[Coral-List] Reassessing Coral Reefs: Reply To S. Mussman & C. Kruer

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 18:54:44 EDT 2015

I believe Steve is correct.  I also believe that he was right when he
started this discussion with his concern that the dive industry has not
spoken out on climate change.  Because climate change is the number one
threat to coral reefs.  Divers are a threat to the tiny area that divers
dive on, and a threat to the income of the dive industry (if divers ever
catch on to the difference between live coral and algae, which they may
well), since their income depends to some degree on reefs having some live
coral on them as well as fish.
      Reducing diver impact will help reefs where diving in common.  No
question.  Worth doing, needs doing.  But 3 or 4 decades from now, it will
make no difference, because by then the high temperature events will have
killed most of the coral anyway.
      If you come up to a traffic accident, and there is an injured person
who is bleeding profusely, probably from a cut artery, and has some
scratches, what should you do?  Say "I am not a doctor"?  Put band-aids
(plasters) on the scratches?  Or apply pressure to the site of the most
bleeding??  If all you do is either of the first, and nobody else does the
third, this person will not live long.  Putting band-aids on scratches
won't save them.  Reducing diver damage will not save the world's reefs in
the long run.  It will only save the small portion sports divers dive on,
and only for the short run.  I'm sorry to say that this is re-arranging the
deck chairs on the Titanic.  Sad that the dive industry is not even
interested in doing that, for the most part.  I say call them out on it.
      Cheers,  Doug

On Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 2:46 PM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:

> But William, it's not humans as divers that are doing the most damage.
> It's a host of other human activities that are destroying the reefs. In my
> opinion, the dive industry's responsibility is to educate the diving public
> as to what is happening to coral reefs and other marine ecosystems based on
> the best scientific information available. They are simply refusing to do
> that.  MPAs that I have visited are doing relatively well unless, like the
> Florida Keys, they are being assaulted on multiple fronts. The diving
> industry needs to be made aware, in no uncertain terms, of exactly where we
> are headed. There will simply be no dive industry as we know of it today if
> they continue to myopically pursue their current agenda. Make no mistake,
> the dive industry's fate is inextricably bound to that of the world's coral
> reefs. Perhaps they need to be reminded that watching the reefs die has
> this important and prophetic interpretation.
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On Apr 17, 2015, at 1:52 PM, Alevizon, William Stephen <
> alevizonws at cofc.edu> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Steve - I am in 100% agreement with your statement, “This is our doing
> and its about time we find a way to stop it.
> >
> > The diving industry can be a start and why not, their culpability is
> obvious.
> >
> > But more than anything we need leaders, people of stature willing to
> speak truth
> >
> > to power...we have got to find a way to shake things up.”
> >
> > However, as I stated in a previous post (see below), the “leaders” who
> need to come forward
> >
> > on THE key issue - unregulated numbers of divers on single reef sites -
> are MPA managers,
> >
> > not those within the dive industry.
> >
> >
> >
> >> From my previous post, “The dive industry will never voluntarily curtail
> >
> > the number of divers any more than McDonald’s will volunteer to sell you
> >
> > only 1 bag of fries per visit to protect your health.”
> >
> >
> >
> > Climate change and acidification are indeed issues to be addressed,
> >
> > but in addition to - not in lieu of - things that MPA managers can do
> >
> > here and now to protect many of the most diverse and well-developed reef
> tracts.
> >
> >
> >
> > With all the money and time and effort NOAA has expended on planning and
> managing
> >
> > the “health”(?) of the Florida Reef Tract, the end result are some of
> the most
> >
> > severely degraded reef areas on the planet. I see lots of speculating
> and talk
> >
> > coming from NOAA on global warming (and that's fine), but not a word in
> 30 years
> >
> > about maybe controlling the numbers of boats and divers visiting reefs?
> >
> >
> >
> > If The NOAA Sanctuary program were to take a highly visible lead on this
> issue,
> >
> > there would be world-wide attention generated and likely a widespread
> move to follow.
> >
> > The science is there to back up such a management strategy - but where
> is the leadership?
> >
> >
> > William S. Alevizon
> >
> > Research Associate
> >
> > Dept. of Biology
> >
> > College of Charleston
> >
> > 58 Coming St.
> >
> > Charleston,  S.C. 29424
> >
> > USA
> > _______________________________________________
> > Coral-List mailing list
> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> > http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
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Douglas Fenner
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

"belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."

Politics, science, and public attitudes: What we're learning, and why it
matters.  Science Insider, open access.


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website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner

blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope

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