Re: NANFA-- Collecting ethics
Mon, 12 Jan 2004 11:42:18 EST

Nick, while I agree with you for the most part I would like to ask your
opinion about who is really the greatest danger to fish. A hobbyist who wants to
collect a few fish or habitat destruction? I think that is what Steffens
argument boils down to. hobbyists are much easier to pass laws against that limit our
ability to collect fish than it is to prohibit a large company from
destroying habitat through pollution, development, or large scale projects. My own
epiphany about who is really hurting the populations of animals come from watching
a river die when I was a kid from gas well drilling in the head waters of the
river. Even now the river is just starting to really be what it used to be
but now development is starting the whole process of destruction all over again.
Right here where I live despite what I had been told were air tight laws
against the destruction of wet lands I see wet lands being covered over for golf
courses, houses and parking lots everyday. A great marine naturalist and avid
collector (I can't remember his name right now) wrote in his book about
collecting live coral from the Florida keys for aquariums and how laws were passed
that kept him from collecting small pieces of coral from an area where he had
been collecting for many years. This area was densely populated by many species
of coral and collecting small pieces had not had any effect in the many years
he had been collecting. Then laws were passed prohibiting all coral
collecting. Two years later a sea side housing development caused pollution and
siltation that killed all the coral in the area both large heads of coral and the
small buttons he liked to collect. He wasn't even allowed to go in after it became
apparent all the corals was going to die and try to collect a few heads for
his use. The coral never recovered and the area has no coral anymore. Hobbyists
and or aquarium collecting are an easy scapegoat that politicians can use to
show they are doing something about endangered species to get your vote while
the true dangers are allowed to go on because they have the money to have real
power and are difficult if not impossible to stop.


Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a
troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to
irresponsible action. -- George Washington
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