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Member Since 31 Aug 2011
Offline Last Active Jun 28 2012 09:45 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: help needed to end tropical aquarium fish collection in hawaii

27 June 2012 - 10:31 AM

Increasing MPAs I agree with, completely stopping collection I do not, it will just increase pouching and illegal fishing. The same way you consider the aquarium industry a "disposable pet hobby" many people consider traveling thousands of miles to dive in exotic locations a needless hobby that leaves a huge carbon footprint, not to mention how much we spend in scuba and photo gear. Believe it or not, most people that have reef tanks do take care of their fish, and removing a yellow tang from the reef is not nearly as bad as removing a top predator like an Ulua.

Rocha - I mean no disrespect here - but isn't it true that without the collectors supplying the hobby and keeping the flow going from reef to wholesaler, public and for profit large aquariums around the world will have to pay more - much more - for their fish? At least the Waikiki aquarium curators have had the courage to admit this and the fear that banning the trade in Hawaii will have a domino effect and ultimately dry up your access to the fish you need to replace those that keep dying. You should consider doing what the Seattle Aquarium does - they come every couple of years and collect their own fish. And if anyone is paying attention, they'll note that life expectancy for this wildlife, even public aquariums staffed by experts, is nowhere near what their potential is. Consider the Yellow Tangs which are very long lived in the wild. Consider the seahorses bred and raised by Ocean Riders in Kona that live twice as long as their wild counterparts. I'm not saying that public aquariums don't provide some benefit and should be banned. I'm saying public aquariums and their curators should stop promoting the aquarium hobby. You don't see zoo curators promoting the wildlife under their care as suitable for home hobbyists - or protecting/promoting the trappers who supply this wildlife.

The aquarium trade in Hawaii has caused the species they take to decline by 50 - 90% on Oahu and Kona (despite the no-take areas). Monitored doesn't = managed. No limits on permits & no limits on take is not managed by any stretch of the imagination. Yellow tangs are down by 73% in Kona. Species once common, are now rarely encountered. Hawaii's people don't want their reefs and wildlife impacted for the aquarium hobby. Check out the recent Humane Society of the U.S. poll showing resident's views on using wildlife this way. An overwhelming majority of Hawaii residents want the aquarium trade banned and believe that ONLY captive bred fish should be kept in tanks - never wild caught. Please be respectful and stop defending and promoting the hobby.

In Topic: TANKED, another Discovery Channel reef trashing

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.