[Coral-List] Lionfish in the news

frahome at yahoo.com frahome at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 30 12:30:15 EST 2014

I join Steve and Alina in their attempt to call attention to
the deep causes of coral reef and environmental decline.
We all seem to be focused on  symptoms or sometime even futile aspects, devoting
to them all our energy, research and funding while ignoring the roots of the
problem and avoiding to act where we could really make a difference. 
I can picture a cartoon with a giant stepping over the world
coral reefs, boiling and polluting them down, while we are out under its next footstep
snorkelling to hunt the “nasty” lionfish, if not sequencing zooxanthellae DNA
in the lab.
Some weeks ago I posted a comment on an article praising
science for being a major contributor to economic growth, where I was questioning
the sustainability of such a macro economic model based on infinite growth on a
finite planet and its major contribution to coral reef decline:
Nobody further contributed to the discussion making me wondering
if the post was dull, out of scope or victim of denial of the issue.
Mainstream media, politicians, academia and “experts” are
all busy pushing actions that are the causes of all problems in the first place
(boosting family consumption and spending will save us all? They seem to suggest
that if tomorrow we all go out buying and trashing millions of useless plastic
gadgets and appliances, while employing teams of people digging holes on one
side and filling them up on the other, we will have all the world problem fixed
and be happy. Oh yes we could also give it a little “green” twist and have installed
a couple of solar panels on the roof too.
Anyway here some reading bringing to the plate some food for
http://steadystate.org/discover/enough-is-enough/ (though I disagree with their stands on page 81 to 85…)
And I recommend Prof. Bartlett lesson on exponential growth
(being it economic, population or whatever):
Probably this literature doesn’t have a direct mention to coral
reefs but in my opinion it’s astonishing how pertinent the contents are to their
near future fate.


 From: Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
To: Douglas Fenner <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> 
Cc: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> 
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:11 PM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Lionfish in the news

   It just seems to me that it has become fashionable to use the lionfish
   invasion as a scapegoat for the decline of many native fish communities.
   This  takes  the  focus  off  of  the multiple human stressors and the
   uncomfortable need to assess and manage human impacts. For example, from
   everything  that  I've read it appears that there is a more direct and
   preexistent correlation between human population density and declines in
   grouper, snapper and other predatory fish populations. Although there may be
   good reason to target lionfish, it may prove more important to control
   ourselves if we are to preserve coral reefs and other marine ecosystems.

     -----Original Message-----
     From: Douglas Fenner
     Sent: Jan 27, 2014 4:16 PM
     To: Steve Mussman
     Cc: coral list
     Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Lionfish in the news

        I was just trying to alert people to this new study, since it seems
   many people are interested in lionfish.
        Yes, my understanding is that lionfish were reduced only in very small
   areas in this study.  It sounded to me like they were suggesting that if
   most but not all lionfish were removed from small areas, that the recovery
   of native fish species might be able to produce the eggs to seed other areas
   and help them out.  I don't know if that would work.  But I haven't read the
   original article yet.  I'm not vouching for this article, just thought
   people would be interested.  I think the article should be scrutinized like
   all articles.
        Cheers,  Doug

   On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 8:34 AM, Steve Mussman <[1]sealab at earthlink.net>

   I believe the article raises more questions than it answers.
   The most obvious issue may be related to the size of the reef areas involved
   in the study:
   "A typical reef site, which is about a third the size of a basketball court"
   How does a study carried out on such infinitesimal areas of reef apply to
   the issue as a whole?  It is one thing to control lionfish on these small
   parcels, but how do you apply the same techniques effectively to vast areas
   of reefs many of which are at depths below which divers can even access?
   The  article also implies that the main reason for grouper and snapper
   declines is lionfish . . . wonder how they came to that conclusion?
   -----Original Message-----
   >From: Douglas Fenner 
   >Sent: Jan 25, 2014 8:33 PM
   >To: coral list 
   >Subject: [Coral-List] Lionfish in the news
   >Title: "Invasive Lionfish, the Kings of the Caribbean, may have met their
   >match." (put the emphasis on "may have") I noted the statement at the end
   >of the article that invasive species now cost the U.S.A. $120 billion
   >dollars a year. That's "billion" with a "B." (many or most of the species
   >that add to that cost are terrestrial or fresh water)
   >Older stories:
   >"Caribbean's native predators unable to stop aggressive lionfish population
   >The IndoPacific Lionfish Invasion (tons of info)
   >REEF lionfish research program
   >Be sure to check the expansion of the lionfish in the map on this page, the
   >expansion clearly continues, now covers the entire US eastern seaboard,
   >Bermuda, Caribbean to the eastern end, and Gulf of Mexico. It takes a
   >minute to load, but it continues to 2013.
   >Douglas Fenner
   >Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
   >PO Box 7390
   >Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799 USA
   >phone [6]1 684 622-7084
   >Coral-List mailing list
   >[7]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
   Douglas Fenner
   Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
   PO Box 7390
   Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
   phone 1 684 622-7084


   1. mailto:sealab at earthlink.net
   2. http://news.yahoo.com/invasive-lionfish-kings-caribbean-may-met-match-011600208.html
   3. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130711172538.htm
   4. http://www.coris.noaa..gov/exchanges/lionfish/
   5. http://www.reef.org/lionfish
   6. tel:1%20684%20622-7084
   7. mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
   8. http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
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