[Coral-List] The battle for biodiversity

Todd Barber reefball at reefball.com
Mon Nov 29 17:38:05 EST 2010


Very well spoken....biodiversity not only of species, but of ecosystems is
perhaps the most challenging task facing our world today...not just in the
sea but planet wide as human populations and technology advances the rate of
change in nearly every ecosystem with increasingly complex outcomes.

Most ecosystems show resilience, some more than others.  Reefs are no
exception.  What we can do in light of the rapid changes humans and
technological  forces, is to work to keep the resilience of our ecosystems
as high as possible.  In some cases that could mean MPAs OR protective
measures for individual species (and many other interventions too) but in
all cases it means...somewhat ironically...that the only way to help
ecosystems resist human changes is for more active human  management of

It strikes me as obvious that we need to more quickly address the "low
hanging fruit".....why we still have plastic bags floating around our reefs
went the cost to stop that practice is relatively low always makes me
wonder.  Or even to stop people from dropping dynamite on reefs...how
relatively simple with enough will and educational effort.

I guess my point is we need to do the really obvious stuff but we also need
to work up the ladder of increasingly more complex solutions for a myriad of
issues such as pollution or even global warming which just a few years ago
everyone said was just to complex to address.

One thing for sure, it will be an on-going problem and a problem we are
leaving more and more to our grand children every day.  I hope more people
develop your en-lighted sense to help save biodiversity and ecosystems.


Todd R Barber
Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation
3305 Edwards Court
Greenville, NC 27858
252-353-9094 (Direct)
941-720-7549 (Cell & Goggle Voice)
toddbarber Skype

www,reefball.org (Reef Ball Foundation)
www.artificialreefs.com (Designed Artificial Reefs)
www.reefbeach.com (Reefs for Beach Erosion)
www.eternalreefs.com (Memorial Reefs)
www.reefball.com (Reef Ball Foundation)

On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 9:35 AM, Martin Moe <martin_moe at yahoo.com> wrote:

> The Battle for Biodiversity
> For hundreds of years, and into this century as well, we have selectively
> exploited the resources of our marine environment striving only for
> “sustainability”. And of course, to our simplistic and materialistic
> economic
> philosophy, “sustainability” means to take every individual from every
> valuable
> species that it is possible to take within the expectation that there will
> be
> enough individuals remaining to assure that the same amount can be taken
> the
> next year. And that, of course, is, or was, the philosophy of those
> concerned
> about the maintaining an exploitable future for the resource. Those
> interested
> only in the short term economic gain of unrestricted exploitation without
> concern for the future of the resource, the environment, or the cooperative
> human investment in the health of the resource, ignore and circumvent
> whenever
> possible any conservation efforts that may be imposed to protect the
> resource.
> My concern though, is not with the “outlaws”, but with the prevailing
> approach
> to conservation of valuable species. In essentially all instances, the
> value of
> biodiversity in not considered. The concept of protecting biodiversity in
> order
> to sustain a healthy ecosystem is a relatively new and not well accepted
> concept
> by most who rest their living from the resources of the sea.
> A case in point is the spiny lobster fishery of Florida. It has been shown
> through analysis of mitochondrial DNA (Silberman, et. al., 1994) that, as
> expected, genetic analysis shows no evidence of genetic structure in the
> spiny
> lobster (P. argus) population, which is consistent with a high gene flow
> throughout the population. This also indicates that the population of spiny
> lobsters in Florida is dependent on larval influx from Caribbean sources.
> The response of Florida fishermen to the NOAA effort to utilize catch
> shares, a
> method of regulating the total catch of a species to protect both the
> species
> and their place in the ecosystem reflects the inevitable “tragedy of the
> commons” result of economic based fishery management. The response of the
> Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman’s Association to the status of the spiny
> lobster population in the Keys is “We fishermen believe that in essence, we
> could harvest every legal size, non-egg bearing lobster in Florida, and it
> would
> make no difference to how many lobster we catch next year.” Which may be
> true,
> and which makes sense within the age old concept of exploitation to very
> limit
> of all economically valuable marine species, but it fails to recognize the
> great
> damage this mindset does to the ecological health of marine environments.
> Spiny lobsters are, or were, an important cog in the ecology of Florida
> coral
> reefs and they are now, because of fishery exploitation, essentially no
> longer
> ecologically functional on these reefs, or in the nursery areas of Florida
>  Bay.
> Marine Protected Areas are very important to the maintenance of essential
> biodiversity in marine environments. But in the long run, unless the areas
> protected are very great, that may not be a functional method to repair
> general
> biodiversity. We are facing a crisis brought on by our exploitation of all
> the
> resources of the earth, living and fossil, and the only real answers are
> population control and development of a universal human mind set of
> ecological
> preservation that controls all exploitation, placing the health of the
> environment before the demands of economic and recreational exploitation.
> And
> how can we accomplish that?
> Martin Moe
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