[Coral-List] Fwd: Re: Reassessing Coral Reefs

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 3 09:44:27 EDT 2015

Hi John, 

  Your experience in Curacao mirrors many that I have had with students throughout the years. Come to think of it, many of us may have misjudged conditions on the reefs ourselves when we first started diving. Its likely that Gene Shinn could have schooled me on issues in the Florida Keys during my first dives there in the early 1970's. Without a firmly established baseline, who would know? That is why it is so critical that we find more effective ways to get the message across. I don't believe that it has to be all gloom and doom. If done right, it could actually stimulate interest among divers in the future of coral reefs around the world. William Alevizon's suggestion is another call for self circumspection. I know that as an underwater photographer I have taken liberties with marine life that are unacceptable. I can't change that, but I can set a better example going forward and encourage others to do so as well. Admittedly, its still hard for me to resist making gentle contact from time to time, but I am trying to reform. As for feeding, I've always been opposed and now the shark feeding craze has captivated the diving industry which sees it as a way of adding a much needed extreme edge to the "sport". In fact, there have been a number of scientific papers that seem to encourage the practice. It is clear that it won't be easy to gain universal consensus on a set of acceptable diving standards, but we must try hard to get the point across that coral reefs and marine life in general are in a critical phase which is very much dependent on human behavior and interventions. I hope that there is both the time and inclination to get this right.


-----Original Message-----
>From: John Ware <jware at erols.com>
>Sent: Apr 2, 2015 11:41 AM
>To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>Subject: [Coral-List] Fwd: Re:  Reassessing Coral Reefs
>-------- Forwarded Message --------
>Subject: 	Re: [Coral-List] Reassessing Coral Reefs
>Date: 	Thu, 02 Apr 2015 08:41:13 -0700
>From: 	John Ware <jware at erols.com>
>To: 	Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca>
>Hi List,
>As an anecdotal addition to Peter's comments:
>Some time ago my wife and I visited Curacao for a dive vacation. She
>came up from the first dive and expressed my feelings very well: "It was
>like diving over a graveyard."  All dead coral and few fish.
>However, the younger (20s, 30s) folks on the boat, with only a
>short-term view, were commenting about how beautiful the reefs and fish
>Depends on your perspective.
>On 4/1/2015 11:01 AM, Peter Sale wrote:
>> Hi listers,
>> The issue of sport divers not knowing the difference between a living,
>> healthy reef and a dead reef is real, and a sad commentary on our times.
>> The main reason Alena Szmant and I put together the booklet, Reef
>> Reminiscences, in 2012, was because I realized that large numbers of
>> younger reef researchers and managers had never seen a healthy reef.  In
>> it, 12 older researchers reminisce about reefs they worked on when they
>> were young.
>> Perhaps the dive industry could also make use of it.  Its available for
>> download at http://www.petersalebooks.com/?page_id=1428
>> Its even free.  And it even has the story of Jack Randall's first wetsuit.
>> Peter Sale
>> sale at uwindsor.ca                 @PeterSale3
>> www.uwindsor.ca/sale           www.petersalebooks.com
>> _______________________________________________
>> Coral-List mailing list
>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>     *************************************************************
>     *                                                           *
>     *                      John R. Ware, PhD                    *
>     *                         President                         *
>     *                      SeaServices, LLC                     *
>     *                     302 N. Mule Deer Pt.                  *
>     *                    Payson, AZ 85541, USA                  *
>     *                       928 478-6358                        *
>     *                      jware at erols.com                      *
>     *                 http://www.seaservices.org                *
>     *                                                           *
>     *                   Member of the Council:                  *
>     *            International Society for Reef Studies         *
>     *                                          _                *
>     *                                         |                 *
>     *   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *
>     *                                        _|_                *
>     *                                       | _ |               *
>     *        _______________________________|   |________       *
>     *     |\/__       Untainted by Technology            \      *
>     *     |/\____________________________________________/      *
>     *************************************************************
>If you are a coral-reef scientist and you are not a member
>of the International Society for Reef Studies, then
>shame on you.
>Become a member of the International Society for Reef Studies
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list