[Coral-List] Palau`s UN ambassador error on parrotfish

Steve Box steve at utilaecology.org
Thu Sep 23 17:28:54 EDT 2010

I thought I would bring the list serves attention to a statement yesterday
by Palau's UN ambassador Stuart Beck when talking about the countries call
at the general assembly for international action to address shark fishing on
the high seas:


"In Palau, the reefs depend on the predators - and sharks are the top
predators - because if you take them out, what proliferates will kill the
reef, parrotfish for example," he said. I found this quote on a BBC article
covering the UNGA and assume it has been widely repeated in the media.


It is a dire shame when officials who are proponents of international
conservation action (and thus one would assume to be better briefed on the
relevant science than most) can make such erroneous statements, which are
then compounded and disseminated by wide spread media coverage. 


So whilst the coral list has been preoccupied of late with seemingly endless
tangential discussions on media spin, climate change, oil spills and more
media spin, simple facts such as parrotfish being essential to reef health,
and fundamental to coral reef ecology are being badly misrepresented.   



Stephen Box PhD

Executive Director


Utila Centre for Marine Ecology,

Bay Islands, Honduras



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