[Coral-List] Fwd: Listing Criteria Observation

Michael Risk riskmj at mcmaster.ca
Sat Dec 29 09:51:22 EST 2012

Good morning, Doug, and Happy New Year to you.

You will be delighted to hear, no doubt, that we have snow, and cross-country skiing has begun. Now, to the point (so as to keep this short.)

There is a human tendency to gravitate towards the work of one's own country, and this is nowhere more apparent than in science. Americans cite American papers, the French cite French work, the Brits are similar…yadda yadda.

I do not wish to take away from Andy Bruckner's work, for which I have the greatest respect-but I feel I should point out that the process which Rhyne describes as beginning a few years ago actually has a long history, and has been driven more by economics than Andy.

Indonesian legislation regarding the export of wild corals (and other marine organisms) is modelled on its own laws regarding export of lumber. (Those laws are, as we all know, more honoured in the breach than the observance.) I recall talking with the Ministry of the Environment in Jakarta in the mid-80's, about a certification process. Then, in the reports we wrote for COREMAP maybe 15-16 years ago, we laid out the financial rate of return on coral farms. This prompted several startups.

My own project, on Java, funded several small operations exporting "live rock" (stuff with critters), which was done sustainably. Those early successes led to establishment of coral farms in several other locations, most notably in the Karimunjawa Islands north of the project location. This work occurred simultaneously with the growing realisation, in Indonesia, that their reefs were being damaged, and that in fact in some areas wild coral for export was scarce.

In short, the process was well under way before Andy got there.

As far as the ethics of coral and fish export-this post has already exceeded my self-imposed limit.

On 2012-12-27, at 6:15 PM, Douglas Fenner wrote:

> *Indonesia, the largest exporter of corals, has been changing rapidly from
> exporting wild caught corals to mariculture, growing and exporting corals
> in a way that doesn't damage reefs.
> *Export earnings help a poor country, and since it is their biodiversity
> they should benefit from it not just wealthy countries.
> *Captive breeding of endangered species has been very successful in zoos,
> and is an important tool in saving species near extinction.  Captive
> rearing of corals can be an important tool for doing that.
> *The one species of coral that has come closest to extinction, a fire coral
> named Millepora boschmai, was pushed to near-extinction by mass coral
> bleaching in Pacific Panama in 1983 and 1998.  This illustrates how
> important reducing the impacts of threats like mass coral bleaching,
> sedimentation, nutrients, overfishing, etc are.
> *We need to use all available tools for reducing human impacts on reefs and
> reversing the decline toward extinction of some corals, including listing
> as Endangered those that are, and coral mariculture for the aquarium trade,
> and captive breeding of endangered corals.  No one tool can do the job by
> itself.
>    Andrew Rhyne, an author on two papers on the aquarium trade (one on
> coral, the other on fish) that were referred to, wrote me some interesting
> and useful information I was unaware of.  My information, as someone not
> involved, was old and outdated, so I appreciate his new information.
>    First, he relates that Indonesia (the world’s largest exporter of
> corals) has made “a remarkable turn to the better in the coral trade,”
> largely due to Andy Bruckner’s work and communication with them.  They  went
> from 100% of the corals taken from the wild 5-8 years ago, to a growing
> mariculture of corals today, largely because Bruckner et al. kept talking
> to them and offering assistance and help.  They listened and made it a
> national policy of Indonesia to move to a 100% mariculture production.
> Several operations will be exporting only second generation grown-out
> fragments in a year or two’s time, and all exports will be second
> generation mariculture in a few more years.  It’s not perfect and needs
> refining, but they continue to ask for help and take suggestions in moving
> forward.  Engaging with them gives the US major influence on the
> exporters.  If the US were to block all imports, it would loose any
> influence on how they run their business.
>     The trade helps provide income for people in the developing countries
> that export fish and corals, and these species are, after all, their
> species.  Cutting that trade off would end any benefits to their country
> from their own species, and would be contrary to the spirit of the Rio
> Convention on Biodiversity.
>     I really appreciate this information, and congratulate all involved in
> making this rapid shift to a sustainable coral aquaculture system!  Good
> work!
>      In my own opinion, I think that as people get serious about planning
> for these species, they will quickly realize the importance of captive
> breeding.  For endangered species on land, many zoos have captive breeding
> programs.  Several species have been saved from extinction by captive
> breeding in zoos, like how the Phoenix zoo saved the Arabian Oryx.  I just
> think that people at this point are fully busy with trying to figure out
> which species are endangered and which are not (the Status Report was a
> HUGE task, 2000 references they had to go through, it was massive) and
> following the letter of the law.  If the US is to be a nation governed by
> law and not the whims of a dictator, the government must follow the law,
> not break the law, so they have to follow what the law says they have to do
> (unless congress takes away the small amount of money it takes to follow
> the law).  But the next step is to start work on a recovery plan.  As
> people put 2 + 2 together, they will realize that any species that are
> getting down to the last few individuals, will be in desperate need of
> captive breeding, and being kept in captivity away from the ocean
> acidification, hot water, sediment, nutrients, etc etc.  One coral went
> extinct on the Pacific coast of Panama, the only place it was known from.
> It was killed by first the mass coral bleaching in the 1983 El Nino, and
> no one could find any that survived, and then they found a few alive and
> then just after that the mass coral bleaching of the 1998 El Nino hit, and
> killed all remaining known living colonies, and nobody has found any since
> then.  One person said to me then, that since that coral was a fire coral,
> they grow like weeds in an aquarium, and if any tiny bit of it alive could
> be found, it could be put in an aquarium and grown like crazy and saved.
> That species was named "Millepora boschmai" and its status is given at the
> end of the NOAA Status Report.  A few (dry, dead) pieces of that species
> were found in a Dutch museum, which had come from Indonesia, so there is
> hope it is still alive there, though no one has found it alive yet to my
> knowledge (it may be hard to recognize and either rare or restricted to
> just a few spots, who knows).  But this is very instructive of what the
> future may look like.  High water temperatures have the potential to kill
> all individuals of a species over wide areas.  High water temperatures are
> considered the greatest threat to coral species in the Status Report on the
> 82 species, and this example illustrates well just how it can happen.  It
> is a very real and serious threat to coral species as well as whole reefs.
>      For species that have not decreased to very low population sizes,
> which is most coral species, the important things to do are to reduce the
> major threats to corals, namely, global warming, lowering of pH,
> sedimentation, nutrients, overfishing and destructive fishing, coral
> disease, perhaps introduced species (like lionfish).  Those impact all
> corals, and it is vitally important to reduce their impacts, to slow the
> loss of corals so we don't get into the situation where the species is
> threatened or endangered, or in the critically endangered endgame like that
> fire coral got into.  But when a species is in the most serious trouble,
> captive propagation can be a lifesaver.  Of course zoos don't wait until
> the last minute to propagate species in captivity, and I don't think we
> should with corals, either.  We need to hedge our bets, not put all our
> eggs in one basket.  Work on reducing ALL the threats (but concentrating on
> the greatest threats), and set up some backups, "plan B's" like captive
> propagation.  I think captive propagation can play an important role.  But
> our first line of defense needs to be reducing the major threats in the
> wild, because most coral species are not in the last stages of decline yet
> and thus not listed as endangered, and we need to avoid further decline
> that would put them in that situation, if at all possible.
>     Of course, it won't be easy.  But then most things worth doing aren't
> easy.
>     Cheers,  Doug
> On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM, Jon Skrapits
> <jon at treasurecoastcorals.com>wrote:
>> Agreed Doug. The problem I have with the ban is that it may or will in
>> most cases seal the fate of the species of concern.
>> I was on NOAA's conference call yesterday and they mentioned that a ..2
>> change in pH prohibits a few of the species from externally fertilizing.
>> Well then why would leaving them in the ocean save them? Why aren't we
>> using aquaculture as a means to grow specimens non stop and study them.
>> Scientists really need to partner with aquaria. I think that academia would
>> be surprised by the amount of knowledge a good aquarist can have. When we
>> buy an animal and it dies we are very curious as to why and strive to fix
>> it. In the wild when something dies nobody "cares" because it hasn't cost
>> them anything. Yet.
>> On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 5:33 PM, Douglas Fenner <
>> douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Good statement!  You hit the nail on the head.  Many of us are being very
>>> proactive for a particular cause as well, that being the cause of saving
>>> reefs, because the scientific evidence indicates that they are in deep
>>> trouble.  I work in a local government management agency.  I personally
>>> think reefs are very threatened, and want to save them.  But I must work
>>> for all the people.  To me, that means trying to not interfere with, in
>>> fact be supportive when possible, business and commerce, since that's what
>>> produces the goods that our societies need.  That's the engine the drives
>>> the economy that people benefit from.  But govt agencies are responsible to
>>> all the people, and agencies that "manage" reefs have the responsibility to
>>> manage for the good of everyone, including future generations.  So we have
>>> to keep the reefs healthy if we possibly can, and not loose species.  I
>>> really think aquaculture can play a big helpful role in that, and sounds
>>> like huge strides have been made to make it more sustainable.  I'm all for
>>> it.  Sometimes there are conflicts between trying to derive benefits in the
>>> short term vs the long term, other times economic interests can conflict
>>> with the good of the resource.  But other times, economic interests don't
>>> conflict with the good of the resource and can even support it.  We are at
>>> a point where I think making no use of reefs is just not an option for most
>>> of the world's reefs, their services are just too valuable.  They have to
>>> earn their way just like the rest of us.
>>>      For a scientist and a manager, we have to walk at least one
>>> tightrope, where we try to learn the science and not bias the science or
>>> our conclusions from the science.  But then we have to base management on
>>> the science without letting out interests bias our view of the science, and
>>> we have to take human uses and social issues into account, we can't just do
>>> anything we want and the people can get stuffed.  Ultimately we work for
>>> the people, so we have to work for the benefit of the people.  I think
>>> there are solutions to all the problems, but many problems can't be
>>> completely solved without participation by both private and public sectors,
>>> we need those partnerships.  There is nothing wrong with advocating for
>>> your part of the solution, which also helps your pocketbook.  But others
>>> have to look at the big picture and all the different contributions, and
>>> both the advantages and disadvantages of each of the many contributions.
>>> No one project or tool can solve all the many different problems reefs
>>> have, but every project and tool is needed because the other tools can't
>>> solve all the problems either.  Together we can work wonders.
>>>      Cheers,  Doug
>>> On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 4:19 PM, Jon Skrapits <
>>> jon at treasurecoastcorals.com> wrote:
>>>> Dr. Szmant,
>>>> Understood. I overreacted. :)
>>>> I am just passionate as many here are about corals and I hope we come to
>>>> the best conclusions. I was being proactive for a particular cause but it
>>>> seems that maybe science is more about weighing all of the facts and not
>>>> taking a side. The problem is that not taking a side causes issues for my
>>>> pocket!
>>>> On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 10:08 PM, Szmant, Alina <szmanta at uncw.edu>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Dear Jon:
>>>>> My comment was not meant in any way as a comment about the value of
>>>> coral
>>>>> mariculture, which I think is great and helps relieve pressure on wild
>>>>> populations.  It was strictly about the totally incorrect caption
>>>> below the
>>>>> photograph of a colony of Acropora cervicornis with some white strips
>>>> of
>>>>> missing tissue down a couple of branches, in which the caption invoked
>>>> acid
>>>>> acidification and global warming as the causes of the white patches.
>>>> This
>>>>> had nothing to do with mariculture but was an attempt by someone:
>>>>> journalist, editor, ??? to hype the issue.
>>>>> Alina Szmant
>>>> *************************************************************************
>>>>> Dr. Alina M. Szmant
>>>>> Professor of Marine Biology
>>>>> Center for Marine Science and Dept of Biology and Marine Biology
>>>>> University of North Carolina Wilmington
>>>>> 5600 Marvin Moss Ln
>>>>> Wilmington NC 28409 USA
>>>>> tel:  910-962-2362  fax: 910-962-2410  cell: 910-200-3913
>>>>> http://people.uncw.edu/szmanta
>>>>> *******************************************************
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:
>>>>> coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Jon Skrapits
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 2:21 PM
>>>>> To: Steve Mussman
>>>>> Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Listing Criteria Observation
>>>>> Steve and Dr. Szmant,
>>>>> Is government intervention founded to save the reefs? Are listed
>>>> species
>>>>> in FL on the rebound?
>>>>> I understand that certain animals would benefit by restrictions but I
>>>>> don't believe this is the case with coral. If over fishing,
>>>> eutrophication,
>>>>> global warming, marine ornamental harvest, ocean acidification, and
>>>> other
>>>>> debated causes are the problem then how will keeping the corals in the
>>>>> ocean save them? Just as if our environment was declining due to slowly
>>>>> elevating carbon monoxide levels or something else(imagine), staying
>>>> here
>>>>> would only seal our slow fate. Some would die before others but staying
>>>>> here wouldn't be an option unless we reversed the trend which could
>>>> take
>>>>> decades and by that point we could be extinct.
>>>>> If the ESA passes the proposed restrictions how would the FWC or any
>>>> other
>>>>> governing authority determine if the species in front of them is legal
>>>> or
>>>>> not? How will they determine if it was aquacultured or not?
>>>> Aquaculture is
>>>>> a friend to preserving the reefs. Need me to send you a clipping from
>>>> one
>>>>> of my 600 species for studying? Or should I hire a Dr. to write
>>>> articles to
>>>>> gain legitimacy on what is observed daily with the corals in my
>>>> facility?
>>>>> Does a dive show the same data upon observing a wild reef that I have
>>>>> learned from my grown reef? It is much more intimate and species
>>>> specific
>>>>> on land since I don't have to hold my breath. Granted, the conditions
>>>> are
>>>>> not the same as in the wild but that does not mean data is totally
>>>>> worthless. I have specimens that I have farmed for years that are
>>>>> bulletproof and other that are very fragile. I see valid points in all
>>>>> arguments for the mentioned issues destroying the reefs yet I can see
>>>> where
>>>>> they can be incorrect from the work I do. Not all scholarly articles
>>>> are
>>>>> 100% accurate over time. If they were the reefs would be rebounding
>>>> from
>>>>> the years of agreed upon articles that are 100% accurate stating how to
>>>>> save the reefs. There would also be zero disagreement about the causes
>>>> of
>>>>> why corals are dying.
>>>>> Furthermore, what gives the government or anyone the right to restrict
>>>>> something when we aren't 100% sure of the causes or how we are going
>>>> to fix
>>>>> the causes? Maybe the cause and solution haven't been found yet? I have
>>>>> seen many corals show signs of die off while next to other corals that
>>>> are
>>>>> 100% healthy. Then they rebound and do fine while nothing apparent has
>>>>> changed. I have also kept pieces of Acropora for years with no problem
>>>> and
>>>>> thought they were bulletproof only to look at them in the morning and
>>>> they
>>>>> have lost all tissue for no apparent reason. Predation is not an option
>>>>> since I quarantine and treat for any predators. I can saw corals in
>>>> half
>>>>> and they beg for more yet a slight swing in temp can do them in.
>>>>> Dr. Szmant,
>>>>>> "Can we please get back to real science and have some quality control
>>>>>> over what information is broadly disseminated?"
>>>>> Apologies for not using only scholarly articles. I didn't realize we
>>>> were
>>>>> being graded in this classroom. Also, the reefs need the average person
>>>>> reading articles they can understand to become aware of the problems
>>>>> encouraging them to get involved. Peer reviewed will not accomplish
>>>> this.
>>>>> The internet makes the average person "smarter" since there is access
>>>> to
>>>>> anything you want to learn.
>>>>> The point of sharing the link was to show that there are findings in a
>>>>> peer reviewed article cited by the NY Times(albeit poor science in the
>>>> Times
>>>>> article) that supports aquaculture as a sustainable means for the
>>>> aquarium
>>>>> industry. Why not use aquaculture for studying coral in a laboratory as
>>>>> well and why not teach indigenous islanders to mariculture? Couldn't we
>>>>> harvest and re-populate the reefs infinitely once we find the cure for
>>>> the
>>>>> die off?
>>>>> Nevertheless, your point was well taken and it won't happen again. We
>>>> are
>>>>> both trying to help.
>>>>> On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Jon,
>>>>>> It is understandable that you have trepidation regarding regulations
>>>>>> affecting your business interests, but to suggest that government
>>>>>> intervention will likely worsen the problem as it relates to the
>>>>>> sustainability of our coral reefs I believe is unfounded. There are
>>>>>> many examples of regulations that have been enacted involving marine
>>>>>> ecosystems and fisheries that in fact have proven beneficial to all
>>>>>> including commercial interests. It is also true that initially many
>>>> of
>>>>>> these restrictions were met with opposition only to be later
>>>>>> recognized as effective and restorative. At the risk of Gene telling
>>>>>> me that I'm sounding like Karl Marx, total opposition to all
>>>>>> regulation is not the approach taken by most responsible businesses
>>>>>> and many industries have come to recognize that a growing and
>>>>>> sustainable economy requires asophisticated and strategic partnership
>>>>> between government and the private sector.
>>>>>> Regards,
>>>>>>  Steve
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: Jon Skrapits **
>>>>>> Sent: Dec 18, 2012 6:04 PM
>>>>>> To: Douglas Fenner **
>>>>>> Cc: coral list **, Steve Mussman **
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Listing Criteria Observation
>>>>>> Hey Doug,
>>>>>> You keep referring to the tragedy of the commons dilemma. One
>>>>>> particular case of this was our early settlers. They almost didn't
>>>>>> make it due to public ownership of land and resources.
>>>>>> How did they fix it? Elinor Ostrom suggested that non local or gov.
>>>>>> Intervention would worsen this problem and that local people are
>>>>>> better suited to solve this. Mariculture is a great means towards
>>>>>> sustainability for the aquarium trade and for the indigenous people..
>>>>>> What I fear is that regulations such as these cause problems down the
>>>>>> road when more species of coral die since the ocean is in decline as
>>>> a
>>>>>> desirable coral habitat. That is, more regulations because the first
>>>>>> round didn't work. This is always how gov. Operates. It never gets
>>>> rid
>>>>>> of regulations. Plus, how will the gov ensure that no banned species
>>>>>> are in aquariums after the ban? What about pre-ban acquisitions? Will
>>>>>> it be illegal to possessing them? If so, I am throwing my stuff in
>>>> the
>>>>>> Atlantic. You see.... There are many externalities that would arise..
>>>>> Gov. Good intentions usually produce bad results.
>>>>>> Anyone know the answer to this?
>>>>>> Is Apal and Acer on the rebound since being listed? If the FL Keys
>>>>>> were suitable for them to thrive they wouldn't need human help via
>>>>>> propagation once banned from harvest. They would thrive beyond
>>>> belief.
>>>>>> Much like a nuisance coral in an aquarium that is left un-fragmented.
>>>>>> Unless I inject one of the man made problems we can't seem to agree
>>>>>> upon as the main problem for reefs declining.
>>>>>> I believe there is no regulation or cultural change that is on the
>>>>>> live to slow the decline of our reefs. Even if there was, it would
>>>>>> still take a decade or more to see any positive benefit. If I am
>>>>>> right, choose your regulations or education of people wisely.
>>>>>> On Dec 18, 2012 5:18 PM, "Douglas Fenner"
>>>>>> <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> The restrictions imposed by ESA (Endangered Species Act) on imported
>>>>>>> corals will only affect those listed out of the 66 species proposed,
>>>>>>> out of over 790 reef coral species in the world.  The other 724+
>>>>>>> species will be unaffected.  How does that make it so that studies
>>>> of
>>>>>>> coral aquaculture can't be done??  This proposed ESA listing also
>>>>>>> doesn't affect the many other reef species that are imported which
>>>>>>> can be aquacultured, such as fish, invertebrates, etc.
>>>>>>> I continue to disagree with the view that exploitation of wild
>>>>>>> species will cause the exploiters to value the natural ecosystem.
>>>>>>> The incentive is in fact to exploit, not protect.  Fisheries are a
>>>>>>> great example of this, the economic incentive is to fish until it
>>>> is no
>>>>> longer profitable to fish.
>>>>>>> In other words, fish until there are so few fish left that they are
>>>>>>> economically extinct (though not biologically extinct).  Collecting
>>>>>>> corals is a fishery, like collecting (=catching) tuna or any other
>>>>>>> fish.  The Status Report on the 82 species petitioned points out
>>>> that
>>>>>>> collecting for the aquarium trade is one of the more minor threats
>>>> to
>>>>>>> these species, as it surely is.  But all mortality contributes to
>>>> the
>>>>> decline of a species.
>>>>>>> I suggest that non-consumptive uses have a greater incentive for
>>>>>>> conserving natural ecosystems than exploitation, particularly when
>>>>>>> the use depends on high quality ecosystem.  Diving can fit that
>>>> bill,
>>>>>>> when divers can tell the difference between living and dead reef,
>>>> and
>>>>>>> because they love really big fish, and lots of fish.  Aquaculture
>>>>>>> does have the potential to avoid the exploitation of wild stocks,
>>>>>>> which would be good.  I am told that at least in the past, some or
>>>>>>> many aquaculture projects actually were grow-outs, where wild corals
>>>>>>> continued to be collected, broken into fragments which were then
>>>>>>> grown and exported.  The advantage of aquarium-grown corals in the
>>>>>>> country where the coral is sold is that no additional wild
>>>> collecting
>>>>> is necessary.
>>>>>>> Does anybody have a reference to the "new study" referred to in this
>>>>>>> article?
>>>>>>> Cheers,  Doug
>>>>>>> On Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 8:26 AM, Jon Skrapits <
>>>>>>> jon at treasurecoastcorals.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>> Agreed Steve,
>>>>>>>> I was being sarcastic about the parrot and trying to show that they
>>>>>>>> are a benefit but at a quick glance it may seem as though they are
>>>>> destructive.
>>>>>>>> Check this out.
>>>> http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/finding-a-place-for-coral-
>>>>>>>> farms-in-a-changing-ocean/
>>>>>>>> How can we develop scientific studies on the benefits of
>>>> aquaculture
>>>>>>>> if we never pursue that avenue due to restrictions.
>>>>>>>> On Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 2:21 PM, Steve Mussman
>>>>>>>> <sealab at earthlink.net>
>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Jon,
>>>>>>>>> In response to your side note:
>>>>>>>>> **
>>>>>>>>> "If limiting actions that deplete the ocean such as harvesting
>>>>>>>>> coral to grow it, then why aren't we destroying parrot fish
>>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>>>> eat the coral? I blame them for the destruction of the reef".
>>>>>>>>> A paper by the Universities of Exeter and California Davis,
>>>>>>>>> published November 1, 2007 in Nature explains that Parrotfish are
>>>>>>>>> now the sole grazers of seaweed on many Caribbean reefs, but
>>>>>>>>> fishing has limited
>>>>>>>> their
>>>>>>>>> numbers. With insufficient Parrotfish grazing, corals are unable
>>>>>>>>> to recover after major disturbances like hurricanes and become
>>>>>>>>> much less healthy as a result. The paper argues that in order to
>>>>>>>>> secure a future for coral reefs, particularly in light of the
>>>>>>>>> predicted impact of
>>>>>>>> climate
>>>>>>>>> change, Parrotfish need to be protected. The good news is that we
>>>>>>>>> can take practical steps to protect Parrotfish and help reef
>>>>> regeneration.
>>>>>>>> We
>>>>>>>>> recommend a change in policy to establish controls over the use
>>>> of
>>>>>>>>> fish traps, which Parrotfish are particularly vulnerable to. We
>>>>>>>>> also call on anyone who visits the Caribbean and sees Parrotfish
>>>>>>>>> on a restaurant
>>>>>>>> menu to
>>>>>>>>> voice their concern to the management.
>>>>>>>>> This research was published in Nature: vol 450, issue 7166.
>>>>>>>>> Regards,
>>>>>>>>>  Steve
>>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>>> From: Jon Skrapits **
>>>>>>>>>> Sent: Dec 18, 2012 10:24 AM
>>>>>>>>>> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>>>>>> Subject: [Coral-List] Listing Criteria Observation
>>>>>>>>>> I looked over the criteria the best I could. I apologize if I
>>>>>>>>> misunderstood
>>>>>>>>>> but it seems as though the driving factor for determining the
>>>>>>>>>> listing
>>>>>>>> of a
>>>>>>>>>> coral is by counting the number of animals distributed in an
>>>>>>>> ecosystem.
>>>>>>>>>> Then many different hypotheses are thrown out to state a
>>>> personal
>>>>>>>> case or
>>>>>>>>>> blame a general global phenomenon or "problem." I never heard
>>>>>>>>>> more
>>>>>>>>> specific
>>>>>>>>>> questions such as these.
>>>>>>>>>> What does an acropora(or other corals) look like when it is
>>>>>>>>>> subjected
>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>>>> low pH?
>>>>>>>>>> How about inadequate flow?(How can a fragmentation survive if
>>>> you
>>>>>>>> place it
>>>>>>>>>> improperly?)
>>>>>>>>>> How about elevated levels of nitrates?(does it even affect
>>>> them?)
>>>>>>>>>> Phosphates?
>>>>>>>>>> Insufficient calcium levels?
>>>>>>>>>> What about the overall chemistry of seawater when Magnesium is
>>>> low?
>>>>>>>>>> Temp fluctuations?
>>>>>>>>>> Effects of a changing ecosystem causing a lack of food for
>>>> corals?
>>>>>>>>>> Do corals really need fish or is it the other way around?( I
>>>> have
>>>>>>>>>> many systems w/out fish and pleny of corals)
>>>>>>>>>> These and many other questions must be answered every hour in
>>>>>>>> aquaculture
>>>>>>>>>> and guessing wrong causes mass deaths in some cases. Much can be
>>>>>>>> learned
>>>>>>>>>> from this.
>>>>>>>>>> On a side note.... If limiting actions that deplete the ocean
>>>>>>>>>> such as harvesting coral to grow it, then why aren't we
>>>>>>>>>> destroying parrot fish
>>>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>>>>> eat the coral? I blame them for the destruction of the reefs.
>>>>>>>>>> As I have said many times, gov. regulation will only kill the
>>>> reefs.
>>>>>>>>> Making
>>>>>>>>>> it a profitable venture will save them. Educate not regulate. If
>>>>>>>>>> we
>>>>>>>> can't
>>>>>>>>>> agree on what is killing the reefs and change our habits, the
>>>>>>>>>> ocean
>>>>>>>> will
>>>>>>>>>> not improve and the corals will sit on the reef awaiting their
>>>>>>>> demise. Are
>>>>>>>>>> the oceans improving? What are we doing to improve that? Just
>>>> ban
>>>>>>>>>> havesting? That is the answer? I will collect as many species as
>>>>>>>> possible
>>>>>>>>>> to have a genetic pool of hearty corals that have been through
>>>>>>>>> fluctuations
>>>>>>>>>> and hopefully one day I can help or my kids can help to replant
>>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> ocean.
>>>>>>>>>> I will watch the rest of mankind squabble over what they think
>>>> is
>>>>>>>>>> the problem as it worsens. Maybe we will knock off parrot fish
>>>> as
>>>>>>>>>> a last
>>>>>>>>> resort
>>>>>>>>>> if they are still alive.
>>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>>>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>>>>>>> **
>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>> Dept. Marine & Wildlife Resources, American Samoan Government PO Box
>>>>>>> 7390 Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
>>>>>>> ********
>>>>> --
>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>>> --
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>> --
>>> Dept. Marine & Wildlife Resources, American Samoan Government
>>> PO Box 7390
>>> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
>> --
>> Thanks,
> -- 
> Dept. Marine & Wildlife Resources, American Samoan Government
> PO Box 7390
> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
> -- 
> Dept. Marine & Wildlife Resources, American Samoan Government
> PO Box 7390
> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

Michael Risk
riskmj at mcmaster.ca

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