[Coral-List] Consensus statement and sunscreens

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 23 11:49:39 EDT 2015

I recognize that coral scientists are not of one mind, but can I say categorically that the consensus statement recently put out by the ISRS (International Society for Reef Studies) has as close to universal backing as is possible considering the divergent nature of independent thought?  I want to promote it within the diving industry, but don't want to portray it as having a unifying level of support if that turns out to be a distortion of the facts. 

As for sunscreen toxicity, I am concerned that statements like "any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers" could be misleading in that it may be taken to suggest that we can offset the impacts of other local and global stressors if we can just manage to eliminate sunblock. PADI's website now contains a cautionary message about sunscreens and their effect on corals and even goes further to mention that other threats such as coastal pollution, overfishing, and marine debris are a greater threat to marine life . . . but still there remains no mention of climate change. 

Steve Mussman
Sea Lab Diving      

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