Quantcast

Outlawing Coral and Fish Collection?

Help Support Reef Frontiers:

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
Did you all hear about a bill thats in the house to outlaw all unsustainable coral and fish harvest. My friend showed it to me today, He is supposed to e-mail it to me. From what I read anything that can not be proved sustainable will be outlawed from importation to the U.S. I don't know if it will pass, but if it does how will the customs agents know what is what? If they don't know won't the whole shipment be held and everything die any way? If you have heard any thing about this please respond. I mean who is going to say what is sustainable or not. I believe we need to police ourselves and most of us do. We all want our fish and corals to thrive, and are willing to go to great lengths to do so. I agree some fish should not be imported, but the ocean is huge, the only places stock can get low is near inhabited areas close to regular air travel. Its not economicly feasable to collect from areas away from normal air shipping services. I know some fish die, that is a sad fact. However whats the diffence if it is ate for dinner, eatin by a shark or barracuda, or its collected. I believe we are able to keep most fish well past thier normal life span at sea, in our systems. They recieve the utmost care and attention, and a whole industry exists to take care of them. I mean we are not out trawling the sea for 100's of 1000's of tuna and cod. We are buying net caught by hand. I belive one blue tang net caught will feed a fishermans family better alive and shipped to the U.S. than one hook caught blue tang, cleaned and eatin for dinner. It also leaves more incentive for the fishing family to conserve the reef. Please share what you think about this. Steve
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
Could both good and bad! For one I have heard of people practically stripping a piece of a reef to sell. And this could stop over harvesting of fish and ultimately increase the propagation of coral in tanks and more research on fish breeding for sale. The bad part is that it could stop the importation of some corals and fish that we have not had the time nor the research invested to keep them in tanks. I know there are some folks on here that are a lot more versed on these types of things but I thought I would drop my 2 cents.
 

Ritsuko Nashida

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
146
Location
Yokohama Japan
I think its a band aid on a cut throat! There are a lot of other things damaging reefs more than taking some fish or some coral off the reef. Ever see what a boat anchor and anchor rode does to a reef? Way more damage than you will ever do taking a couple of corals especially if its a less than scrupulous dive boat or a 35 ft plus sportfishing "Party Boat"!

I am all for ending cyanide collection, dredging and the use of explosives and over harvesting, make no mistake about it. But this is a problem that should be addressed over a broader spectrum than targeting hobbyist as the solution to all of reefs woes. In my eyes after reading the bill this is exactly what it will do. Additionally I have some serious doubts about how and if and to what extent reefers in America will be able to frag and sell thier frags on a private individual basis and comply with this law as it will be hard to ascertain if those are aquacultured frags or smuggled wild harvested frags.

When polititians try to play do-gooders and save the world from itself, its never pretty! In fact, intelegance rarely factors into the equation. Just some points to consider...
 

Elmo18

Clownfish
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
2,662
Location
Seattle
I'd like to give my thoughts on this, as I did some research a bit ago on the topic of coral reef preservation and conservation.

The aquarium trade is a big one, and is steadily growing. This doesn't only include the reef fishes, invertebrates, clams, and other animals that are collected, and transhipped to wholesalers in LA, and other locations for aquarium/hobby purposes, but also for food. Ending the marine aquarium trade by banning collections of animals will only solve a part of the bigger problem.

As Ritsuko has said, dredging, run-offs from businesses, and other human activities truly does harm living reefs. We must also not forget nature. Bleaching events occur from El Nino, and global warming. There are articles showing this, and showing patches of entire reefs gone white from bleaching due to heat.

I will also add that the shipping of animals from their locations have been better now, than it was in the early 1990s. Shipping methods, bagging with oxygen, and other shipping methods done on experiment has caused better mortality rates upon arriving. Will the aquarium industry ever get to 0% death rate on every shipment? That is the ultimate goal, but I doubt it occurs often.

I believe as hobbiest, we need to be conscientious, and by that I mean not by just fragging your own corals to pass on to other people, but also to think twice before buying something that you don't know enough about. While you may have the money, please do not buy pairs of adult A. Latezonatus clowns from Australia just because you have the money, while you have no experience of keeping them.

Mariculture and coral farming are now just beginning to be an important part of the aquarium trade business. ORA have and are supplying captive bred clownfish and corals. Other eager hobbiests have started coral greenhouse farms, whilst may be small scale in the overall picture, will at least give meaning to conservation of reefs.

Just my opinions.

- Elmo
 

reiple

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Messages
54
Location
manila
The proper conservation of reefs is by rebuilding it and not encapsulation in artificial biospheres like our reef tanks. While specimens may exist in such tanks, a vast bigger number exist and is lost by mishandling of exporters and rejected by importers.
(and reefs are not isolated ecosystems but are connected to mangrooves, the deep sea and the oceans. they play as vital a role to the seas as our kidneys do to our body!)

I have seen vast number of pipefishes, ribbon eels and rays in rejected tanks coming from exporters here in the Philippines. These were caught with the sellable items (like Regal Tangs, clown fishes, angels and damsels). These are doomed to die.

Thus if the consumers in non-reef rich areas cannot issue a boycott, then maybe the legislators there find it necessary to use the law.

Boycott any reef item from the Philippines!

BTW Helllo everyone!!!! ;)
 

Elmo18

Clownfish
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
2,662
Location
Seattle
Yeah is Cebu becoming a hell-hole?

I would believe so. I try to not buy anything from there from fear of cyanide caught specimens.

- Elmo
 

Alice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
The bill, and the reasons for it, are nothing new. Our hobby does get pointed at on occasion, mostly by the popular press and a few conservation groups. There are a few species that our hobby has placed a heavy demand upon, but the literature and opinions of real scientists, who don't have a financial stake in the hoorah (it is sometimes very difficult to decide who has a stake and who doesn't...competition for grants is fierce and not always obvious) tend to equate the hobby's demand to a drop in the bucket. Problems on the world reefs can be laid at the feet of ag run-off, tourism, road-building, new construction, etc.

Coral reefs have built up and died off over the eons. The major "builder" corals/components of the reefs have changed over the eons as well, a good many of them extinct in this day and age, due to natural and cyclical occurances. Some of this is going on in today's reefs. Nature is ever changing and renewing itself. Does the greenhouse effect, pollution and other by-products of industrial society acerbate these changes? Most definitely. To what extent is not fully understood.

The Coral Reef Task Force, NOAA and other agencies, here and abroad, have been working over the last several years to identify which marine animals are at most risk of being endangered and which animals can be harvested in a sustainable fashion for our hobby and other industries and purposes. There have been some interesting findings and of course, interpretation of data between agencies takes time, but they have been compiling the lists.

Are there bad collectors in the Phillipines? Sure there are; just as there are bad collectors all over the globe. But groups and agencies, public and private, are working with collectors to make them understand the meaning of sustainable harvest before the native collectors (and the importers who buy from them) lose their livelyhood. It's a slow process.

I'm running the risk of writing a novel here ;) but I'll just say that there is a lot of literature out there on the state of the world's reefs and what is being done about the problems. Don't let one article or two of finger-pointing form your opinions or the sum of your knowledge. Do a search on the Coral Reef Task Force and NOAA, you'll find a lot of links spreading every which-way. You might also want to look at what has happened in Australia and how they have responded.

Alice
 

Alice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
Oh, and I agree with Witfull; this bill isn't going to make it out of committee. It's too broad.
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
If you want to see it go thomas.loc.gov and type in h r 4928 I hope it does't make it I agree that it is way to broad. It looks like you could go to jail and pay a fine for swapping a frag with someone.
 

Ritsuko Nashida

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
146
Location
Yokohama Japan
Dont hold your breath...stupider (I dont think thats a word but you know what I ment) bills have went through before.....

As currently wrote, this bill aint about saving reefs as much as it is about feeling good and trying to save the world from itself.

Sorry if that offended anyone.
 

Witfull

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
647
Location
New Jersey
i think its from a disgruntled representative that bought everything the LFS told them to buy to have a bullet proof tank and evrything died, therefore it was the unsubstainable life forms that were sold and not their failure at care and husbandry.
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
Do yourself a favor, take the time to read this bill. It is being pushed by Rep from HA whos office is in the same building as MAC, his son is a enviromentalist. MAC says they had no idea it was being presented. If you have ever read what they want to do. They only fish you will be able to keep, will be damsels and clowns a few tangs and all at exorbint prices. They want to hold the industry to a 1% D.O.A. they say they have proven that this can be done using thier system. I don't believe it. I think they have sunk millions into a bad idea and want to legislate their way into power over the entire industry. Think about it, If you own a fish store, you have to write a plan submit it to mac and they charge you to send someone to make sure you are following your plan. They want to supply all the fish and corals, its been 5 years and as far as I know they have 5 or 6 dealers in the u.s. This bill is not about protecting the reef. It even says in it the main causes of destruction are anchors, runoff, groundings, spills and pollution. The only thing they want to do is regulate out industry. That wont stop the anchors, runoff, groundings, and spills. If we just sit on our butts and wait and watch we may wake up and find our hobbie and livelyhood for many of us, GONE. In the intrest of fair and balaced I own Serene Aquatics in B.G. KY I set up and maintain reef, salt, and freshwater systems to feed my family. I feel that this bill if passed could hurt more than my hobbie, it could effect my family and many more who depend on this industry, (protien skimmers are made, so is salt, chemicals, lighting, tanks, stands, filters, the list could go on ad nausem) Please Take The Time To Read This Bill. you have the right to agree or disagree, just don't wait till its outlawed decide how you feel about it. Maybe Witfull is right, but what if we do nothing and it passes.
 

PrimalScream

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
13
Thats what I am talking about! Take a few lessons learned from American Gun owners during the 90's...They out lawed those "evil black rifles" thats used in less than one precent of violent crimes in America, all in the name of "crime control". Shummer, Fieghnstien, Sara Brady and company were never really concerned about crime as it doesnt effect them, it was about gun control. And the slogan was "do it for the children", you do the math. I am willing to bet that these two topics have more in common than you might think.

They mention nurmerous points to regulate the hobby aspect of it but nothing in the bill will stop or mitigate all of the other more serious threats to the reefs. To think not is akin to walking on water chancing that the ice wont break!

Prehaps Reefers might be over reacting...but what if you aint?

Its way easier to out law it than it is to over turn it.
 
Last edited:

reiple

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Messages
54
Location
manila
If you think about it the reef harvesting (for local hobby and export) here in the Philippines is not as bad as the other reef destroying activities ---- cyanide fishing, dynamite fishing and trawler/deep sea large scale fishing, sedimentation and pollution. It's minute (microscopic) compared to the others.

To give other people ideas....I am not sure but most reefs in the US are in Florida and Hawaii right? (You may add the cold reefs of Alaska) Well the Philippines is 7,200++ islands with over 80% surrounded by coral reefs (Similar to Malaysia and Indonesia). It's an archipelago. But these are not infinite. A lot (from Cebu, Bohol and Batangas) are being consumed up and constantly being reconstructed.

It is easy to imagine that countries with less reefs are the target markets for harvest from this area. But I would think there is more for everyone. And (I forgot the US agency or group) aiding correct harvesting and importation would lessen mortality and increase sharing of resources.

To quote my cousins living a stone throw away from reefs ...."Why the hell are you keeping (and wasting) money on weeds (they call corals weeds---you can't eat them or anything)?
 

akitadad

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2004
Messages
8
Location
Tacoma, WA
Well here is the quote under the covered species portion of the bill:

(b) Covered Coral Reef Species-
(1) IN GENERAL- For the purposes of this Act,
the term `covered coral reef species' means--
(A) any species of coral or ornamental reef
fish;
(B) any coral reef species listed in
Appendix II of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species
of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as of
the effective date of this Act;
(C) any coral reef species added to
Appendix II of CITES after the effective
date of this Act, unless the Secretary of
the Interior, in consultation with the
Secretary of Commerce, finds before the
expiration of the 90-day period which
begins on the effective date of the
inclusion of such species in Appendix II
that the take, import, and export of such
species do not represent a substantial risk
of harm to the sustainability of such
species and its coral reef ecosystem; or
(D) any other coral reef species (excluding
any finfish, mollusk, crustacean, or other
animal or plant species taken for human
consumption) the take, import, or export of
which the Secretary of the Interior and the
Secretary of Commerce have determined,
after notice and opportunity for public
comment--
(i) presents a substantial risk of
harm to the sustainability of such
species or of its coral reef
ecosystem; or
(ii) results in high mortality rates for
individuals of that species due to
poor survivorship in transport or
captivity.
If you read the A section, ANY coral or ornimental fish...That means ALL of them.
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Its smoke and wont get through. As it sits right now no one is allowed to own, export, import or tranport any coral, fish or invert....good luck. I can see the formation of the aquarium police real soon. Its a billion dollar industry and its not going to get through in our life time. This is the third simular type bill to be put to congress and it will go the route of the others.
Its says that you cant import any fish/coral that is not covered by cities, well no fish/coral can leave the collection point with out being covered by cities anyways, so its a moot point. The whole thing looks like a money grab to me. If you look up the bill, just take a peek at the money and where it goes..I think that paints a better picture.
The biggest scam in this whole thing is MAC. Aweful nice of them to con importers and LFS's into joining thier program and fundig them just so they can take the money and use it to try to kill the livelyhoods of the donators.

Mike
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
Thanks Chris and Mike, What I am worried about, is of the Industries effecting the reef, (boating, fishing, tourisim, indutrial polution, ag runoff, and what not) we are the smallest. I agree its about money and feel good. However if we are not careful and aware, the lobbists will push the resposibilty off on us. We (the hobbyists) need a united voice to show we are resposible, and care more about the reefs than any other group of people. We have the ability to reseed the dead reefs, we are the ones who pay more and put more work into the understanding of coral and fish enviroments than any one else. I hope it doesnt pass, but if we don't fight it, who will? Steve
 
Your email address will not be publicly visible. We will only use it to contact you to confirm your post.
Top