Can we protect marine environement?

Discussion in 'Marine Life and Ecosystems' started by Thistle, Jan 13, 2001.

  1. Thistle

    Thistle Angel Fish

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    My intention is not to get many replys but many viewers. I believe that it is important for people to be aware of the things that are endangering the marine environment.
    If you know something about the matter please put it here so other's can read and get a glimpse of what is going on around us.
    The place where we dive today may turn tommorow into a "desert" where there is nothing for us to see. I wouldn't like to be forced to use some mini subs to get to see some real fish or to go to a farm for the same reason.
    Poor fisherman in northen Indonesia use toxic stuff to catch rare fishes alive. They dump the substance into the water and the fish floats to the surface. They pick up couple of them, move them to a noncontaminated zone to rehabilitate them and leave the rest to die. The most targeted zones are the coral reefs. The fish they keep the sell for expensive restaurants or private collectors.
    Up to now I don't know about any improvement in the situation (I was diving in the area a year ago).

    On the other hand, there were other situations that had a happy end. I was diving in Mauritius and they faced similar problems (mass distruction fishing) some time ago. The police succeeded to stop it for goods and the reefs look nice now.

    Waiting for reactions.
    VV

    P.S. I would be gald if you have opinions about how to structure the thread and make it more attractive for others to read.
     
  2. bio guy

    bio guy Nassau Grouper

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    Great Post...you've raised an interesting dilemma. One between economics of extremely poor people and those willing to support the industry

    The poison you are likely referring to is cyanide, although I have heard of more expensive anesthetic products being used. You are totally correct, those fish left in the poison "cloud" usually die....and that includes most other life forms in the vicinity not just the fish.
    The problem is that it is not only the rare, expensive fish that this is used on...any fish that will be paid for is fair game. Also, the "revived" fish have been extremely stressed, and often end up dying later on.
    The whole point is, we each can do little things in our own individual countries. If you are an aquarist (fresh or marine)..insist on cultured fish and living rock. If that isn't available either don't by the animals or insist on non-destructive collection techniques(if they truly exist).

    Your post is most needed. It raises the issue that we are on this earth together, and we must come to decision that will allow people living in regions of massive poverty to support their families while protecting the environment as well. The fishermen in those areas could be the greatest resource for the protection of the reefs, but attitudes and priorities have to change first.
     
  3. Iguana Don

    Iguana Don Guest

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    Vg,
    The structure looks fine to me, maybe if the :royal: is reading he will take the hint and start a new Forum, entitled the "Marine Environment"

    Just a thought

    Don
     
  4. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

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    Bio Guy,
    You make a very good point about demanding cultured fish. That's something I'm going to have to talk to all my friends whom own aquariums about. Thank you.
     
  5. Thistle

    Thistle Angel Fish

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    Thank you for the first reactions.
    I agree with the fact that we can all do something about it. It is difficult to understand how a little thing can turn out to be part of a bigger one and that to be a part of an even bigger one .... I think this is the way in which you can generate an oppinion trend. I think this the final purpose of the thread, to make people think in a certain way that will determine them to take individual actions accordingly.

    Yes Bio Guy, the name of the substance is correct and this is what is happening actually. The problem is that the fishermen don't understand that they are playing with their own future, ensuring a smooth way toward the extinction of their occupation, way of living etc. If there is no fish they will move to the big cities and became industrial workers. The phenomenon is well known all around the world. The sad thing is that they can do something about it but they don't care. They are also encouraged by the final user of the product who is willing to get the fish regardless of the cost.

    I think it will be interesting to "hear" people actually involved in rescue programs for affected zones. They can share some of their experience. They can ask for specific help. I do not believe that if they are askig for 1 milion dollars somebody will show up with the cash. But they can certainly get some volunteer research work done by people interested in the subject and other stuff like that. You do not have to be a scientist to do that, a guy with a PC can do a lot around the internet. Just an ideea, I am sure that there are people a lot more qualified than me and their contribution might just make a difference. At least worth trying.
    Take good care about you and about our oceans.
    VV
     
  6. Remora

    Remora Nassau Grouper

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    I completely agree that this type of Ocean raping has to be curbed. Along with "fishing" with dynamite, gill netting and other forms of indiscriminte harvasting. I beleive that in order to do this you would have to solve the problem at the root. This would be nearly impossible to achieve as you would have to make owning the species illeagal internationally. One only has to look to the drug trade and the buying and selling of ivory and other endangered species to see that this will not work and is near to impossible to enforce. A viable solution could be to use the research $'s to train the "fisherman" in another form of livelyhood. As bio guy pointed out this is a 2 part problem and may require a 2 part solution.
     
  7. glidingray

    glidingray Angel Fish

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    Wow-wow-wow…I miss lots of things. Just came back for one week surfing in eBay *lol*. Good idea on forming a new thread: talking about marine conservation…if there are enough divers who are interested in talking about saving the environment.

    I've been living in Borneo for about a year. My private conclusion so far is there isn't enough information or publication about environmental issue, particularly on marine environment. There are not enough non-governmental organizations who work on marine conservation. Most NGO's are still focused on inland issues like industrial waste and the burning of rainforest. My private comment is: that's where the money is.

    Information are not easily publicized here because of language problem, there are many islands, many areas, which its people do not speak their national language. Sometimes, each island of one group of islands speaks their own language. Cool, eh? ;-0 Imagine running an expensive commercial on TV, and this people only admire the beautiful/handsome clothes of the spokeperson because they don't understand what the spokeperson is talking about.

    Some tribes do not trade at all. They grow-hunt-fish their own food. There is no local/national news of their damaging marine environment. Some tribes do trade with people with money. People with money export the goods, it can be fish for food or fish for decoration, it can be dead fish or living fish. Fish is one of the biggest non oil/gas export commodity of Indonesia.

    There isn't enough regulation on marine environment conservation. There isn't enough law enforcement in it. Marine Exploitation / Conservation Minister has just been formed by the newest president, a proof that it was not on their top priorities for many years.

    Well, those are my observation here on the issue. I might miss something though, my source is limited on what I've seen.

    Ray
     
  8. bio guy

    bio guy Nassau Grouper

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    Don and Ray

    A forum on environmental issues sounds like a great idea. Not only could it encompass marine issues, but freshwater as well. Here in North America we are dealing with the potential time-bomb of invasive species within our freshwater ecosystems. I'm sure it is also an issue in many countries worldwide.

    Just a thought

    Bio guy
     
  9. Dee

    Dee ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    After being an aquarium keeper (aquariumist?) for many years, it wasn't until I started keeping salt water fish that I learned about this practice. I noticed different prices on the same species of fish, one sometimes twice the price as the other. When asked, I learned that the cultured fish was always the most expensive. Alot of people never asked, they just buy the least expensive. But most of the fish shops now, at least the better ones I go to, have literature to educate fish people of the capture practices and stressing the importance of only buying farm raised, or cultured, fish.

    And it's true, those fish captured using chemicals/poisons frequently die of stress and starvation. The poison does something to their digestive tract making nutritional absorption impossible. So even though the fish are eating (one of the signs of a healthy fish you look for), they get no nutritional value at all. Those shops also no longer sell the cyanide caught fish and go to great lengths not to buy from the suppliers to condone it. A few fish slip through the cracks, of course, but compared to a few years ago things are vastly different now.

     
  10. glidingray

    glidingray Angel Fish

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    Me? I'm just the average diver, I try to keep my hands and my fins out of corals. Did an underwater clean up 4 years ago. That's it.

    Have I given anything significant to the sea life? Nope…unless I count the money I spent on gears and dive travels of course.

    Is it worth it? I mean, other people might do the opposite and wash off our effort…

    :argue:
     
  11. DEEP SEA

    DEEP SEA Nassau Grouper

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    ;-(Most divers never really observe the sea. They just swim about looking at the colorful fish and sometimes catch a glimpse of a lobster or eel. I was that type for years. On a shoot for a TV show called "Today's Diver" (it was canceled) I spent a day with Chris Reeve and Dee Scarr. Dee took us around a little part of a reef and showed us all kinds of little things that changed my whole outlook of a "living reef". Now I can spend an entire dive in one spot watching the wonders of the marine environment. The experience definitely made me think twice about grabbing on to things to help me stabilize while I am filming!

    One fact that needs to be addressed that not many divers and/or boaters realize is the damage anchoring a boat does. Resorts know the damage an anchor can do and most have done something about it. I dive mostly off the coast of California and find myself taking forever to anchor my boat. My fear of raking and/or destroying the bottom is always present. It would be nice if some organizing was formed to visit all commonly dove dive sites and put in some sort of mooring buoys. This would be one step in saving reefs and sea life.
     
  12. gozumutti

    gozumutti Barracuda

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    Dear all

    In 1983, the Egyptian Parliament passed law 102, covering various areas of the Red Sea, including the Ras Mohammed Marine Park near Sharm el Sheikh. I give you a (very) loose translation of some of the provisions of that law:

    - Remove nothing from the sea or the beach, no matter if it is alive, dead or fossilized.
    - Never drive directly onto a beach with an automobile
    - Do not throw ANYTHING into the sea or leave anything on the beach.
    - Do NOT throw anchors onto the reef, but use the specially provided anchor buoys
    -NO harpooning or fishing in the protected zones
    -NO harpooning in scuba equipment
    -NO feeding of fish, as it changes their feeding patterns
    -Neophyte divers are limited to areas where they can cause no/least damage

    This is a portion, loosely translated, as I said, but it all makes sense to me.

    In the interim, a law was passed that prohibits ANY plastic bags aboard ship, and a divers' tax of $5 per day which goes into an "environmental pot".

    Strangely enough, in spite of the laws, i saw while diving:

    filthy shredded plastic bags floating around
    forks (!) stuck into the reef
    weights
    cans
    ...and other such nonsense, which really got my gander up!

    ...not to mention all the oil supertankers hanging around in the Gulf of Suez...

    gozumutti wonders where it is all going......

     
  13. bio guy

    bio guy Nassau Grouper

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    gozumutti

    You make a good point. It takes only a few who won't respect environmental laws to ruin it for everyone.

    I found this site while surfing, and although I think it was probably designed to educate kids....the impact of the first graph is staggering....take a look everyone, but I warn you....it is disheartening.

    http://www.jp.kids-commons.net/vc96/vc-13/ocean_pollution/ocean1.html

    Bio Guy
     
  14. gozumutti

    gozumutti Barracuda

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    Dear bio guy

    SCARY site....I hope everyone has a look at it though. Why is it that everyone seems to agree with "environmental protection" in general but not practice it in particular!!!

    and re: invasive species: not only in the states.

    http://www.parlament.ch/afs/data/d/gesch/1997/d_gesch_19971055.htm

    I dunno if you read German by any chance, but here is a site describing the invasion of certain waters in Switzerland by a crayfish endemic in the US....


    gozumutti

     
  15. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

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    bioguy, That's a scary website, it makes me want to be more active about conservationalism... it also makes me want to dive more just to be able to dive before we all need biosuits to get into the water... not that there would be anything left to see in the Sea :(
     
  16. bio guy

    bio guy Nassau Grouper

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    Goz

    Thanks for the link. Invasive species is sort of my area. They didn't list the species name, but it sounds very similar to what is given the common name of rusty crayfish here. It is also invading the rivers and lakes here in Canada, since it was spread by people fishing (bait). Your link mentioned them being aggressive. The Rusty's definitely are. I have come across a few in the St. Lawrence river at Lake Ontario and they are not frightened. Instead of scooting under the nearest rock, I have seen them stand their ground and face me head on. I have also observed them walking near resting bass....something unheard of with the native species.

    Here are two pictures of what the rusty looks like to compare with yours
    http://www.uku.fi/~mannonen/or.jpg

    http://www.great-lakes.net/envt/flora-fauna/invasive/rusty.html
    The last also has some other interesting info for those people interested in environmental issues regarding water.

    Mario......didn't mean to turn the thread to doom and gloom, but seeing the numbers on the oil chart sorta shocked me.

    Bio guy
     
  17. Iguana Don

    Iguana Don Guest

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    Bio guy,
    Help me to understand the concern over the rusty crayfish, it looks like the common crayfish I am use to seeing here in the rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds of Oklahoma. They don't seem to be taking over here. They are one of the Largemouth Bass' favorite foods. All of the fishing tackle manuf. even make lures to resemble them.
    Also if you attend DEMA this year you can find out that they are truly tasty.
    Seems to me the great lakes could make lemonade out of these lemons.

    Just a thought.

    Don

    P.S. The oil link is scary. Keep up the good work and keep us informed.
     
  18. gozumutti

    gozumutti Barracuda

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    Don

    These red crayfish are apparently not tasty...the Swiss tried them, as an alternative to getting rid of them via huge applications of Fenthion, but not even the Swiss would eat 'em....
     
  19. Iguana Don

    Iguana Don Guest

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    Goz,
    Maybe the Swiss could import a Cajun, as they have the distinct ability to make anything from the water taste wonderful.
    Just a thought, doncha know.

    Don
     
  20. gozumutti

    gozumutti Barracuda

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    Dear Don #17

    Is this one of your cruel sado personalities? *g* Here I am, living in a LANDLOCKED country, away from my beloved Chesapeake and all the accompanying seafood dishes, and you say to me "cajun" (slobber slurp) which I don't have a snowball's chance in h*** seeing withing the next years....I can only get disgusting frozen fish

    *gozu breaks down sobbing for seafood at this point*
     

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