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The future of our hobby

Discussion in 'General Reefkeeping Discussion' started by scchase, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I think the trick here is to petition that these "endangered" species be given a "threatened" designation and not endangered. This will give major regulations to the collection of wild that will put more focus on coral farming and captive breeding, but not stop the trade of them altogether. I believe this would be a win-win for everyone. Hobbyists reduce their impact on the reef to next to nothing, which makes the environmentalists happy and we are still allowed to get these creatures in our reef, which keeps us happy (even if it means an extra $20 on a fish)
  2. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Which ones are you referring to? The recent NOAA ruling did list 20 species of coral as Threatened.
  3. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Mariculture (with proper management and training) is an excellent way to preserve reefs. The key here is the involvement of the local community and the ability to show the value that coral reefs can provide the community in the long term (unlike the short term returns that many unsustainable practices provide). No matter what rulings and legislation are passed, without the communities living near the reefs buying into the preservation of the reef, it will end poorly. Aquaculture is very important as well, but if we only aquaculture coral, the reefs will still be in serious trouble. One of the things the guys from Walt Smith International (Fiji) mentioned was that for every 1,000 frags that are raised via their mariculture program, they cherry pick 150 of them and the community has to "plant" the rest on the reef to help restore them.
    I also think that it is completely unacceptable to be selling wild caught fish that are readily available captive raised. Given the state of their wild populations, it's a shame that we still see wild caught Banggai Cardinals in Colorado stores. This is something I would like to try an do something about in the near future.
  4. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Look at the huffington post article. Clowns and many other fish are being petitioned to be an endangered species, which would cut ALL trade in A. Occelaris. As an endangered species, even tank bred would be illegal to sell. This is total B.S. and we need to help put an end to it. A "threatened" classification would put no regulations on tank bred, but add restrictions to wild caught.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  5. ReefCheif

    ReefCheif Marlin Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

  6. ReefCheif

    ReefCheif Marlin Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

  7. lesserwhirls

    lesserwhirls Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

  8. scchase

    scchase Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

  9. scchase

    scchase Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    To: MASNA
    From: Aquatics Committee
    Sandy Moore, Co-Chair
    Chris Buerner, Co-Chair
    Julian Sprung
    Dustin Dorton
    Kevin Kohen
    Laura Reid

    Date: September 8, 2014

    Do you love corals?

    Following a 2009 petition from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to list 83 reef-building coral species for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), on August 28, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed 20 species of corals as threatened species. The final listing includes 5 coral species from the Caribbean, and 15 Indo-Pacific coral species from the genera Acropora, Euphyllia, Montipora, Pavona, Porites, and Seriatopora.

    NMFS had originally proposed to list 66 reef-building species as threatened and endangered in December, 2012. However, based upon substantial scientific information submitted by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and other parties, NMFS determined only 20 of these species warranted listing as threatened species. Such scientific information included the submission of a scientific report developed by Dr. Charlie Veron, a world-renowned coral expert. PIJAC participated in the development of Dr. Veron’s work, and provided financial support enabling completion of this work.

    In its final listing determination, NMFS elected not to apply the general ESA Section 9 “take” prohibitions to the newly-listed species. The term “take” is broadly defined to include a range of actions, including harassing, harming, injuring or killing a listed species. Instead, NMFS solicited comments regarding the appropriate scope of ESA Section 9 regulations, and indicated that it will consult with federal agencies and other partners to develop appropriate recovery strategies for the species.

    PIJAC believes it likely that NMFS will apply the ESA Section 9 “take” prohibitions to the newly-listed coral species in the near future, consistent with prior agency actions. Application of these take prohibitions by NMFS could severely restrict or eliminate trade in these species. Such prohibitions may apply to both corals in the wild, as well as farm-raised corals. Such actions would be devastating to the marine aquarium hobby. Aquarium conferences, retail stores, wholesale suppliers, and coral farms would see an immediate direct impact, while manufacturers, dry goods suppliers, and mail order pet suppliers would experience the resulting loss of business too.

    While we await further regulatory actions, anti-aquarium organizations will surely strive to create a social stigma for the aquarium industry by claiming, for example, that we are “trafficking in threatened and endangered species.” The emotion surrounding the subject will likely inflame public opinion and could motivate NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to enact stricter importation rules on all corals.

    NMFS’ action to list these species was driven by a petition filed by CBD. CBD indicated in its petition that climate change presents a significant risk for these species, requiring listing of these species under the ESA. CBD, effectively, is attempting to use the ESA as a tool to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. NMFS, likewise, relied on the effects of climate change to justify listing these 20 species. However, scientific information developed by world-renowned scientists indicate that none of the 20 listed coral species warrant listing under the ESA. These experts have stated in recent comments that NMFS’ final rule is not supported by the best available scientific information.

    The Solution

    PIJAC acted quickly to provide the best available scientific information to NMFS in response to CBD’s petition to list corals. PIJAC’s efforts are largely responsible for the dramatic reduction in the number of species listed, and the fact that none of these species were listed as endangered. But that is not enough. PIJAC must continue to work with the scientific community to develop and submit scientific information regarding marine species. PIJAC must also remain engaged in the legal and policy issues arising now that these 20 coral species have been listed by NMFS under the ESA.

    This is a time consuming and expensive process, and it requires your support. All funds donated to PIJAC’s Aquatic Defense Fund will be directed toward either this specific process, or other existing antiaquarium campaigns.

    Many eminent coral reef scientists are dismayed by the listing. ESA take prohibitions may be at odds with the best plan for the recovery of any coral species that might ever need a recovery plan– coral farming and restoration. ESA prohibitions may dramatically limit or eliminate conservation and education programs.

    Please support PIJAC’s effort to defend our hobby against this and other actions including ones that aim directly to shut down our hobby. You can do so by making a donation, small or large, here:

    Inspire your friends, your pet store, your aquarium club to do the same.

    If you have any questions for PIJAC, contact marshall@pijac.org.
  10. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    What do you all think about this idea:

    BBC is sending around a crew across the US asking people to contribute ideas for stories to cover. They're in Boulder right now.


    What if someone knowledgable on this topic pitch the topic of how the marine hobby is contributing to the preservation if reefs?
  11. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

  12. scchase

    scchase Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I really hope that it is just a miscommunication between agencies if not well, say goodbye to all Acropora for a while as I doubt they will make a distinction based on species.
  13. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Right. Sounds like that is the hope right now. There are many "similar looking" species that will be affected because of this. Far more than the 20 identified.
  14. scchase

    scchase Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    The Good Catch - A Fisheries Centric Blog NMFS, which has jurisdiction over all marine species listed under the ESA, confirmed moments ago that USFWS's actions this morning were in error. USFWS confirmed they had spoken with NMFS but were waiting for confirmation from their Washington office that it is indeed legal to import the 20 species of coral recently listed under the ESA.
  15. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Cuttle Fish M.A.S.C Club Member

    So question, assuming that they had banned those species. I keep seeing people say that they become illegal to own. What if you already own them???? Do you create proof so that if someone ever did raid your house you could prove it was pre ban?
  16. halmus

    halmus Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    It's the prohibition era again. Soon we'll be running underground coral propagation bootleg operations.
  17. ReefCheif

    ReefCheif Marlin Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    There will be no grandfather rules written into this. In the event this passes and If you own one of these corals your in direct violation of these guidlines and are essentially breaking federal law. Better enjoy that frogsawn while you can. I know Ill be keeping mine regardless!!
  18. scchase

    scchase Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

  19. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Cuttle Fish M.A.S.C Club Member

    Ok, so my question above...it would still be legal for us to have them.

    Recently Listed Coral Species Still Legal to Trade
    Nammack reiterates that the recent listing of the 20 species of coral under the ESA includes no additional prohibitions placed on conduct related to coral or coral reefs at this time. “We did not issue any protective regulations with our coral listings,” Nammack says. “It appears that this FWS enforcement officer is misinformed, thinking that 50 CFR 17.31 applies to threatened species listed under NMFS jurisdiction. However, it doesn’t. We must issue a section 4(d) rule before any such prohibitions are put in place.”

    edit: so even had those species been on that list, they would have just stopped import of them from the wild. Hopefully i'm reading that right.
    I think if i read the whole thing correctly, it didn't make them illegal to own just import.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2014
  20. scchase

    scchase Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    It will all depend on how this plays out in the long run. If they are given the rules that have been typically assigned to species placed on the list any and all trade will become illegal as well as possibly even keeping them in captivity. Exceptions have been made however so at this time it is still legal to keep them but that may or may not change once rule setting begins in the near future.

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