naive approach to saving corals

Don McAllister mcall at
Sat Oct 28 09:27:50 EDT 2000

Its a compassionate thought to save coral species from extinction. I work for
Ocean Voice International. Our Vice-President, Jaime Baquereau, has written an
article in our quarterly bulletin, Sea Wind, on the low survival rate of
corals, especially hard ones, in most hobbyist tanks. On the other hand expert
hobbyists (see another article in Sea Wind) and the Waikiki Aquarium, see
their web site, are able to grow some corals successfully and even to
vegetatively reproduce them (from fragments that is).

At the same time perhaps we should be doing the utmost we can to save them in
the wild. It is not only the 500-600 species of reef-building corals that we
have to be concerned about, but the up to almost one million named and as yet
scientifically unnamed invertebrates, plants, vertebrates and microorganisms
that live on coral reefs.  There are a number of NGOs, including our own,
Global Coral Reef Alliance, Coral Forest, IUCN, Marine Conservation Society,
Reef Relief, etc. that are trying to play their part through awareness,
education, training, and on-the-ground programs.  And that work is
complemented by research in academe, and government agencies like NOAA who
provide.  Both of those kinds of initiative need support.

Of course if slack countries like Canada and the US could lower their
greenhouse gas emissions and ratify the Biodiversity Convention, a lot could
be done to combat bleaching and mortality due to already elevated sea surface

Don McAllister
Ocean Voice International

x94stuart at wrote:

> HI,
> I am an amature coral lover who had done an extremely small amount of
> research while getting my B.S. in Biology.  On NPR today, I heard that 1/4
> of all corals were dead and that we could lose them all within the next 20
> years.  My first instinct to this was to get as many representatives of as
> many species as possible in a tank in my home so that there is some
> remainder while our oceans heat up.  Is this a horrible thought?  I am not
> a big fan of the tropical fish trade  and I know that it would be very
> easy for me to kill these creatures instead of saving them, but I want to
> It would be nice to be able to map the entire genomes of these guys so
> that in 200 years when things simmer down and our genetic technology sky
> rockets, we could bring these guys back, maybe.
> Anyway, let me know if I am thinking things that are ultimately
> detrimental to corals.
> Michelle Stuart

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