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

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 26 21:06:00 EDT 2015

   "What if, as well as selling them the cert, the industry actually did start
   to take some responsibility and teach everyone about the impacts of their
   LIFE on reefs . . . Why isn't the dive industry part of that?
   Or is it not their job?"
   It most certainly is their job! All you have to do is consider DEMA's own
   clearly articulated mission statement. The Diving Equipment Manufacturers
   Association Mission  Statement:  To promote sustainable growth in safe
   recreational  diving  and  snorkeling  while protecting the underwater
   environment. They also have listed five goals, one of which is to conserve
   and protect natural aquatic resources. We all know that divers and the
   diving industry can't do it alone, but there is no question that they should
   be  doing  more  to  protect and conserve coral reefs and other marine
   ecosystems. For the life of me I can't understand why they don't get it that
   healthy coral reefs are linked to every one of their financial goals. While
   the diving industry aligns itself with energy lobbyists in opposition to the
   National Ocean Policy, our coral reefs continue to decline. How can policies
   positions  like  that along with their refusal to address the mounting
   scientific evidence on the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification
   be reconciled with a mission statement that emphasizes sustainability and
   protection of the underwater environment? It seems that they have chosen to
   reject  science and instead embrace an ideological stance that clearly
   rejects ecological realities. The diving industry needs to change course if
   for no other reason than to remain true to its own pronounced reason for
   existence .  .  .  and they need to do it now. They owe it to all the people
   out there like you who are not giving up, but instead are trying to make a
   difference.  I've been inspired lately by what I have seen of individual
   efforts  to  protect and conserve coral reefs. Its time for the diving
   industry to do its part.


   -----Original Message-----
   >From: "Julian @ Reef Check"
   >Sent: Apr 26, 2015 4:39 AM
   >To: 'Steve Mussman' , 'Douglas Fenner'
   >Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
   >Subject: RE: [Coral-List] Reassessing Coral Reefs: Reply To S. Mussman
   >I think you are right. While I agree with your Doug's last paragraph - get
   >the divers to be advocates to address the wider issues than simple diver
   >damage - I don't necessarily agree that the diving industry has converted
   >that many people to become part of the "enormous constituency that reefs
   >have". And that is perhaps at the heart of the argument that I (and others)
   >am making..
   >Watching dive training in this part of the world, it's all about selling
   >certificate, having your picture taken underwater ("v-sign", grin) and
   >that's it - too much emphasis on the fun aspects, not enough on the
   >education aspects - including reef conservation. So what COULD be an
   >enormous constituency isn't materialising, and I believe the industry is
   >partly to answer for that.
   >What if, as well as selling them the cert, the industry actually did start
   >to take some responsibility and teach everyone about the impacts of their
   >LIFE on reefs - not just their dives, but their choice in take-home food
   >containers (no Styrofoam), their choice in transport (public vs private),
   >their consumption of utilities (switch off the tap when brushing teeth) -
   >all those little ways in which we can all make a difference very easily but
   >which are trivialised by so many? Why isn't the dive industry part of that?
   >Or is it not their job?
   >Julian Hyde
   >General Manager
   >Reef Check Malaysia
   >03 2161 5948
   >Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rcmalaysia
   >"The bottom line of the Millenium Assessment findings is that human actions
   >are depleting Earth's natural capital, putting such strain on the
   >environment that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future
   >generations can no longer be taken for granted."
   >-----Original Message-----
   >From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
   >[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa..gov] On Behalf Of Steve Mussman
   >Sent: Tuesday, 21 April, 2015 9:02 PM
   >To: Douglas Fenner
   >Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
   >Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Reassessing Coral Reefs: Reply To S. Mussman
   >Let's be clear about this. The dive industry isn't an incorrigible evil.
   >in order to mobilize divers as a constituency to help reduce human impacts
   >on coral reefs we must have leadership that prioritizes this as a goal. At
   >this critical time the leadership (DEMA) is not fulfilling this role. If
   >anything, they are active participants in fostering inaction on the major
   >issues involved. There in lies the irony and the tragedy of what we are
   >witnessing.. The potential good that divers and the diving industry COULD
   >is being systematically blocked by misguided priorities. This situation
   >relates directly to an old slogan. You are either part of the solution or
   >you are part of the problem. For now, the dive industry has chosen the
   >latter. I'll take my hat off to the dive industry as soon as they correct
   >this glaring disparity.
   >Sent from my iPhone
   >> On Apr 20, 2015, at 9:56 PM, Douglas Fenner
   >> I should also say that we all owe a huge debt to the dive industry,
   >> for building a constituency for coral reefs (as well as teaching us
   >> how to dive and the beauty of reefs). Anybody who has been diving on
   >> a reef has begun to see the beauty and appreciate this incredible
   >> ecosystem. People spend billions of dollars to go see reefs, that tells
   >me that they value them.
   >> Coral reefs have charisma, and if there is anything that can save
   >> them, that is the one thing that will make it happen. People who
   >> write popular articles, publish pictures, or make films about coral
   >> reefs are all divers, without diving we would have none of that. And
   >> it reaches an enormous number of people, all over the world. Anyone
   >> who watches one of those beautiful movies of reefs is captivated, and
   >> they become part of an enormous constituency that reefs have.
   >> Scientific divers are a very small proportion of all divers.
   >> So we all owe a huge debt to the diving industry, and if we could
   >> start to mobilize more of that constituency to demand reductions in
   >> all types of human-caused damage to coral reefs, we could do a LOT more
   >save them.
   >> But my hat's off to the diving industry for this.
   >> Cheers, Doug
   >> On Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 11:22 AM, Douglas Fenner <
   >> douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:
   >>> My statement wasn't meant to apply to just the heavily dived areas.
   >>> It was meant to apply to the world's coral reefs as a whole. Most of
   >>> which have very few if any divers ever. Diving is concentrated in
   >>> tiny areas, compared to the size of the world's reefs, though when
   >>> you're diving there, they may not seem tiny.
   >>> I have no doubt that in many heavily dived areas, there is
   >>> significant diver damage, I don't dispute that, and I support reducing
   >>> I have, however, seen corals recovering from hurricane (Gilbert)
   >>> damage in Cozumel in spite of 2000 dives a day on 15 miles of reef.
   >>> That tells me that diving was much less damaging than the hurricane
   >>> was. That may not be a common experience around areas of heavy diver
   >>> usage, and may in part be due to the currents and drift diving which
   >>> may reduce diver contact in Cozumel.
   >>> An awful lot of reef that has little or no diving has been going
   >>> downhill. Much of the Caribbean, and now the Great Barrier Reef are
   >>> outstanding examples. The primary cause of initial Caribbean decline
   >>> was white band disease on Acropora. We don't know the cause of that,
   >>> but it wasn't divers, the disease killed corals in places with no
   >>> divers. The
   >Coral-List mailing list
   >Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
   >No virus found in this message.
   >Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
   >Version: 2015.0.5863 / Virus Database: 4334/9609 - Release Date: 04/23/15
   >No virus found in this message.
   >Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
   >Version: 2015.0.5863 / Virus Database: 4334/9609 - Release Date: 04/23/15

More information about the Coral-List mailing list