[Coral-List] Value of Hawaiian Reefs-conservation and humanity must go hand in hand.

Magnus Johnson m.johnson at hull.ac.uk
Fri Nov 25 15:11:47 EST 2011

I agree, conservation and humanity need to go hand in hand - a point that we make often in relation to the Chagossians, whose reefs would be in the premier league (using Bastiaan's analogy).  I attended a Chagos meeting yesterday at the Linnean Society (in the room where Darwin first presented his ideas on evolution - very cool!) where I saw an eclectic mixture of excellent science (highlighting the need to protect this area) and really worrying rubbish.

Most worrying was to listen to the adviser to the UK government on tropical overseas territories say, when confronted by Philippa Gregory (patron of the Chagos Support Association http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yavFR6MTN4g) reminding people of the appalling history, the human tragedy, of these islands, saying "I'm just a simple scientist" apparently absolving himself from the need to consider human rights issues in the pursuit of science.

According to the PEW foundation rep who spoke, the US Navy are going to monitor the MPA for them, anyone arrested will be assumed guilty until they prove themselves innocent and he jokingly suggested (I hope) perhaps we should encourage privateering as a way of funding patrols of MPAs - I guess he was suggesting a way of keeping Somali pirates in gainful employment??

Where I agree with Bastiaan is that for conservation itself to be sustainable we need to use the things that drive humans rather than naively work against them.  We need to recognise our own humanity.  To give an example in relation to Chagos.  In the absence of a pelagic fishery and well funded surveillance, the area is at the mercy of IUU fishing.  If you have a well controlled and valued fishery, the fishers themselves will protect their investment, and help protect the unfished reef.

Cheers, Magnus

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Helder Perez
Sent: 24 November 2011 18:54
To: Bastiaan Vermonden
Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Value of Hawaiian Reefs-why cant we all just get along? (Bastiaan V)

What's the point of winning when Honor is set aside?

Bastiaan, although your proposed methodology seems to be interesting,
effective even, we can't just trade our values for the sake of money and
business. What's the point of risking our lives for a better planet if
we're feeding the society with wrong ideas? Our fight for coral reefs
(rainforests, pandas, penguins, endemic iguanas, and almost everything
natural) should never compromise the foundations of our humanity.

Just my two centavos on the matter.


Helder I. Pérez
Bay Islands Foundation

On 24 November 2011 10:48, Bastiaan Vermonden
<bastiaan.vermonden at gmail.com>wrote:

> Dear Steve,
> Thanks for your insights I appreciate all advice and input. About those
> disheartening realities, those are exactly the reason why I devised this
> strategy.
> With this strategy improving the reef should increase tourism demand and
> therefore be good for business. There is no need to think or care about
> future generations.
> Also I wanted to use a measurement which can be used to show small
> improvements so that even small steps can be rewarded. For example
> currently if you want to become a top diving destination you either have to
> have a great reputation or have something really amazing. However if you
> look on my map small differences can alter consumption decisions. So this
> means that if a country, marine park etc realizes a small increase in fish
> biomass it might already mean they are better than their neighbor and thus
> result in more tourism demand.
> This competition is the most important aspect of my idea. I think that
> competition can make people do crazy but also amazing things. For example
> lets look at sports, why do people for example train their whole life to
> run faster and faster to win the Olympics?
> If you look at it rationally it is utterly ridiculous (I don't mean to
> offend anyone) but it is well harnessed competitive drive. The tools they
> use to create that competition are races where individuals measure
> themselves to their nearest competitors and a stopwatch to compare their
> times to the fastest running time ever achieved either in the region,
> nationally at college level or at olympic level or whatever.
> Also an olympic runner does not immediately start competing with the best,
> first he starts competing with those who are closest to his abilities and
> he will work/run his way to the top. Most reefs are now heavily degraded so
> pretty much everyone would start in the "little leagues" Maybe its a bit
> crude but for example if we have an obese person in a running race we don't
> expect him/her to win but if it is against only other obese people then
> that changes everything.
> So I believe that if we give destinations the tools to compete they will do
> so, and instead of competing for a gold metal and honor they will compete
> for money and business.
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRxs379Vq_k&feature=related
> Bastiaan
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