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(Local6)   Commissioner wants the selling of coral in the Florida Keys banned. Most of the coral sold in the Keys comes from the Pacific Ocean   (local6.com) divider line 54
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3215 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jun 2006 at 8:13 AM (8 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-06-21 07:56:28 AM
A public offical who wants to ban the sale of a renewable resource because it gives the wrong "impression".

Maybe we should behead such public officials because they "give the wrong impression"?

Or would that be overreacting?
 
2006-06-21 07:57:09 AM
It's okay as long as it isn't farking up your coastline?

Got it.
 
2006-06-21 08:19:17 AM
coral a "renewable resource" ?

dont know where you got that from, but coral takes a very long time to grow.

as a diver, i dont think any of it should be harvested.
 
2006-06-21 08:19:19 AM
BAN NATURE!
 
Ox
2006-06-21 08:21:03 AM
Atlantic or Pacific.. it's still very slow growing and very important to the oceans.. if I was from florida.. and this was a vote, I'd support this..

/not that votes actually count in florida
//or ohio
 
2006-06-21 08:22:08 AM
Maybe they should be more worried about protecting the reefs that are off their shore. The reefs down there are dying frighteningly fast, I've stopped diving them because it depresses me to see the state they are in now compared to even a few years ago. Coral reefs are hardly a renewable resource, it takes thousands of years to build up even a modest sized reef.
 
2006-06-21 08:25:15 AM
Morans. Not only does most of it come from the Pacific Ocean, but it comes from aquaculture farms (eg: corals are grown for retail sale), or it's collected from what are known as rubble zones on the reef. This is where corals that are broken off during storms or rough seas are washed away to, usually to die because of the differences in water turbidity and depth compared to the reef.
 
2006-06-21 08:26:44 AM
Ox: Atlantic or Pacific.. it's still very slow growing and very important to the oceans.. if I was from florida.. and this was a vote, I'd support this..

/not that votes actually count in florida
//or ohio


A lot of what is known about the reefs and how they function has come from the reef keeping hobby itself. Things are observed in peoples tanks that sometimes can't be observed in the ocean.

www.reefcentral.com -- czech it out, scientists posting on a message board for hobbyists.
 
2006-06-21 08:26:56 AM
This is like saying: the Loggerhead Turtle is endangered, so no one should have any type of turtle soup, the Bald Eagle is endangered so no one can own any pet birds -- it gives the wrong impression!

There are different types of coral, some plentiful, some not. If you're buying coral for your aquarium and you don't know the difference, you're a moran.
 
2006-06-21 08:27:31 AM
Ban the sale of coral anywhere IMHO, the stuff needs to be left alone and conserved everywhere it's found.

Scary how quick it's dying off all over the place.
 
2006-06-21 08:29:00 AM
ILikeBoobies: Maybe they should be more worried about protecting the reefs that are off their shore. The reefs down there are dying frighteningly fast, I've stopped diving them because it depresses me to see the state they are in now compared to even a few years ago. Coral reefs are hardly a renewable resource, it takes thousands of years to build up even a modest sized reef.

The really sad thing is that the corals in the Atlantic and the Carribean are "hardier" corals than the stuff in the Pacific. They can usually take a bit more fluctuation in water quality and generally like more turbid waters. But that's really unfortunate to hear that they're deteriorating so quickly. =(
 
2006-06-21 08:32:07 AM
As a voter and diver of the Florida Keys, I completely support this move. I've seen far too many divers forking around with the reefs on a dive.
 
2006-06-21 08:39:14 AM
It matters where it comes from?
 
2006-06-21 08:40:30 AM
Hilary T. N. Seuss: This is like saying: the Loggerhead Turtle is endangered, so no one should have any type of turtle soup, ... If you're buying coral for your aquarium and you don't know the difference, you're a moran.

I don't know shiat about coral, I AM a moran.

z.about.com
 
2006-06-21 08:40:38 AM
question_dj: A lot of what is known about the reefs and how they function has come from the reef keeping hobby itself. Things are observed in peoples tanks that sometimes can't be observed in the ocean.

My reef is becoming prettier all the time. And, it's growing. Granted, it's not growing rapidly the way plants grow, but it's filling my tank.

That means a few things:
1) Coral does grow
2) I don't have to fill my tank with harvested coral. I can carefully place harvested and captive-breed coral in my tank and it will fill itself.
3) I've learned things about coral that I'd have never learned without the tank, for instance the feeding cycles, what currents are acceptable to what corals, what light zones I can expect to find coral on dives, what corals compete with what corals, and what corals (in my tank) have neurotoxins.
4) Reputable coral retailers won't sell anything that isn't well conserved unless it's captive-grown. Non-reputable coral retailers generally won't be able to keep the coral alive long enough to sell it.
5) Parrot fish eat more coral a day than I could ever purchase and kill on my own. (no, I don't have a parrot fish)
6) If you want to save coral reefs, stop crashing into them, you farkin' newbie divers. Learn some bouyancy control.

/only killed one SPS so far (in the tank, not the ocean)
//6 months reefkeeping
 
2006-06-21 08:41:19 AM
Atvar: As a voter and diver of the Florida Keys, I completely support this move. I've seen far too many divers forking around with the reefs on a dive.

...and if you ban sale of coral where would those who just have to have it get it from?

Selling it from sources that question_dj details could in fact help the local coral.
 
2006-06-21 08:42:01 AM
Every coral in my tank was grown from a frag and every fish is tank bred. Most of the live rock started out as holey limestone base with only a few pounds used to seed it.

Save a reef - distribute frags.
 
2006-06-21 08:48:20 AM
Our reef is dying:

www.reefrelief.org

More info here:

Reef Relief
 
2006-06-21 08:56:40 AM
Just to re-iterate the above, just grabbing coral out of the ocean is already illegal. As a reef tank keeper, I would cut the balls off anyone doing it. That being said, the legal coral sellers create their own artificial reefs far away from the real ones and do a great job managing them. They take about 20 years to create a real coral farm such as this and the sellers are not about to endanger those. Many, many of the corals you can buy are grown in a "lab", not even in the ocean. Check out liveaquaria.com. The "lab" corals are much more hardy for the average aquarist anyway.
 
2006-06-21 08:58:16 AM
america bans ectasy, even though it comes from holland. that's not right!
 
2006-06-21 08:58:34 AM
Also, compare the size of the coastlines of the Pacific, to the coastlines of Florida. It isn't surprising that more coral comes from the Pacific in that perspective.

It isn't a bad idea to try to limit what damage is being done to the limited resources in Florida as well. The large amount of traffic that goes on in the Keys due to tourism and such means that even a slight percentage of coral sales is actually a very large amount.

Reefs provide shelter for an incredible amount of marine life, the loss of which would be devastating to any industry or culture that depends upon it.
 
2006-06-21 09:00:05 AM
ScreamingInDigital: ...and if you ban sale of coral where would those who just have to have it get it from?

I agree that harvesting native coral is a small problem, but it can be made even smaller if we remove the temptation.
 
2006-06-21 09:02:13 AM
The point the guy is trying to make is not where the coral comes from. It's having millions of tourists that know nothing about it, seeing it sold in the stores, and thinking it's okay to go get some of their own.
 
2006-06-21 09:14:26 AM
how about we stop destroying to coral, no matter where it lives?

huh?

how about that?

jesus christ.
 
2006-06-21 09:14:50 AM
Major Thomb: It's having millions of tourists that know nothing about it, seeing it sold in the stores, and thinking it's okay to go get some of their own.


Bingo.
 
2006-06-21 09:36:10 AM
He IS from Florida, you know...
 
2006-06-21 09:37:51 AM
Major Thomb: It's having millions of tourists that know nothing about it, seeing it sold in the stores, and thinking it's okay to go get some of their own.

Are you trying to say tourists are stupid?
 
2006-06-21 09:49:14 AM
Articles like this are so reactionary and ignorant. Some politician decides he doesn't like how something 'sounds', so he tries to ban it. If he bothered to examine the industry he would realize that most corals are harvested responsibly.

I don't think you're ever going to get away from taking stuff from the ocean. I'd say that reef hobbyists are more involved with conservation.

There are wild aquacultured corals available. Hobbyists should try and buy the common corals from an aquacultured source. Stuff like leathers, xenia, zoas, most softies in fact are probably the most common corals I've seen in other reefer's tanks. Those grow like crazy in captivity and there's no need to get that from the ocean.

However, some bio-diversity is important for the aquarium. It helps with de-nitrification and nutrient export. Taking base rock and seeding it with some live rock is unlikely to ever produce much in the way of micro-fauna and flora.

Live rock is a newable resource. Check out 'Reef Invertibrates' by Bob Fenner and Anthony Calfo for more information.

I saw Anthony Calfo (a big name in the reef industry) speak a few months ago and he was excellent. He says the reef industry is going to explode in the coming years. He's promoting that every hobbyist sell frags to wholesalers to minimize the impact on the reef. At no point does he ever say that responsible coral collection should stop. The key there is responsible.

In my tank, I'd say that about 70% of my coral is from frags. I only have about 6 or 7 pieces that are from the ocean. I've had pretty good luck so far. I've only lost 3 pieces in the last 10 months of running my tank. The pieces I've lost were all frags and came from sheer inexperience. I've learned a lot in those 10 months and I haven't lost a piece in quite a while now.

Heck, I bought some frags off another guy in my area and I mentioned I liked a piece of bird's nest coral he had. He broke me off a tiny 1/2" piece of it and gave it to me. I took it home, glued it to a rock and a month later it's doing quite well. It's grown to about 3/4" and is starting to branch. If you're a hobbyist, try to find others in your area. It's cheaper and you'll help save the reef. With all the bleaching that's going on in reefs, our tanks may be the only place that we'll be able to easily see reefs.
 
2006-06-21 09:54:47 AM
Taking base rock and seeding it with some live rock is unlikely to ever produce much in the way of micro-fauna and flora.

That's just completely wrong. It all depends on what you seed it with.
 
2006-06-21 09:58:03 AM
I don't really understand why people want dead coral anyway. However if you look in this years Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel catalogs I guess dead coral is the "in" thing to decorate with this year.

While I am all for conservation, it also annoys me when people propogate myths about coral. I was just at a public aquarium and the tour guide was explaining that if coral is touched or broken it DIES IMMEDIATELY!!! I touch my coral all the time and it does not die. I also take knives, pliers, and even a dremel to it to cut it up and it lives just fine (in fact this propagates it faster). Most of it also grows fairly quickly, yes it takes a long time to grow miles of it, but it does grow.

Those of you saying that live coral sold in stores is not taken from the natural reefs are SORELY MISTAKEN! Even many "aquacultured" corals are taken from the natural reefs. Companies in the Pacific harvest huge pieces of coral, cut them up into tiny pieces, let them grow out for a couple months and then sell those as "aquacultured". Unless you are buying 3rd gen. frags from a friends tank, they are probably collected from natural reefs.
 
2006-06-21 09:58:40 AM
judasdiomedes
how about we stop destroying to coral, no matter where it lives? huh? how about that? jesus christ.
How about you catch up to the comments and hear what people are saying before you ask a question they've been answering for 40 posts? huh? how about that? lord xenu.
 
2006-06-21 10:02:54 AM
MayoBoy

Taking base rock and seeding it with some live rock is unlikely to ever produce much in the way of micro-fauna and flora.

That's just completely wrong. It all depends on what you seed it with.


I was typing fast. I meant to say 'as much biodiversity as live rock'. Dead rock is just that, dead. You need live rock, and lots of it to seed your dead rock.

I've read as little as 60% live rock to 40% dead rock. I've also seen as high as 80% live to 20% dead.
 
2006-06-21 10:02:58 AM
I live and dive in the Florida Keys. While its cool to be able to get a piece of coral at stores, it gives people the idea that they shouldn't have to pay for it when they can just go snorkeling or diving and take a piece. The sale of coral shouldn't be banned if its done responsibly, but dive shops should learn how to educate their customers before letting them on the reefs. The reefs here are some of the best in the world, and I'd hate to see them destroyed.

/wishes the tourists would try to take fire coral
 
2006-06-21 10:16:04 AM
LunerEclipse618:

That is probably the best way to keep tourists from bothering it is to tell them that many of them can pack a powerful sting. Which is true, so it isn't annoying like the "if you touch it, it will DIE!!!" line that is so commonly used.

I personally don't care if they ban it. I don't really like that people think of coral as a stone decoration. It also ticks me off when I see a large skeleton selling for $50 that if it were alive would be sold for 10x as much.

It is always fun to see peoples reaction when they (who have only ever seen the dead stuff in stores and fake stuff in public aquariums) takes a close look at the hundreds of polyps of an SPS coral.
 
2006-06-21 10:17:32 AM
Major Thomb: The point the guy is trying to make is not where the coral comes from. It's having millions of tourists that know nothing about it, seeing it sold in the stores, and thinking it's okay to go get some of their own.

Thank you for pointing out what should have been obvious.

/new diver
//1.5 years
///25 dives
////first pacific dive in 7 days,yay
//fan of jamaica, free diving at the resorts
 
2006-06-21 10:21:43 AM
jerf

Sorry, if I came across as an assbag - wasn't my intention.

My current tank started with over 100 lbs of base rock (holey limestone) and about 10 lbs of Fiji. I also added 10 lbs of "tank bottom crud" from Premium Aquatics to the 'fuge. It took a couple of months until everything was covered in coraline. I also have tons of bristle worms, spaghetti worms, conchs, stomatellas, etc. My nitrates come in at 0 and everything is thriving.

There are as many ideas as there are reefers so don't take everything you read as gospel.
 
BHK
2006-06-21 10:22:14 AM
Hooray for our social engineers! I hope you will all keep them warmly in your hearts on the coming Independence Day.
 
2006-06-21 10:24:17 AM
Fire coral hurts like hell, but zoas can kill. Make sure you wash your hands after handling them.
 
2006-06-21 10:35:41 AM
I'd like to outlaw corals all together. Damn things are ugly.

//Torpedoing begins in 5 minutes
 
2006-06-21 10:38:07 AM
MayoBoy

No offence taken.

There are as many ideas as there are reefers so don't take everything you read as gospel.

Absolutly, I was just reporting one of the things I've read in the past. It's what makes the hobby so interesting. I love going to see other's tanks and how they have things set up. It's often so different from mine and I always learn something new.

However, I think there's is a formula for success. I realize there are people who haven't changed their water in 10 years and don't run a skimmer, but have beautiful SPS tanks. That's certainly not the case for most people (and definitly not my experience), but you're right, that formula is not a gospel. Your tank is unique and what works for you isn't right for someone else.

I have a mix of dead rock and live myself. I had a 50/50 split for the longest time and then I found a guy selling off his live rock for $1/pound. I jumped all over that (most live rock sells for $6-7/lb here) and my tank has been doing much better since. I got a whole load of critters and some small corals with the rock. I just noticed some smallish sponges starting to grow on the rock.

Would love to see some pictures of your tank if you've got 'em.
 
2006-06-21 11:21:56 AM
No one has mentioned the areas that the coastal states 'rent out' so that people can 'aqua culture' live rock and coral.
They do have designated areas where you can either dump in fake or base rock (fake being made of a concrete type mixture) or simply farm the area you rent..

This activity was especially prevalent before the major hurricanes of the last 5 years or so (apparently.. I just read these things cause I keep several reef tanks, all prop'd with frags and 'fake' live rock).

While I know humans are a scourge upon nature... I think the overall decline of the coral reefs is only in part our fault - Tidal changes and water temp etc have alot to do with the die offs, as well as certain bacteria.
Do we help? No of course not, we are 'man'.
Would this die off happen if we didn't exist? Probably happens all the time in the grand scheme of a planet such as ours.

I mean.. I don't see many dinosaurs roaming around these days, and we sure as hell didn't have anything to do with that...right?
 
2006-06-21 11:30:40 AM
C'mon Feron... everyone knows George Bush killed the dinosaurs when he drilled Pangea for oil!

Geez, don't you read the news?
 
2006-06-21 01:00:14 PM
Poon the Tang wants his glass cleaned.

(100% aquacultured frag grown reef)

www.synthetic.org
 
2006-06-21 01:58:07 PM
nice zoo farm you have there djtodd ;)
 
2006-06-21 02:02:43 PM
djtodd

I recognize your nickname from AP. Tank looks good - Got any frags? :)
 
2006-06-21 02:50:18 PM
As iterated earlier, the point of banning dead coral sales( no matter where it comes from) is to discourage Ohio Joe Tourist and his ham fisted kids from ripping up every living critter they see when they go snorkeling the first time in a tropic ocean. Do I think tourists are stupid? In general, yes! Despite years of Discovery channel programs and classroom modules on "Our Fragile Oceans", I daily see northern tourists disturbing, picking up, and trying to keep all manner of sea creatures from our protected shallows; sea stars, sea whips, snails, coral boulders, bivalves,sand dollars, anything they can grab. The real shame comes when they hide their treasures in their suitcases and fly home. The stink of dead sea creatures greets them when they open up a few days later and promptly throw away their treasures. This also, despite the fact that most Caribbean counties (like mine) are signatories to the CITES convention that does not allow the exportation of any corals, hard or soft, live or dead, except for research.

(Another concern is that dead coral frags from the rubble zone behind a reef actually do serve an important purpose in the overall health of a littoral system. That rubble, tumbled and broken down by wave action, is a major component of the sand for the back reef areas and ultimately beaches. Too much mining of that area ultimately will starve inshore areas and beaches of the sand they need to remain viable habitats.)

A good example of this kind of total ban working is the early 90's ban on the trade in all turtle products. Since that ban was instituted, eliminating the market, most turtle populations have stabilized or recovered a bit.

As to those huge chunks from the Pacific that get sold as decorative pieces, it's likely that most specimen coral in the Pacific is collected illegally, often with dynamite.

Aquarists in North America are doing a splendid job of raising corals and their commitment to breeding for more specimens is admirable. Often, the knowledge gained from this kind of small scale research leads to big breaks in conservation and habitat restoration.

/kept tanks of native freshwater fish as a kid, minnows, killifish, darters, pickerels, sunfish. Learned a lot.
 
2006-06-21 03:15:44 PM
thiscantbeit ...and thats just the left side of the tank. Maybe 1/4 of whats in there.

jerf Yup. Tis I. I'll probably start fragging some of them next year after it's really overgrown.
 
2006-06-21 03:17:55 PM
As iterated earlier, the point of banning dead coral sales( no matter where it comes from) is to discourage Ohio Joe Tourist and his ham fisted kids from ripping up every living critter they see when they go snorkeling the first time in a tropic ocean.

The article doesn't say anything about dead coral. It just says 'coral' which includes the live stuff that a hobbyist would collect.

it's likely that most specimen coral in the Pacific is collected illegally, often with dynamite.

I think that's a gross overstatement. I agree that practice is still done, but I disagree with the term 'most'.

I'm sure that destructive collection is done in countries that don't allow collection. If there were regulations, then I think people would be more responsible on how they're collecting.
 
2006-06-21 04:18:01 PM
As someone who used to have a reef fish tank, clearly these people are not informed. Aside from the fact that most corals come from the pacific ocean, corals can be propagated from captive raised corals. It's not even that difficult to find someone over the net who is will to trade a frag of one coral for another. Additionally if you do your research you can find corals that a farmed.

- Mr. GQ -
 
2006-06-21 04:28:42 PM
'...most of the stuff sold in shops is from the Pacific..'

implies that the article is about the chunks of dead white coral sold in the tourist shell shops from Key Largo all the way down to Cayo Hueso. Indeed, 95% of the shells sold in these joints are from the Pacific, too, mostly the Phillipines and Indonesia. There are very few aquarium shops in the Keys outside of Key West, and live coral is probably not a big seller to the tourist trade. I'm sure the commissioner is referring to the 'shell shop' trade.

A ban on coral sales would probably make exceptions for the live coral aquarium trade. Live imports are already regulated and the domestic coral growers and traders seem to be doing a good job in regulating themselves. If you're involved in the live trade, it might be worth your while to give the Commissioner your input. As you've seen in a few of the earlier responses, Keys inhabitants and divers seem to agree with a ban on sales.
 
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