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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.