aquariums save reefs?

Don McAllister mcall at
Thu Nov 30 10:24:23 EST 2000

Jack Sobel wrote:

> In the previously posted message below, Julian Sprung wrote:  "Putting aside
> for the moment the potential risk to rare species, the harvest of fist sized
> or smaller, few months to 2 year old colonies of common species is
> demonstrably harmless to the environment."  While I am not an opponent of
> public aquaria and have had home aquaria at various times in my life, I
> strongly question this statement.

There is another side to this quesition.  "Vegetative" propogation from
fragments results in lower genetic diversity. Yes, a certain amount of that goes
on in nature, but there is also sexual reproduction. The latter method is
important in maintaining genetic diversity to combat variable environemental
conditions, but also to combat, in so far as this is possible, environmental
trends like climate warming.

We should learn from the ailments of genetically narrow agricultural varieties,
that this enhances attacks by pests and diseases - an attack that is already
underway with corals for reasons that we do not entirely understand.

Tom Goreau and colleagues electro-enhancement techniques, which work even under
conditions of stress, deserve more attention in this regard.

Don McAllister
Ocean Voice International

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