Re: NANFA-- Re:pulling our heads out of the sand & miniature
Fri, 14 Jun 2002 23:33:28 EDT

In a message dated 6/14/02 11:09:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< I have always been fascinated with what I believe to be a widespread
disregard of the truth by many reefkeepers. I've never really had
any facts to back my opinion, just scattered rumors about dynamite,
poisoning, and my observations of how much coral gets cycled through
the average pet shop, for yuppie "aquarists", which is destined to
have a lifespan shorter than the average yuppie's attention span. >>
I know the amount of coral imported looks like a huge amount until you see
thousands of tons dredged up to make concrete or for use as building blocks.
The aquarium hobby doesn't use any where near that amount. the curio trade in
dead dried coral uses many times as much coral as the aquarium hobby uses. I
am the first to agree that people that see coral as a disposable commodity
are wrong, I keep every coral skeleton I have killed as a reminder of what I
lost. I know of dozens of people who have many times as much dried coral
laying around bought as souvenirs. Not only does the souvenir trade use many
times as much coral by weight but the souvenir trade uses large pieces that
would never be collected for an aquarium. The aquarium trade almost
invariably uses small pieces that do little or no damage to the reef by their
collection. Go to any curio shop and you will see huge pieces of coral that
would take years to grow. On top of that is the coral that is dredged up and
burnt to make concrete. Literally thousands of tons a year, just as much
coral is cut into blocks to be used as building materials. That doesn't even
count the amount killed by siltation. One large area in Florida was declared
off limits to coral collecting many years ago, the coral was to be protected
from the ravages of aquarium collecting. not long after that a water front
housing development completely destroyed the entire area by siltation and
pollution but no out cry was raised. shrimp boats destroy many square miles
of coral by not allowing coral to grow on hard bottoms because the constant
net dragging prevents the coral from growing. Even the scallop industry is
allowed to destroy coral but heaven help a diver that picks up a loose rock
with a piece of coral on it. I used to use statistics to identify problems so
my company could correct the most important problems. the main thing you
learn is that you attack the biggest problems first not the small problems.
Collecting of live rock and coral for aquariums in insignificant compared to
the problems I have outlined above.

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