[Coral-List] Science and advocacy

Julian @ Reef Check julian at reefcheck.org.my
Wed Jul 18 23:04:37 EDT 2012

At the risk of being unscientific...maybe the Coral List shouldn't be
involved in advocacy.

Perhaps I need to understand better where the science ends and advocacy
begins, because maybe these are two separate functions. Yes, successful
advocacy needs to be based on good science...but it needs more social and
socio-economic skills to be effective. The people living on our islands
don't begin to understand the science behind resilience, for example...but
they can be educated to understand the need to close areas of reef to
protect future fish stocks. 

In a recent post, Doug Fenner ended with the following statement: 

"I submit that we have NO choice but to save the coral reefs, and in fact
humanity can do it, if it decides to."

The whole problem is that our political leaders probably WON'T decide to do
it, or at the least will continue to prevaricate until it is too late
(Rio+20?). Science might tell us we could and should, but science isn't
advocacy, and that is where we are failing.

Julian Hyde
General Manager
Reef Check Malaysia Bhd
03 2161 5948
Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rcmalaysia

"The bottom line of the Millenium Assessment findings is that human actions
are depleting Earth's natural capital, putting such strain on the
environment that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future
generations can no longer be taken for granted."

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Steve Mussman
Sent: Thursday, 19 July, 2012 2:03 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Science and advocacy

Coral-List is hardly a forum of advocacy. As a outside observer, I have
often been frustrated by the lack of assertiveness exhibited by the
scientific community in confronting the clear and distinct issues
threatening coral reef systems around the world. From my perspective, the
fact that some find recently posted comments too subjective is somewhat

-----Original Message-----
>From: Jim Hendee <jim.hendee at noaa.gov>
>Sent: Jul 18, 2012 11:38 AM
>To: Eugene Shinn <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
>Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Science and advocacy
>Just so everybody's clear on this, Coral-List is managed by the 
>National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of
>As the Administrator of Coral-List (along with my Team Members Lew 
>Gramer and Mike Jankulak), I can assure all 6,988 subscribers to 
>Coral-List that we try to be as even-handed as possible, and follow the 
>posted rules and guidelines of Coral-List, without any influence 
>whatsoever from any "advocacy group."  We are extremely judicious and 
>fair in reviewing all comments that go out, even when they poke an eye in
>Sincerely yours,
>   Jim
>On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:20 AM, Eugene Shinn
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>wrote:
>> Thank you Christopher Hawkins. We share the same concerns. I have 
>> stood by and watched as the coral-list was taken over by advocacy 
>> groups. Gene
>> --
>> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
>> ------------------------------------ 
>> -----------------------------------
>> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
>> University of South Florida
>> College of Marine Science Room 221A
>> 140 Seventh Avenue South
>> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
>> <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
>> Tel 727 553-1158----------------------------------
>> -----------------------------------
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