Jump to content


clippo

Member Since 12 Jun 2007
Offline Last Active Mar 23 2010 04:54 AM
-----

Posts I've Made

In Topic: protect vulnerable reef fishes

18 March 2010 - 02:49 AM

quick update on this.... I've made some useful contacts recently and the opinion seems to be that there has been no quantitative assessment of the population of Clipperton Angels to date. This seems to be corroborated by the lack of any detailed information coming from other sources that I have contacted. I also understand that the relevant authorities are therefore rejecting permission to collect Clipperton Angels at the moment. I'm still trying to find out more though.... hope to update the blog section of the petition with further updates! :-)

In Topic: protect vulnerable reef fishes

12 March 2010 - 06:18 AM

I don't mind the thread going off tangent folks.... I'm learning a lot!

It's useful to have a figure (although somewhat vague) to work from Luiz. Thanks.

In Topic: protect vulnerable reef fishes

11 March 2010 - 01:18 AM

thanks guys - Luiz that is very useful information. So how large is the population estimated to be then (hundreds, thousands?) are they uniformly distributed around the Atoll? Any other specific information you can share would be very useful (I've emailed Dr Robertson but had no reply).

Although I can see your point about collections being relatively harmless, I still stand by my view that it is unnecessary and potentially more damaging than assumed due to other threats (that may not have been in existence with other species mentioned). I also think it is unethical and inhumane given the likelihood of high mortalities in shipments as evidenced by previous commercial attempts.

The idea of campaigning to protect the whole Atoll was something I considered but at the time I couldn't actually find out if it was ALREADY protected. So, with an imminent collection looming, I decided to focus in on that. Depending on the information I am able to assemble it is something I'd like to consider in the future though. if anyone is interested in helping me out, please join up the Facebook group via the petition.

In Topic: protect vulnerable reef fishes

10 March 2010 - 06:52 AM

thanks Drew - I will try them.

thanks Luiz - the thing that worries me is that repeated collections are occuring, and have the potential to increase. It's not just 50 fish - its the 50 fish that were lost in the last shipment, the unspecified number that may have been taken by the Mexican collector every year apart from the last 3, and the imminent planned collection/s. I've read about another collection around the yr2000 mark in which many fish were lost but I am still trying to find specific details on that. On it's own I agree it doesn't appear significant but when you take into account other threats - use of the species for bait, fluctuations in predator populations, potential large scale wipeouts from unusual events (like a tanker spill), climatic changes etc.. then it does become an unnecessary population reducer in my opinion. I could have launched a campaign to create a biological reserve but to me that doesn't address the IMMEDIATE threats. Other problems are being dealt with I believe... for example the sharks are slowly returning - however I wonder if they'd be returning quicker if we stopped taking their prey items. In short, a ban (even a short term one) couldn't do any harm could it... apart from to the pockets or egos of the collectors and their clients. Let's not forget this is recognised as a 'threatened' species.

I would love to be able to get hold of some hard data regarding the population of these fish. I am aware that Connie Limbaugh visited the location in the 50s.. and then Dr Robertson and Dr Allen visited in 1994. It would be interesting to compare the data from those expeditions with the findings of the Etienne expedition. So far no-one has even been able to give me an estimate of the number of these fish in the wild... so I don't know how anyone can definitively say that taking 50 a year isn't going to be detrimental (if you are privvy to that information though, pleas let me have it!). There don't seem to be figures on how many have been used for baiting purposes either.

In Topic: protect vulnerable reef fishes

10 March 2010 - 01:58 AM

Luiz - good points, but based on the info I have, incorrect on several counts.

Firstly, the Clipperton Angel is Holacanthus limbaughi. Secondly, a US based collector visited the Atoll just last year and collected well over 50 clipperton angels (if you are really sure about the Mexican collector, please let me know the details of this operation and when they have visited). Due to a suspicious mislabelling of the fishes on transit through Mexico this shipment was impounded and as far as I know suffered almost complete mortality.

These fish sell for $5000 - $10000 dollars each(!) on the US market so a collecting trip can be extremely lucrative as far as I can see. This was the thing that really galvanised me to set up the petition actually.... they were discussing prices for these fish in the SAME THREAD that announced the tanker incident (before it was even known of there had been a spill) on reefcentral. There are several other endemic species that may also be collected too. Clip angels are classified as 'vulnerable' on the IUCN red list.

As far as I know, the tanker hasn't leaked but the last I read it hadn't been removed from the Atoll yet. If you have a source for new information, please post it here. To be frank, even if the tanker hasn't leaked, Clipperton and it's various forms of life face pressures from all directions. The shark population has been decimated, there are rats on the Atoll, flotsam.. even abandoned munitions. The French (who have supposedly managed and protect this location so well) have considered nuclear testing there or other kinds of destructive development. Try as I might, I can't get any information out of the Jean Louis Etienne expedition that went there a few years ago. Nor will any of the other various people who have supposedly studied these fishes answer requests to share information. The Etienne expedition didn't even produce an English version of the DVD of the trip (not even subtitles). It makes me angry that this place isn't being given greater attention as it is an important location (although perhaps not with the eye catching diversity of other locations).