NOAA Proposal info and clarification!!!

Turbo's Aquatics

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NOAA can tell you what they want, that's just their "press release" version I would think. I got a legal interpretation. That interpretation was that one could have valid backing to pin criminal charges on someone who just owned any of the species on the list.

Do you really think that a fish & wildlife dude is going to be able to identify everything properly? Try arguing with one of those guys. I know one personally in our local club. They have vastly over-reaching power and can pretty much do whatever they want and have all the legal backing they need. They literally can walk into your house and confiscate everything if you have one thing that is on their list if someone reports you as having something that is on their list of protected/threatened/endangered species. If you argue with them, they throw the cuffs on you and haul you in with them. One of out local former zoo employees used to get called in occasionally to help ID species and oh boy could he scare you with some of the stories he had. This is no joke, I am dead serious, this policy cannot come to bear.

How many government policies are passed with such over-reaching potential powers that they say "oh but that's not how it will be used", only to have them commonly used without question decades later. This policy has that kind of power. Don't think that it will not be abused.

Read that letter from MASNA. They (ESA) are intentionally using poor information and data that makes the case work to their advantage to push this through.

This is something to definitely freak out about.
 
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cdness

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This is my personal view and not the view of Reef2Reef as a whole...

There are going to be two sides of this story, but in all the research I have personally done as well as according to ReefBuilders, MASNA, and other research done by large name breeders and propagators this bill should not be passed. It is too broad of a list which can be modified easily after the first list is put in place. There are many corals we own today that are on this list and it would restrict our attempts at propagation on a hobbiest level as well. How many saltwater only stores out there would survive this law?

In the end it will be detrimental to our hobby, but it will also affect the countries who handle the mariculture businesses and exportation of marine life. Some countries rely heavily on these businesses for the sole income needed to keep their families fed. They have enacted their own regulations to help make sure they are running a sustainable business so future generations are able to continue in the mariculture business.

I don't need to read something from a second party website, and I did read it, left a comment as well. The fact remains...... I CALLED THE NOAA! MYSELF, me. I verbally asked questions and received answers from a rep who works for the NOAA fisheries division. SO, again, quit speaking on a matter you have not personally researched and unless you have different FACTS, quit spreading misinformation. Thank you.

KEEP CALM AND REEF ON!!
On a personal stance I am much more inclined to believe an organization like MASNA who has concerns over this new law. When it comes down to it, they have a legal team that reviews these laws and analyzes them to see what their effect, or potential effect, will be on this hobby we have all grown to love.

You made a phone call. You are a single person who happened to talk to a person who answers the phone at NOAA who is more than likely not a legal expert but is answering your questions from a NOAA issues FAQ. I understand you are very confident in what you were told, but many of us are going to continue to be skeptical about this situation. Did you request this information to be sent to you in writing so you have a record of it that we as a hobby can use to fall back on when stuff hits the fan? Can they provide you with a copy of the proposed law and let you know what section covers protections for those of us with these corals in our tanks? Until this happens I am 150% against this law and will continue to oppose legislation like this...

Please remember, this is a topuch subject for many different people. It will affect everyone differently and can cause people their livelihoods. So as your signature states, please keep calm and reef on...
 

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Cdnesa- You hit the nail on the head!!

Unless it is in writing, how could anyone defend themselves.

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Dsdaley77

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The ESA has specific definitions as does the classification "threatened". I hope all of you are familiar with how they apply to this case specifically. If some state or federal employee enforces the law or regulation improperly then it's not the fault of the law, it's the employee acting inappropriately .
Just like gun control, medicine, and really anything else that's regulated, it's up to us to not allow the powers that be to abuse their power or use it in a manner inconsistent with directive.




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Turbo's Aquatics

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There is no defense or recourse with the Dept of Fish & Wildlife. Feel free to give it a try.

This policy needs to get shot down.
 
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Dsdaley77

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Sure there is, this is America. Yeah, some over zealous official tries to take your legally owned stuff it can be a pain but doesn't mean there is no recourse.


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Turbo's Aquatics

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The ESA has specific definitions as does the classification "threatened". I hope all of you are familiar with how they apply to this case specifically. If some state or federal employee enforces the law or regulation improperly then it's not the fault of the law, it's the employee acting inappropriately .
Just like gun control, medicine, and really anything else that's regulated, it's up to us to not allow the powers that be to abuse their power or use it in a manner inconsistent with directive.
Improper enforcement, employee acting inappropriately, abuse of power, inconsistent with directive...

That's all well and good if you want to rationalize how the misuse of this power is wrong. The bottom line is the reality - this kind of thing will indeed happen, the results will be tragic as they have in the past, and there is nothing you will be able to do to remedy the situation if it happens to you or someone you know. Insurance probably won't cover it, and businesses will go belly up. Imagine if a major event is taken down under this policy, which IIRC did or almost did happen in Florida not too long ago.

Like in Hawaii after they banned catching Yellow Tangs, then they caught someone doing it. What did they do? They laid them all out in the sun to die. As was mentioned either here or in another thread, confiscating corals under this policy pretty much guarantees their demise. I find it totally ridiculous that anyone in this hobby would see no issues with this policy, and would gladly hand the gavel over to be judged.
 

Turbo's Aquatics

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Sure there is, this is America. Yeah, some over zealous official tries to take your legally owned stuff it can be a pain but doesn't mean there is no recourse.
Good luck with that. Call me when you are successful. I know how the system works.
 

cdness

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Thanks Scooter...

The ESA has specific definitions as does the classification "threatened". I hope all of you are familiar with how they apply to this case specifically.
Please enlighten us on how this all fits together. I am no lawyer but can read legal documents. Please post your supporting argument with references to prove where you are coming from...

If some state or federal employee enforces the law or regulation improperly then it's not the fault of the law, it's the employee acting inappropriately .
Yes, but in the end the hobbiest still suffers and corals or fish will die in the process. There is no way they will be trained for the safe-keeping of these animals while under their control. When they act inappropriately there is a slap on the wrist and told to not do it again... until next time.

Just like gun control, medicine, and really anything else that's regulated, it's up to us to not allow the powers that be to abuse their power or use it in a manner inconsistent with directive.
This is where I as well as industry powers have a major issue with the "directive" or proposed law. The law isn't specific enough to allow for consistent enforcement. In the end we can vote a certain way on the topics you mentioned but in the end how do you stand up to a group of heavily armed officials charging into your home and taking something you have worked so hard at maintaining. You just sit back and watch the destruction. I would rather prevent the destruction in the first place by stopping this law in its tracks.

Good luck with that. Call me when you are successful. I know how the system works.
You too huh? Been there done that with broad laws and regulations. Improper enforcement is a major issue in many areas.

===========

In the end it is way to broad. When something is this broad, it leaves room for interpretation. When there is room for interpretation, it leaves the chance of inconsistent identification and inconsistent enforcement. Inconsistencies will breed more inconsistencies and when that happens the law will become even more broad to cover all of the inconsistent enforcement.

How do you feel about your prized corals sitting in evidence bags in the back room of fish and wildlife?
 
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steveb

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The ESA has specific definitions as does the classification "threatened". I hope all of you are familiar with how they apply to this case specifically. If some state or federal employee enforces the law or regulation improperly then it's not the fault of the law, it's the employee acting inappropriately .
Just like gun control, medicine, and really anything else that's regulated, it's up to us to not allow the powers that be to abuse their power or use it in a manner inconsistent with directive.
From Endangered Species Program | Permits | Frequently Asked Questions

Permits | Frequently Asked Questions said:
For endangered species, permits may be issued for scientific research, enhancement of propagation or survival, and taking that is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity.


For threatened species, permits also may be issued for zoological, horticultural, or botanical exhibition; educational use; and special purposes consistent with the ESA.


A person registered with the FWS may obtain a captive-bred wildlife permit to buy and sell within the United States live, non-native endangered or threatened animals that were captive born in the United States for enhancement of species propagation, provided the other person in the transaction is registered for the same species. A separate permit is needed to import or export such species. Captive-bred wildlife permits are not issued to keep or breed endangered or threatened animals as pets. Using protected species as pets is not consistent with the purposes of the ESA, which is aimed at conservation of the species and recovery of wild populations.
I'm just some hick from the sticks in Texas but it doesn't sound very promising to me and I definitely don't trust your source at NOAA (is this person the final decision maker on rules & regs?)....Lets face it - its a hobby they are pets.. yes there are a lot of us trying to captively propagate them to reduce the pressures on wild specimens, maybe trying to make a buck or two or at least cover costs... But they are pets. Nothing in the above FAQ will allow for permitting to the hobby IMO.
 
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Turbo's Aquatics

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baringcs, thank you for taking the time to dig that out. That is a really good post.
 
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From Endangered Species Program | Permits | Frequently Asked Questions



I'm just some hick from the sticks in Texas but it doesn't sound very promising to me and I definitely don't trust your source at NOAA (is this person the final decision maker on rules & regs?)....Lets face it - its a hobby they are pets.. yes there are a lot of us trying to captively propagate them to reduce the pressures on wild specimens, maybe trying to make a buck or two or at least cover costs... But they are pets. Nothing in the above FAQ will allow for permitting to the hobby IMO.
This IMO, is directed at "commercial" transactions. Not the hobbyist. Also look up the regs relating to "ownership prior to classification change".

Personally I have not seen anyone come up reasons with why they shouldn't look at this other than speculation.

Please show me facts,
How has previous classifications "killed" this hobby? Seems pretty healthy to me ;)
What can't you own (already) that you think you need too?
How does improper enforcement make a regulation bad?
Where's a response outlining a better plan from ANYONE? I can't find one online. Just "no, don't do it".

All great question we are missing the answers too.



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From Endangered Species Program | Permits | Frequently Asked Questions



I'm just some hick from the sticks in Texas but it doesn't sound very promising to me and I definitely don't trust your source at NOAA (is this person the final decision maker on rules & regs?)....Lets face it - its a hobby they are pets.. yes there are a lot of us trying to captively propagate them to reduce the pressures on wild specimens, maybe trying to make a buck or two or at least cover costs... But they are pets. Nothing in the above FAQ will allow for permitting to the hobby IMO.
This is located in the "PERMITS" section which is regulated more heavily. You don't need a permit for personal ownership currently nor would you in the future according to definitions already in place regarding non commercial ownership.


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steveb

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You may be right...maybe not. How about posting the links where you are pulling your info from? If your intent is to dissuade people from being concerned rather than just negating the post, put up the link for others to review. It would make the conversation easier for everyone involved.
 

Turbo's Aquatics

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The proper course of action is to actually rely on researc that is factual, rather than cherry-pick from those that are difficult to challenge due to the irrelevancy of the data.

Read that letter from MASNA written by Murray Camp. He pretty much spells it out. MC is a lawyer, a hobbyist, a researcher, and one sharp guy.
 
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You may be right...maybe not. How about posting the links where you are pulling your info from? If your intent is to dissuade people from being concerned rather than just negating the post, put up the link for others to review. It would make the conversation easier for everyone involved.
I'm the op(original poster) and I gave several links in my first post as well as a link to contact numbers for the NOAA.




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steveb

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Please show me facts,
How has previous classifications "killed" this hobby? Seems pretty healthy to me ;)
From http://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/esa_table.pdf
Prior classification has been very limited...
Marine Invertebrates (4 listed "species")
black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii)
elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata)
staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis)
white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni)

Marine Plants (1 listed "species")
Johnson's seagrass (Halophila johnsonii)

What can't you own (already) that you think you need too?
Nothing but suppose I wanted to try and propagate acropora palmata or acropora cervicornis?
 

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I'm the op(original poster) and I gave several links in my first post as well as a link to contact numbers for the NOAA.
Yeah I know that. You linked to NOAA site. Rather than forcing everyone to search and hunt for the relevant information I was proposing that you submit a link to the documents you are referencing like I have done.
 
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The proper course of action is to actually rely on researc that is factual, rather than cherry-pick from those that are difficult to challenge due to the irrelevancy of the data.

Read that letter from MASNA written by Murray Camp. He pretty much spells it out. MC is a lawyer, a hobbyist, a researcher, and one sharp guy.
I agree with this statement 100% and with the MASNA Response (one of the first places I went upon learning of this proposal).

Again my point here isn't to say do it or don't, just to provide clear information so people are fully informed.
When I see people saying "omg we will never be able to own SPS", I find the need to pipe in.
They are wrong. People are overreacting and adding info to this issue that is irrelevant IMO.

This is all I'm trying to say and I base it off info on the websites previously referenced, past experiences and confirmed events from the past regarding similar topics, as well as verbal answers from an NOAA rep.

"You can own and care for any specimen on the list unless designated to the actual ESA list, not "threatened". ***This is confirmed by looking at current specimens on the list and what you can and can't do with those classified specimens.***

You can continue to own them, even after the classification. This includes moving your tank to a new home, even across state lines and rehoming.
***Again precedence confirms this to be a fact***

You can transport them across state lines but not for commercial purposes, and never internationally.
***Again precedence confirms this to be a fact***

You CAN give or receive any specimens on the list for free (IE frag swaps and giving frags to friends) but no money or services/goods can be exchanged (IE commercial transactions).
***Again precedence confirms this to be a fact***

Most on the list are being classified as "threatened" not "endangered" which means there will be even more "exclusions and circumstances" that ALLOW for ownership and the likes, INCLUDING CAPTIVE RAISED SPECIMENS, Commercial permits will most likely be available based on data pertaining to past permit availability.
***Again precedence confirms this to be a fact***

Other rights and privledges are available if you own the specimen prior to the new classifications (Grandfathered specimen).
***Again precedence confirms this to be a fact***"


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mpedersen

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Just to take it one step further
I JUST called the NOAA and spoke with a rep to get clarification for myself, here's the gist......

You can own any on the list,

You can continue to own them,

You can transport them across state lines but not for commercial purposes,

You can give or receive any specimens on the list for free but no money or services/goods can be exchanged. (IE frag swaps and giving frags to friends),

Most on the list are being classified as "threatened" not "endangered" which means there will be even more "exclusions and circumstances" that allow for ownership and the likes,

Other rights and privledges are available if you own the specimen prior to the new classifications,
I'm sorry, but I find that INCREDIBLY HARD TO BELIEVE as true, and here's why:

Can any of us legally own Acropora cervicornis or Acroporal palmata?

NO.
They have already been on the list as threatened for a long time.
So I think you spoke to someone who gave you bad information, because the ESA is quite clear that without conditional permits, you cannot own, trade, propagate, sell etc...a listed species. Are they going to issue 700,000 "passes" to every marine hobbyist in the US? I don't think so...
 

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