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Related FAQs: Sources of Reef Mortality, Marine Mortality 2, Cyanide and Marine Livestock Collection,

Skip Down to Parts I, II, IV

Related Articles: Use of Marine Life as OrnamentalsCyanide Use,

/The Conscientious Aquarist Series:

Sources of Mortality on the Worlds Reefs, An Aquarist's Perspective



By Bob Fenner


Rate limiting materials like phosphates and nitrates being released into coastal environments can/do cause algal blooms, collapses of communities. Here is an image looking toward Viti Levu, with the brownish stain towards land the effect of burning, processing sugar cane (subsidized... largest employer, largest income source in Fiji). Walt Smith Intl., located on the water, actually trucks in, filters and chills the water they use to hold, ship their marine livestock.
Oils, fuels are bad news on the worlds reefs. Occasionally (as in geological time spans) there are "natural leaks"... most are from human activity. Military surface ships, merchant marines, pleasure craft all "contribute" substantially.
The top four inches of the seas is indeed a magical place. Early histories of all living phyla are spent here... And many along shorelines where jet-drives are employed, mainly as pleasure craft ("Sea Doos"). The frappeeing that occurs as a consequence is tremendously destructive. Killing most everything that passes through these drives. Additionally the motors that drive these devices and outboards of  two stroke design are dismally inefficient, pumping fuel into the water.

Am proud of local gov't for disallowing the jet-drive annual event in SD... for the calculation of several thousands of gallons of gas it would have dumped into Mission Bay.

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What is "the highest and best use" of live corals? To make into cement? Rubble for roads? To cut into blocks or use as entire pieces for building materials? Much ore money to be made by carefully culling/removing small specimens, selling to richer nations peoples... protecting the reefs for later, continuous use.
The cheapest source of hydrated calcium silicates in many tropical island nations is sadly coral reefs. Perhaps people angling to improve the world's reefs could send these countries cement?
The lovely Di (or at least her feet) on a "rubble road" in Indonesia... made of smashed up coral... replaced every few years.
Some examples of coral block, pieces, whole organisms used for building materials... Mortar made from?
I suspect I could make you cry by showing some of the pictures I have of corals destroyed from anchors being dragged over reefs.
Modern fishing gear "keeps fishing" when lost or discarded in the seas... Please, if you find such gear on the bottom, haul it up, see that it makes its way to a landfill or fire.
Discounting the incidental damage of divers touching, kicking, generally beating on the reefs, getting and staying at dive resorts, on live-aboards does take its toll.
What is this illegal (in California) greenery? The evil marijuana? Don't be a criminal, or at the very least, don't be an idiot and release anything live to an environment it is not naturally found in. Here are some members of the dreaded family Caulerpaceae... Wonder if civil servants released that bit in San Diego?

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