Does our hobby affect wild reefs?

jda

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More corals are wild than you think. All too common now for them to be sold as Aqua or Mari culture when they were just cut up wild pieces - it costs a lot of farm, wait and then hope that a natural event does not destroy all of your work. There are real aqua, mari and captive stuff, but the names are getting loose in an attempt to fool people.

Sustainable collecting is fine - the reef quickly makes room for a taken piece with another. There are some things in the hobby that are not sustainable and these need to be avoided - the collectors and wholesales will sometimes lie to keep money coming in. There is no excuse for anybody taking a protected, endangered or critical species, but it happens. Many of the suspect things that are collected go to Asian for their tanks where there are less laws and enforcement.

If you have an issue with the power and stuff, solar is an option. It makes me feel better for my tanks and also my hot tub which is also a frivolous item that benefits only a few. Buy used equipment that already has traveled and used diesel fuel, packaging, etc.
 

JayM

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Removing a bucket of water from the ocean has an affect. But that doesn’t mean that it’s significant in any way.

The better question is does the hobby have a negative affect? I think that generally speaking, the answer is no, though I’m sure that many will disagree.
 

Alexraptor

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Is there a figure on this? I didn't know it was this high that is suprising

There isn't, its a nonsensical sensationalist guesstimate based on bad data.

There was also an article floating around some years ago claiming 90% of fish are caught using Cyanide, but as it turned out the most recent data it was using to base the claim on, was a report from 1997.

And unfortunately it is a common trend, using very old and out of date data to try and misrepresent this hobby, deliberately failing to recognize that it is rapidly evolving. Reports and studies performed in the 1980's and 1990's bear absolutely no relevance to the hobby today, and it could even be argued that statistics pre-2010 are also woefully out of date.
 

ninjamyst

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Is there a figure on this? I didn't know it was this high that is suprising
Obviously this article is from an environmental group and biased but you can easily search Google for more ancedotal figures


What people don't understand is that fish goes through a LONG transit and lots of handoffs before it gets to your house. Most of them do not make it. The condition they are put through is 100x worse than what you provide in your reef aquarium. The amount of disease, stress, drugs they go through...

People also forget that the trade in the US is good but in other countries, fish are sold in little plastic bags and most of them die quickly.
 

jda

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The fact that 90% of fish don't live through the first year is still real. Some of this is supply chain, some is wholesalers but some is also inexperienced hobbyists that kill stuff. Captive bred fish that are Uber hardy have helped some.
 

Thales

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Hi, I’m a newbie and this is my first post!
I’m a long time diver and environmental educator and know that coral reefs globally are in trouble. I can’t help but wonder if our hobby is contributing to that. I see that some but not all of the coral for sale are noted as grown by aquaculture. Are the rest harvested from wild reefs? Most but I imagine not all reefs are protected in some way so can you do that? Are we contributing to the demise of what we love?
Thanks for helping me understand.
Yes we are. Generalizing is difficult as collection practices are different in differnent areas and there is not much transparancy. The hobby has been bad to some local animal populations in poorly managed reefs. Electricity, boat fuel, jet fuel, plastic, styrofoam and all used a whole lot in moving animals around the world.
Are there other things that are worse? For sure.

I don't think there is much a single person can do and that the hobby and world are now too large and fractured for much success on a grass roots level.


There is a lot of stuff written about this. Search the web for reef chain of coustody if you haven't already
 

jda

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Keeping a dog or cat can add to methane and greenhouse gasses not to mention the chain to make their food. This is not an excuse or anything, just a parallel. Don't even get me started with how wasteful kids are... kidding. :)

The best that you can do as a hobbyist is to keep stuff alive, be the best possible steward and try not to support the bad parts of the hobby. For example, we have a local store that sells stuff as AQ even though I they trans ship wild stuff and cut it up - I don't have an issue with trans shipping, but I do have an issue with the lying, so I don't shop there at all.

Most importantly, be smart when a real issue comes up with wild collection. As a hobby, we need to embrace some bans and limits when they make sense and are right to do so. This will not lead to full bans, but rather will stave them off if we ourselves are a responsible hobby instead of a greedy one.
 

Rick's Reviews

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Hi, I’m a newbie and this is my first post!
I’m a long time diver and environmental educator and know that coral reefs globally are in trouble. I can’t help but wonder if our hobby is contributing to that. I see that some but not all of the coral for sale are noted as grown by aquaculture. Are the rest harvested from wild reefs? Most but I imagine not all reefs are protected in some way so can you do that? Are we contributing to the demise of what we love?
Thanks for helping me understand.
Yes, there's a chain in life that sometimes you have to climb before becoming morally bound
I brought a fish from my local store. 'stop' where did local store get fish from 'stop' from a local supplier 'stop' where did local supplier get them from.... And the chain goes on to find a guy diving into the sea for 50p a day for 1kg of clown fish? ... He has spent his whole week diving down to catch clown fish to feed his family.

Look at the shirt you are wearing... I brought it from a shop 'stop' where was it made 'turkey' what materials 'cotton' then to 50p a week to cotton farmers who are trying to feed Thier families.

Everything in life as an impact in other life's. There is no avoiding it.

I love my crabs and shrimp in my aquarium however.... I love to BBQ king prawns, squid, calamari.... I once ate a swordfish

I'm sure your fridge/ freezers are full of meat and fish.

My point being yes it's a brilliant hobby, we convince ourselves we are doing something in relation to a topic out of our hands 'conservation'
You see a monkey in a cage at the zoo and you think... What a poor animal, then you come home to your aquarium and think 'hello nemo' you want some food.
 

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