The Trouble with our Ocean

kathryn pederson kayamoo at
Tue Nov 28 01:23:53 EST 2000

Dear friends,

thank you for acknowledging that not all tourists are the same, there are 
the experienced and the amateur among us.

But simply put, I think one of the most clear ways of showing people (who 
might not realize) the difference between coral reefs (generally speaking) 
in the 60s & 70s and those we swim through today, is through PHOTOS and 
VIDEO.If airlines or ferries in popularized dive locations (think Cozumel) 
for example, would show a short film of healthy vs. sick coral systems, 
tourists would have images with which to associate what they witness. If its 
pretty, colorful, clean, & diverse = its good.
If its grey, fuzzy, flaky, cloudy and all the same = its bad.


I wasn't alive in the 60s, but hearing divers talk about their underwater 
experiences years ago makes me drool (most, that is).

Thank you and cheers.

Kaya Pederson
Monterey Institute of International Studies
Monterey, California
kayamoo at

>From: Don McAllister <mcall at>
>To: Peter Burnside <peterburnside at>
>CC: coral-list-daily at
>Subject: Re: The Trouble with our Ocean
>Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 09:28:19 -0500
>Peter Burnside wrote:
> >  "From an economic standpoint, I'm not sure that a
> > live reef is worth much more than a dead one.  Most
> > first time snorkelers...(the majority of the market)do
> > not know the difference.  They see a few fish, they
> > lie in the sun.  It's just another day at the beach."
> > -Journalist Joel Simon, author of "Endangered Mexico:
> > An Environment on the Edge" after visiting Cancun.
>I think there is an inexperienced tourist audience for which that is
>- those who don't have the experience with more pristine reefs. But
>still even the beginner will not be very happy with a reef overgrown
>with algae or with sediments that get stirred up by waves, currents
>or swim fins.  So even the amateurs won't accept just any reef and
>be happy - after all they have seen photos and TV shows of healthy
>For the experienced person it is quite another matter. As long as they
>can afford to go to a healthy reef they will do so. Word of mouth and
>the various dive magazines soon get word out to the illuminati about
>formerly healthy reefs that are now "gone."
>Then there are the reef services.  You can't hide the beach with
>coral sand from an unhealthy reef. Healthy reefs are needed to provide
>a continuous supply of nice white/pink sand.  No sand renewal and the
>beach erodes or has a lot of sharp rubble painful to the feet. Or the
>local hotels etc. must spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on
>or trucking sand in.
>Fresh fish must be brought from elsewhere if the reef is dying.
>And when the reef starts getting seriously eroded, the resorts will
>get hammered by the next onshore hurricane.
>So I agree with you to a point. But in the long run sustainable tourism
>depends of sustaining the reef.
>Clinton's sign should have said, "It's the economy, stupid, that depends
>on the environment."  And so should have Bush's.  In the subsequent
>election, hopefully Ralph had such as sign, but I gather he only got
>3% of the vote - this time around.
>Don McAllister

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