[Coral-List] GBR and fake news

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 21 11:26:14 EST 2017

I recently had an online exchange with the publisher of a popular scuba diving magazine. He had posted a few pictures (on social media) which he had taken while on a diving expedition along a “far north” area of the GBR.   His caption read in part “Some fake news is, well, fake.  Like all the stories you might have read bemoaning the death of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  That's not what we saw.  Not what we enjoyed this week.  Loving the pristine staghorns from the Far North! . . “    Now I get it that the GBR is not completely dead (I think we have already discussed the fallout related to the satirical Outside Magazine obituary),  but what obligation does the scuba diving industry have to frame the issue more accurately?    Dive tourism is their bread and butter so one can understand why they would want to promote positive images of healthy reefs, but what does the average scuba diver take away from this “fake news” depiction?     Interestingly enough, the scuba diving industry knows full well how to take on issues which pose a threat to marine ecosystems. There are already aggressive campaigns underway designed to combat plastic debris, invasive lionfish and shark finning,  but what about land-based pollutants, over-fishing and climate change? Apparently labeling them as fake news remains the preferred approach. By the way, there are reasons for optimism in the Florida Keys as well I’m told. Funny how some of you listers have suggested that the reefs in the far south of Florida hardly qualify as coral reefs anymore!  As for me, I probably just need to lighten up and recharge by getting back out diving on some of my favorite reefs once again. From what I read in my diving magazines it looks like there will always be lots of healthy, vibrant, even pristine coral reefs around the world to choose from.

Steve Mussman

Sent from my iPad

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