[Coral-List] Vietnam bans scuba diving to protect a coral reef

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Wed Jul 13 16:45:02 UTC 2022

Dear Listers, Our reef coral problems are not all caused by divers. 
Something else is causing the diseases and it is pretty much world-wide. 
Before the late 1970s one could touch, break, and do many things we 
would not do today and the corals just kept growing. I know because I 
did many of those things during the 1960s when I was measuring growth 
rates. Before going to Australia to testify in the Great Barrier reef 
hearings I submerged Staghorn coral in Louisiana crude oil for an hour. 
It grew just fine when it was placed back on the bottom. I was as 
surprised as anyone.  An Australian researcher testifying in Australia 
using a back pack sprayer sprayed crude oil on exposed corals at low 
tide and they grew just fine when the tide came back in. I an confident 
that it was not touching that killed corals after the early 1980s, it 
was something else that I have propsed many times. The research needed 
to determine that, “something else” has yet to be conducted. Instead, we 
just blame everything we can think of. Now it is those darn divers. If 
we keep it up we may have to ban diving in the Florida Keys. Careful 
what you wish for. Gene

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