to have reefs. Yet the
> degradation of reefs is a signal of lots of other things happening that
> will be necessary for us to continue some quality of life.
> Peter Sale
> From: Douglas Ryan [mailto:stardiverdwr at gmail.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 8:54 PM
> To: Brendan Turley <crabtails at gmail.com>; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov;
> Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] #oceanoptimism, sort of...
> I actually like that idea a lot. As a PADI instructor and a teacher of
> Marine and Environmental Science in a formal setting, I'd love to write
> that module.
> I reckon PADI would want to do some market research to see if potential
> customers actually want to pay to sit through such a module, and there
> would be a substantial cost to updating the course materials and training
> Course Directors and Instructors to teach it. On the other hand, it would
> be great press for PADI and my sense has always been that the organization
> does love coral and recognizes that they benefit from working toward its
> The recreational scuba diver can be, and in my experience often is, a
> powerful voice in favor of coral protection and conservation. I think the
> recreational diving public would welcome additional training that made them
> more aware of the threats to the ocean realm and the role they play in
> combating them.
> On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 12:47 PM Brendan Turley <crabtails at gmail.com
> <mailto:crabtails at gmail.com>> wrote:
> Hi Peter,
> In response to serious matters to address ocean conservation. What about,
> as a small measure, approaching PADI and other certification groups to
> including a conservation module to basic open water diver certification? I
> understand that logistically this could be difficult, but small steps could
> contribute to progress.
> It seems as help from the top governmental levels at least in US is likely
> waning, we should seek out private sector help to secure a shared interest.
> I am not suggesting a novel panaceia, in all likelihood this has been tried
> before, but I thought it would be worth a mention.
> Brendan Turley
> PhD student
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