[Coral-List] Follow-up: NOAA lists 20 new corals

Vassil Zlatarski vzlatarski at gmail.com
Wed Sep 3 23:17:54 EDT 2014

Hi all,

Thanks, Jennifer, for your today sobering posting "Follow-up: NOAA
lists 20 new corals".

It turned out that all process, efforts and costs for these ESA
listings initiated by a 2009 petition from Center for Biological
Diversity (CBD) to list 83 reef-building coral species came to 20
species. The final listing of such reduced number and only threatened
species speaks much for the quality of CBD petition. As result, NOAA
was obliged to follow the legal requirements and five years to work on
ill-originated petition by evaluating the extinction risk of the 83
petitioned species and not of all at-risk species that occur in US
waters.  This week colleagues posted here, in Coral-List, very
essential observations and recommendation for future work.  Are we
learning from the past?

Let me remind words from my posting in Coral-List on this subject
dated April 6, 2010: :

"The CBD has on staff 21 lawyers, only 6 biologists, and no
specialists on reefs and corals.  How to be considered the entire
ecosystem and the recent reef history?  In CBD was forgotten that the
only lessons for the reef evolution come from the past.

Dear Coral Friends, do you expect a team of layers acting this way to
save the reefs?  Everybody in the Coral-List knows how difficult is
this task and of course we have to do our best.  However, the goal
requires most efficient usage of all knowledge and experience.  It is
not correct to start from the lawyers offices and without any
discussion with specialists to install a petition on the railway of
legal procedures where proper cure is not possible. [...]  Who is
paying for all this?  We and the coral reefs.  Please, no personal
attacks, no politics, no undue financial expenses, and no push for
ill-founded actions.  Let face the whole truth and try what we were
discussing here about the role of the scientists for the coral reefs.

Hope you will accept my respectful frankness."

Cheers always,


Vassil Zlatarski
D.Sc. (Biology), Ph.D. (Geology)

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