[Coral-List] ECOBIOBALL??

Mark Tupper mtupper at coastal-resources.org
Wed Jun 20 12:33:28 EDT 2012

   Hello Listers,

   Iâm a bit surprised that with the torrent of responses Abbie has received,
   nobody has actually addressed her specific questions. We all know that
   seaside golf courses cause eutrophication from fertilizer runoff, and that
   eutrophication has been demonstrated to damage coral reefs. However, I think
   the accusations of âgreenwashingâ are somewhat off-base because Albus Golf
   is  actually  a  technology  company that specializes in manufacturing
   biodegradables for the sports and leisure industry. They are not in the
   business of building golf courses.

   Anyway, Abbieâs specific questions where (1) whether the fish food contained
   in this golf balls will be equally safe for freshwater or marine fish, and
   (2) whether the release of fish food from a degrading golf ball will affect
   fish behavior. Related to the general issue of eutrophication, one could add
   the question (3) would these golf balls add a significant nutrient input in
   addition to the fertilizer runoff typical of seaside golf courses?

   The first question cannot be answered without knowing exactly what the fish
   food in the golf ball is comprised of. However, the majority of common
   aquarium fish foods can be fed to both freshwater and marine fish (Artemia,
   Spirulina, Tubifex, etc.). There are specific exceptions, but if these golf
   balls contain typical fish food such as used in the aquarium trade, it
   should be equally safe for both freshwater and marine fish.

   The second question probably depends on the number of golf balls that enter
   the water at a given course, and their spatial distribution. A total of 300
   million golf balls are lost in the water every year in the USA alone. So a
   seaside golf course is likely to put quite a large number of balls in the
   water. Typically, there will be one or two particularly challenging holes
   that will see the majority of lost balls. I could see this causing a problem
   with attracting fish to those specific areas. On the other hand, on less
   challenging courses where fewer balls are lost, an occasional feeding via
   golf ball might not disrupt natural feeding behavior.

   The third question probably depends on the first two, i.e. how many balls
   are lost and the nutrient content of the food inside. Information on the
   nutrient content should be available from the manufacturer.

   Lastly, I would be somewhat skeptical of any resort actually using the
   EcoBioBall for any length of time for the simple reason that it is a very
   poor performer. The EcoBioBall made quite a splash (pun intended) when it
   was  released  a few years ago, but it failed to catch on when golfers
   realized that a ball without an elastic core will only fly 60% as far as a
   traditional golf ball. So, serious golfers would lose about 100 yards off
   their drive. That fact will sink the EcoBioBall far more quickly than its
   environmental concerns.



   Dr. Mark Tupper, Director of Environmental Science
   Coastal Resources Association
   Head Office: 16880 87 Ave., Surrey, BC, Canada V4N 5J4
   Email: mtupper at coastal-resources.org
   Tel. 1-604-961-2022
   Philippines: c/o Ricky Mijares
   Poblacion, Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines 9103
   On Tue Jun 19 8:05 , nicole caesar sent:
     Hi Abbie,
     I'd like to commend you on posting your query first of all, as many
     education outfits operate in isolation, away from the available expertise
     and knowledge centers.  The responses that you've received so far are
     right on the money.  Coastal systems are delicate and ecosystem shifts
     occur suddenly and swiftly when nutrient balance and visibility are
     altered - either due to anthropogenic or natural impacts.  The only
     persons who may suggests that golf courses do not lead to eutropication
     are the golf course managers themselves.  Time and time again, we have
     witnessed and published on the ecosystem shifts that occur on nearby coral
     reef systems as the algae bloom in the newly nutrient rich waters.  The
     fish populations associated with the declining coral reef systems also
     decline. EcoBioBalls are proposing to add More nutrients to an already
     eutrophic system.  Based on past studies the impacts will be detrimental
     to the larger biota that we love to
     observe as humans/visitors, along with a shift in fish behaviour.  To get
     further information on possible impacts, it may be good to provide the
     coral list with the following information: what climate zone are the golf
     courses in question located in, characteristics of the adjoining coastline
     (shallow warm water, deeper cold water), are there reefs nearby etc.
     Congratulations to Albus Golf on their novel, misguided idea.  I do not
     recommend that it be implemented, and I volunteer to lead them on a field
     trip down to the Keys to educate them on the impacts on urban run-off on
     nearshore systems.  We can play some golf, i'll take them on a snorkel,and
     plop them down for a nice long informative powerpoint presentation in that
     Nicole O. Caesar
     M.S. Marine Science
     Recipient, USF Signature Research Doctoral Fellowship
     Board Member, Florida Chapter, AWRA
     Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Geography, Environment, & Planning

     From: Ian Zink <[1]izink at rsmas.miami.edu>
     To: "ENGMAN, JAMES" <[2]ENGMANJ at hsu.edu>;
     "[3]coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa..gov" <[4]coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
     Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 5:47 PM
     Subject: Re: [Coral-List] ECOBIOBALL??
     EcoBioBalls  sounds like greenwashing of practices which contribute
     substantially to coastal eutrophication, as is suggested below.  Should
     wiseoceans.com ask the wise question "is golf ball waste the biggest
     enviromental impact caused by coastal golf courses?" the feel-good add-on
     of these golf balls doesn't target the main issue.
     Similarly, should golf balls which could change coastal fishes' behavior
     (public  feeding  of  the  wildlife  around coastal golf course) be
     introduced?  Though this product seems to alleviate one problem, it may
     introduce another..
     From:                     [5]coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
     [[6]coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov] on behalf of ENGMAN, JAMES
     [[7]ENGMANJ at hsu.edu]
     Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 2:01 PM
     To: [8]coral-list at coral.aoml..noaa.gov
     Subject: Re: [Coral-List] ECOBIOBALL??
     I won't comment on the fish-feeding ball proposal. Is it safe to assume
     that these seaside luxury resorts use N and P fertilizer, herbicides and
     insecticides to keep their turf nice and pretty? There's an awareness
     James Engman, Ph.D.
     Professor of Biology and Chair
     Department of Biology
     Box 7520
     Henderson State University
     Arkadelphia, AR 71999-0001
     phone 870-230-5314
     fax 870-230-5144
     email: [9]engmanj at hsu.edu
     -----Original Message-----
     From:                    [10]coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
     [[11]coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')">[12]coral-list-bou
     nces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of [13]info at wiseoceans.com
     Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 11:33 AM
     To: [14]coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
     Subject: [Coral-List] ECOBIOBALL??
     Dear Coral-list,
     I run a marine awareness and conservation company called WiseOceans and we
     (along with other things) provide Marine Educators at resorts.  One of the
     luxury resorts we work at is planning on introducing ECOBIOBALL by Albus
     Golf.  [15]www.albusgolf.com
     I have not had any experience of these before and am keen to gather
     scientific opinion on the environmental and ethical pros and cons of these
     golf balls.
     According to their website ECOBIOBALL is the first ever ecological and
     biodegradable golf ball to contain fish food in its core.  It is 100% safe
     for marine flora and fauna, is manufactured using non-contaminating
     materials, and is certified as a biodegradable and non-toxic product..
     Once  the golf ball has been hit into the water, its external layer
     biodegrades in less than 48 hours, releasing the fish food contained in
     its core into the surrounding water.
     One concern is that the same type of ball and therefore fish food is used
     for  fresh  and  salt  water,  would that be an issue?  I also have
     reservations on fish feeding as a whole as it can often change behaviour.
     I would appreciate some thoughts.  Thanks so much
     Kind regards
     Abbie Hine
     "In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we
     understand and we will understand only what we are taught"  Baba Dioum
     Coral-List mailing list
     [16]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
     Coral-List mailing list
     [18]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
     Coral-List mailing list
     [20]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
     Coral-List mailing list
     [22]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov


   1. javascript:top.opencompose('izink at rsmas.miami..edu','','','')
   2. javascript:top.opencompose('ENGMANJ at hsu.edu','','','')
   3. javascript:top.opencompose('coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
   4. javascript:top.opencompose('coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
   5. javascript:top.opencompose('coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
   6. javascript:top.opencompose('coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov','','','')
   7. javascript:top.opencompose('ENGMANJ at hsu.edu','','','')
   8. javascript:top.opencompose('coral-list at coral.aoml..noaa.gov','','','')
   9. javascript:top.opencompose('engmanj at hsu.edu','','','')
  10. javascript:top.opencompose('coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
  11. javascript:top.opencompose('<a href=
  12. javascript:top.opencompose('coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
  13. javascript:top.opencompose('info at wiseoceans.com','','','')
  14. javascript:top.opencompose('coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
  15. file://localhost/tmp/parse.pl?redirect=http://www.albusgolf.com
  16. javascript:top.opencompose('Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
  17. file://localhost/tmp/parse.pl?redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fcoral.aoml.noaa.gov%2Fmailman%2Flistinfo%2Fcoral-list
  18. javascript:top.opencompose('Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
  19. file://localhost/tmp/parse.pl?redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fcoral..aoml.noaa.gov%2Fmailman%2Flistinfo%2Fcoral-list
  20. javascript:top.opencompose('Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
  21. file://localhost/tmp/parse.pl?redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fcoral.aoml.noaa.gov%2Fmailman%2Flistinfo%2Fcoral-list
  22. javascript:top.opencompose('Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov','','','')
  23. file://localhost/tmp/parse.pl?redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fcoral.aoml.noaa.gov%2Fmailman%2Flistinfo%2Fcoral-list

More information about the Coral-List mailing list