[Coral-List] Change it RE: positive impact for coral reefs

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 22 20:42:18 EDT 2011

Dear Coral-Listers,

Sarah’s depiction of the reaction of local dive operators,
dive shop owners and scientists during the ICRS in Ft. Lauderdale 
in 2008 reminded me of similar experiences that I have had in  
dealings with scuba industry leaders. If groups composed of these
individuals (supposedly enlightened by virtue of their unequivocal
connection to coral reefs and marine ecosystems)appear to be unmoved
by current conditions, how can we hold out hope in our attempts to 
reach out and affect change in the mindset of the masses on this issue? 

One would think that any scuba diver, business or scientist who
by virtue of their enterprise is clearly related to theses interests 
would be hypersensitive to any adverse developments affecting the 
marine environment. But, apparently this is not the case and Sarah
is correct to call you out on this issue. It is not solely your responsibility, but you most certainly share culpability through your collective repose.

What is the point of analyses aimed at determining the economic value 
of coral reef systems if even those so intimately involved are more 
concerned with maintaining the status quo as it pertains to protecting 
their short term needs?

Until this dynamic changes and we enter into a new paradigm whereby the
obvious value of coral reefs and marine ecosystems is universally recognized,
the downward spiral will continue. With all due respect, all of us involved in any way with coral reef systems should be more proactive in doing whatever
we can to speak out and help reverse this trend. 

Steve Mussman
Sea Lab Diving

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