[Coral-List] What it means that Florida Aquarium reported captive reproduction of a Mycetophyllia.

William Precht william.precht at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 20:20:06 UTC 2020


Brilliantly written piece.  You put it in a nutshell that is easily
digestible to even the staunchest critic.

Rich Aronson and I have often discussed how the solution to fixing reefs
must done at multiple levels - local, regional and global. All three of
these must happen simultaneously for these conservation efforts to work.

However, I think the biggest criticism is that the 10,000 pound elephant in
the room (GHG) is not being addressed - certainly not by the present
administration in the US.  Therefore, no matter how much good and
interesting science is being done regarding healing and restoration, if the
third leg of the stool is not addressed (GHG) - reefs as we knew and know
them don't stand a fighting chance.

I, myself, believe that restoration is one of the areas we need to focus
our research efforts.  So I applaud these efforts and praise their success,
but I still hope that the future of reefs for my grandchildren will not be
reliant on captive breeding programs in land-based aquarium and nursery

Time is not on our side and GHG emissions are a relentless foe.


On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 3:05 PM Kaufman, Leslie S via Coral-List <
coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:

> Hi all.
> The Florida Aquarium recently reported another success in coral husbandry-
> the captive reproduction of a Mycetophyllia species (lamarckiana).  The
> headlines trumpet that this is a breakthrough in the fight to save coral
> reefs.  In an offline discussion colleagues pointed out rightly that cactus
> corals are not major reef-builders, and there Is some pushback on the media
> reports for this reason. There is also a larger pushback on coral reef
> restoration generally.  The argument goes that reef restoration is a fool’s
> errand and a distraction from the battle to reduce GHGs.
> Righteous indignation over our failure to sufficiently reduce GHG
> emissions is justified.
> Work to learn more about reproducing a wide variety of corals does not add
> to or detract from the retooling of our economy to fight anthropogenic
> climate change (or what’s left of the economy in the midst of the latest
> pandemic caused by rainforest destruction).
> There is a tendency to emphasize healing over prevention, particularly for
> climate change and coral reefs. This can be misleading.  That doesn’t mean
> we should stop learning about healing reefs, or celebrating our little
> successes.  The point is, they are little.  They are desperate.  They are
> part of a last ditch emergency plan to put bits and pieces of coral reefs
> on life support so something will still be there to rebuild reefs once this
> becomes practical again.
> We do of course need to focus on carbon.  The drawdown is going to take
> long enough that many coral reef species could undergo widespread
> extirpations and even extinctions without life support interventions.  GHG
> drawdown and emergency life support measures are both important for coral
> reef conservation.  Both are emergencies.  One is the cure, the other is
> rescue and intensive care.
> Consider the forests. Future novel pandemics can be greatly reduced by
> changing our relationship with tropical forests, many now down to miniscule
> fragments- even the last great forests are deeply encroached, their edges
> dangerously frayed.  First aid is to heal the rough edges, but what we
> really must do is stop destroying these forests and learn how to accelerate
> their regeneration.  Coral reefs are in similar straits and closely linked
> to forests via the carbon cycle and climate change.  Here too, we must fix
> the root cause but also ensure that something remains to be regenerated.
> Let us put fighting climate change and maintaining natural systems in a
> common frame of reference.  Let us make both part of a larger strategy,
> with all of our individual interventions united, in context.
> Les
> Sent from my iPhone
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William F. Precht

 “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice
you have”

Bob Marley

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