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TANKED, another Discovery Channel reef trashing

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#1 Uwrasse


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Posted 20 August 2011 - 10:16 AM

The Discovery Channel (Animal Planet) unveiled its latest version of a tiresome format last night--2 meatballs face daunting odds and their own foibles to meet a pressing deadline for building the perfect chopper. Scratch chopper and insert megabucks-aquarium. The Noo Yawk flavuh is thick with accents and frolicking city folk having rough fun as only they can do, while building aquariums full of small sharks and hundreds of reef fish, then walking in them for a good laugh. The shenanigans are rife with shrieks of delight. The small sharks and reef fish are doomed. In one segment, the two beefy principals are asked to build a tank with a Noo Yawk flavuh, so they scavenge an old phone booth--the husband of the client couple also looks pumped up for the Macy's Parade and remembers the old days, when "yeah, we used to do business from those things." The hand set is converted to a bubble wand, and the theme succeeds with several hundred reef fish representing the different types/groups of people that only Noo Yawk can boast. Oh, and you want your yellow cabs, because Noo Yawk has all these cabs. You know? That would be yellow tangs.
We move to a huge reef fish reseller warehouse in Vegas with more fish than you have ever seen on any 10 reefs anywhere. The mortality here is monumental but not discussed. Instead the warehouse "Aquatic Director" says, "These yellow tangs were harvested sustainably in Hawaii." Hawaii has no limit on its aquarium catch and no limit on the number of catchers. Sustainable in this case means they haven't yet taken the last brood pair. Then we watch a Noo Yawk meatball reach into a tank to handle a puffer playfully, to trigger its puffer response. "Hey, I'm having fun heah!"
Should scuba divers speak out against this comedy of greed, consumption and reef exploitation? Can underwater photographers conveniently ignore this insult to what the oceans have created? Is this a good show?
The next segment calls for a special "mobster" theme aquarium in a Vegas casino where hundreds more reef fish will spend the brief balance of their lives--not to worry; plenty more where they came from. But then something goes wrong, warming the water to 90--"WHAT THE BLEEP! (FUCK) You can't put fish inna 90!" So the 2 meatballs and their comical crew scurry like the Keystone Cops out to the ice machine, where they load a laundry dolly with ice and then scurry back to the tank to dump the ice in and cool the water. "Okay, so we got the tempature down and the pH purfect and the salinity right. Everything! Purfect! Time for the fish!" Then hundreds of plastic bags with minimal water and many fish are dumped in--a few frames show chromis and other damsels with advanced fin rot from fouled water, and in they go, to swim among the "mobster" decorations, included a pair of old shoes in a fake cement box. Get it? Ha!
Is this entertainment?

#2 FortheFishes


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Posted 31 August 2011 - 01:31 PM

Divers may not be aware that the saltwater aquarium trade is responsible for the wasted deaths of over 30 million reef fish every year and the resulting decimated reefs. They may not know that this is to supply only approx. 1.5 million hobbyists, worldwide. They are likely unaware that the majority of those buying coral reef wildlife for their tanks have less than a year's experience taking care of these fragile animals with little understanding and no skill. They probably don't know that even for net caught fish taken in a "managed" location like Hawaii, entire species are disappearing, populations are severely depleted (most recent data shows yellow tangs down by 73%) and up to 40% of the animals die before making into a hobby tank because capture, handling and shipping is so incredibly stressful for these animals.

Keep in mind: the fish you may only take 3 - 5 shots of, the animal you will not relocate for the perfect background, etc. etc. may be picked up by a fish collector as soon as your panga drops you back at the ship. By some accounts, if it comes from SE Asia, it will have a 1 in 9 chance of making it to it's final destiny in someone's living room tank where it will survive for less than a year.

Once most divers and photographers get a feel for what the saltwater aquarium hobby is doing to the cherished marine life they spend tens of thousands of dollars annually to visit and photograph, they take a stand against it.

Learn more at www.FortheFishes.org which is focused on protecting Hawaii's reef wildlife from the aquarium trade, but has much information on the trade, in general.