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Input about the WCMC Report: Global Trade in Coral

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Re: mortality in the coral trade Hi, Well... You seem to have detailled info about all of this :-)) I'm interested in info about shipping technics used and related mortality, by country which exports fish and corals. Also by trends and quantities by species (fish and corals) for the past 10 years. My interest is more an overall one, and the goal is to be able to show figures to people and then may be to influence them to act differently... Source of mortality is very interesting to !! Actually, i'd love every thing ;-))) Thanks a lot. Best Fabrice POIRAUD-LAMBERT >> <Hmm, not so sure how to proceed here. Do you want to pursue what data I can scrounge up about the above, or, better, do you have the time to haul out to the sites and help gather the information first hand? Might I ask what it is you want to use it for? For example, are you just looking for the best organisms to import, culture, ship... currently? Do you seek points of contact with the industry? Are you an academic? How much time, how useful will older data be to you?  Bob Fenner

Re: mortality in the coral trade Hi, Well, looks like you need more info about me ;-))) I'm a Reef Aquarist, a Diver, and the owner of the most population Web site in French about Reef Aquaria. My interest is reef protection and Aquarists (hobbists and Professionals) education. So, What I'm looking for is info that I could sum up in order to : - explain to aquarists that the animals they are buying and housing are very special and in danger, and that they really need to take care and sometimes accept to pay more to ensure that animals will arrive alive (better shipping, better collecting, etc...) - explain to Pro. that they share a part of the responsibility when animals are dying - raise awarness about theses subjects Is that more clear for you ? Best Regards Fabrice  >> Yes, and am in the process of putting together just such a popular piece for presentation: "Sources of Mortality on the World's Reefs" or such title. Will gladly send you a copy when finished. Bob Fenner

mortality in the coral trade Sender: owner-coral-list@coral.aoml.noaa.gov Hi to all from the Red Sea in Israel regarding coral trade, does anyone know/have any info on the percent of corals (out of the total harvested) that die during the transport (from harvesting site to the "shipping", storage or warehouse site) stage ? death due to desiccation, mis handling etc... Thanks Winters Gidon Inter University Institute, Eilat (the Red Sea) Israel >> >> Numbers are highly variable (regionally-further/longer haul times, seasonally-warmer months higher, supplier/vendor rating-A,B,other...) and though not entirely anecdotal, a matter of propriety (i.e. industry secrets). Of the "A" players (QM in L.A., SDC in L.A., TMC in the UK, WSI out of Fiji, and few others) the landed mortality ("rules" vary in the trade for claims), averages something around 10% (historical survivability within three days being the reciprocal...) with a std. dev. of 6% or so...  For "B" enterprises these numbers are much higher (but unknown quantitatively to me, associates, perhaps to all)... but I would hazard a guess at easily twice the number lost and much higher than twice the dev.  Lastly, the "other" category of small time transshippers, wholesaler/jobbers and direct importers/break-pack retailers and "hobby farms" trying to be businesses, incidental mortality and variability are highest... with probably half of all new arrivals DOA within three days and a 30 some % variability in the apparent quality of shipments. Related (albeit once again anecdotal) information should be volunteered re the preponderance of business (pieces, mass of organisms traded) by these respective "scored" business types (i.e. A,B,C). The vast majority (I'd hazard 80%) of what the trade considers "corals" (scleractinians, alcyonaceans, gorgonians, zoanthids, corallimorphs, some "hard" hydrozoans... but not actinarians), make their way through the hands of the secondary ("B") distributors... an artifact of current disposition by consumers (i.e. an economic expedient).  Much more on the latter, or any aspect of the ornamental trade on/off line if the list is interested in my input. Bob/Robert Fenner, a person in the business (as a "consultant" and content provider nowadays) for many years.

Re: mortality in the coral trade Dear Bob, Thanks for you insightful info. I don't know wether the list does, but I certainly  would be interested in some more details. How are these corals shipped? <In doubled, trebled 2-4 mil polyethylene bags that have been assembled one into the other at oblique angles to take out corners (So the organism doesn't get pinched). Ofttimes with a piece of heavier material or folded newspaper between bags (to absorb water, prevent puncture). With just enough water to cover the specimen (to save on shipping weight, the single largest cost... often more than the livestock). With the bag filled with oxygen (yes, even for photosynthesizing organisms... they'll be in the dark for the duration of transit). And sealed with either a clip (from a machine) or rubber bands... These bags packed in a styrofoam liner or box, and this in turn placed in a cardboard one and tape-sealed.> Which method of shipping is most effective in getting corals across alive? <The above, PLUS timely processing, moving of cans (airline containers) and expedient, knowledgeable handling on the intermediates (if any) and end users' parts> What amounts are being shipped? <According to the WCMC report (1999) about 600 tons of corals per year in 1997, and trending up... My review of this paper you can find on our site: Home Page . I am of the opinion that the CITES report data that these quesstimates are based on are badly flawed... much double and more counting from country to country processing, and too much "live rock" being counted as scleractinians... The actual number of pounds of live coral is about an order of magnitude less. In 1997 let's say, 60 tons maximum. BTW, know of, have visited all the locations in Fiji, the ones that used to be in the Solomons, many places in Indonesia (on Bali and Java) and Vietnam's live coral collection businesses... and know about how much business they do. This is how I know the above estimate to be spurious.> Are the A,B,C categories an official rating of traders / importers or is this  your seperation of good and bad guys? <This is an arbitrary "within" industry designation. "A" businesses have facilities for holding, processing, hardening livestock ahead of shipping... and are considered honest and competent in the field. "B" players lack such facilities, and simply remove/extract organisms and ship them (quickly)... these are often transshippers in the trade. "C" players are "break packers" that generally sell their merchandise ahead of time, bring it into a site and "break up" the larger order and re-ship it to stores, end-users... or they may be stores, hobby farmers, even hobbyists.> Is there any estimate of the amount of illegal trade / smuggling? <Don't know of any smuggling or any reason for same... All organisms in this group are Appendix II CITES... and only folks who are "in the business" would know how to expertly handle them... Maybe there are individuals who take a piece home from going on holiday to the tropics, but I am not acquainted with how many pieces, pounds, or volume of life they represent. > Personal questions not for the list: Assuming that my idea to farm corals in a sustainable manner in captivity  (hence no wild corals) works out in a few years, who would be the best  people to contact as importers? <You mean to sell to them? There are industry periodicals that have annual "Buyer's Guides" that list most all the persons, company's in the trade. To buy from them? About the same procedure, but better to make contact through folks like myself, and actually go visit their facilities.> Would you be interested to buy those corals? <No, we have a small (4k gallons) frag farm here, and culture a few thousand pieces a year for the local market... but it is none of my income (but a friend who lives here in San Diego, CA), and have no need for wild stocks or mixing in others cultured material. Thank you for the offer though.> Would importers be interested? <Perhaps. Chris at Quality Marine was just asking about this issue a few days back. I will cc him on this msg.> Would it be possible to organise the trade and distribution through "A players"? <It's been tried and is an ongoing debate/plan by the MAC under Paul Holthus... I will cc WSI/Walt Smith and ask him to respond to you, send your queries further.> Set up some quality label or something? <Very good ideas.> Best wishes, GJ. >> <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

WetWebMedia and an opportunity to serve ICLARM Dear Dr. Bob Fenner,  I am a researcher for the ReefBase Project of the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), and currently working on gathering information on mariculture related to coral reefs. In line with our project, a Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network has now been set up around the world, with ReefBase as its central database. In our effort to update/enrich information pertinent to coral reef management, we continue to seek contributions of data to input in the database.  As I was surfing the internet for related information I came across your site. I was wondering if you have any information whether the species mentioned in the web were cultured in a coral reef area, as my research involves mariculture activities conducted within a coral reef area. If you have any, may I request for helpful details so that I can cite them in the database we are working on.  Perhaps you could send me a copy of a paper/report which I could use as a reference. You might be wondering what details I'll be needing, thus, here are some guide: 1) The coral reef site (specific location or what type of reef zone)on which mariculture is being practiced (reef slope, crest, flat,lagoon, etc.). 2) The species being cultured. 3) What form of aquaculture method is being used (cages, hatchery,ocean grow-out, etc.). 4) Depth at which mariculture activity is being done. 5) Who is conducting the activity (government, scientific institutions, etc.) 6) Growth rate, production rate, survival rate (if available). 7) Purpose of activity (experimental, commercial, etc.)  What we want to do is to take into account, as much as we can, all mariculture activities that is being done within a coral reef area. In doing so, we are actually indicating the importance and benefits derived from coral reefs. Likewise, we want to provide a good picture of how mariculture activities are spread all over the continent. This effort is an attempt to somehow give a complete representation of the world's coral reefs. You can rest assured that your contributions will be cited accordingly. Thank you very much in anticipation to your favorable response. Sincerely,  Anna Blesilda >> <I will gladly help you and assist ICLARM in whatever way I'm able. What you refer to above in your questions, would that be fin fish, invertebrates, algae or all/some? A familiar with operations for all in various places around the world for commercial ornamental (pet fish, aquarium) purposes.  Bob Fenner>

Military ships. Greetings from Guam, Hi Mr. Fenner, my name is Dave young I am a proud 20 year member of the US Navy and a reef hobbiest. I read a letter in FAMA that was written by you and it disturbed me a little. You state oil discharge from military ships (I think you said defense) as a reef destroyer. I do not deny the fact that in the past Navy ships have been quite bad, but as of sometime now our record has improved greatly. We do no throw trash at sea anymore we hold it onboard until we hit port and we do not pump oily waste over the side unless we are way out from the reefs and there is no avoiding it. I enjoy your articles but havent got the book yet,(its on my wish list) I think you are maybe mislead a little on the Navy. Thank you, Dave Young  >> No... am a twenty five year Navy dependent (dad a lifer, DCCM...) and close watcher at what is going on in my field...  My point is/was not just the U.S. Navy, nor only defense, but ships of all types are more of a menace to the world, including it's shallow water marine environments than the tropical fish/ornamental aquatics business.... Not to state that these are even the trouble however, that siltation from agricultural, grading practices on land... sewage outfalls... industrial waste... I won't go on, actually are. My point is that the pet industry takes a lot of misguided heat for "damaging the reef" out of proportion of other sources of mortality... And though some of the U.S. Nav's surface ships "host" more than 5,6k personnel... they are better at processing, venting, otherwise disposing their own made wastes... then ever before. Bob Fenner, who wishes he was enjoying this discussion in person with you in Guam, after we had gotten in a couple of dives.

Re: Military ships. Bob, Yes you are right. Siltation from runoff, industry...............are the big bad guys. Unfortunately we are the easy target to hit. I get a little defensive due to my own 20 year quest to make sure my work center is clean. Thanks for the reply David Young ENC(SW) If you are ever in guam I have a couch for ya. and plenty of dive sights to go. >> And thank you for the input, and even-headed approach to topics... And do keep that couch aready... You never know when I'll be in the area... Wife and I are out to the Maldives on Thurs... Can't wait. Bob Fenner

Bob, Hi, I'm the NIU student who wrote you a couple days ago. The report from the UK, I don't think I can do that because I will not get it quick enough. My rough is due on tuesday. If you know any marine biologists or yourself as well whom would love to help, I could have a little cyber or phone interview. The phone interview I think I would have to tape though, so email or whatever would be easier. I need official refences and experts would be awseme. Other than that right now I an at a loss for what to do about refences. I mean I need books or something on a website or reviews I can get access to or interviews in which I could hand in a copy.  <My review of this paper, The World Trade in Coral, IS posted on the wetwebmedia.com site...> Again the question was: do saltwater aquariums(meaning the hobby) play a significant role in the destruction of coral reefs?  <No, IMO, never proven to... pales in comparison to sources of mortality from sewage, grading of land masses, other agricultural practices, coral extraction to make cement, errant anchoring....> Do you believe coral to be a pratical renewable resource where as it is not a problem?  <They (scleractinians) were here before us, and will be here after us> Does the effects of it being a worldwide hobby compare at all to the other destructive forces on coral reefs such as fishermen using cyanide or blast fishing, tourism industry, anchors and weather? Do you have a stand on this?  <Yes, as does the cited "paper"... the ornamental trade (curio and pet-fish) is puny in its negative influence> If you know of any experts who would like to take a little interview, please please get back to me a.s.a.p. I cut this time limit a little too short, but I am an awseme writer so I can do that part fast. <I'll bet... Please ask Walt Smith to give you an e-audience, his addr. above, and to refer you in turn to folks who can help... You need to have much more time to do this jjob right... > Again thanks so much, I do appreciate it. Meghan Jones >> Bob Fenner

New Coral Collection/Trade/Cites Publication An excellent new review publication on these subjects is: "The Global Trade in Coral" pp. 70 Ed Green and Francis Shirley 1999 World Conservation Monitoring Centre 219 Huntingdon Rd. Cambridge CB3 ODL UK Fax: +1223-277136 Email: Edmund Green <edg@wcmc.org.uk> Also includes citations of quantitative studies and fisheries stock assessments of coral harvesting in Hawaii and the Philippines e.g.: Ross, M. 1984. A quantitative study of the stony coral fishery in Cebu, Philippines. Marine Ecology 5(1):75-91. Grigg, R.W. 1984. Resource Management of Precious Corals: A review and application to shallow water reef building corals. Marine Ecology 5(1)57-74. But they seem to have missed helpful publications such as: Wells, S., P. Holthus, J. Maragos. 1994. Environmental guidelines for coral harvesting operations. SPREP Studies Series No. 75. P.O. Box 240 Apia, Samoa Stoney coral harvesting on Oahu. 1978. R.E. Johannes. HIMB Tech Report (available from Hawaii Inst. Mar. Biology Library) -- Gregor Hodgson, PhD Coordinator, Reef Check Global Survey Program >> This work is my prima facie example of "how to lie with statistics" in modern times... If you feel so inclined, please find my published (albeit in the popular press), review of this "paper" at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: New Coral Collection/Trade/Cites Publication Date: 2/23/00 10:47:55 PM Pacific Standard Time From: gregorh@pacific.net.hk (Gregor Hodgson) To: BobFenner@aol.com File: CORALBOO.doc (184320 bytes) DL Time (TCP/IP): < 1 minute Hi Bob, Thanks for alerting me to your nice site and the review of this paper. If you have not done so already, I would encourage you to publicize your review of the paper on the coral list server with a more complete citation of the location website and a slightly less critical statement to accompany it: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WCMCRepRev.htm The reason I forwarded the citation is because I keep watching busy people reinvent the wheel and ignore the literature that is out there. After reading the paper, I also disagreed with many of it's conclusions (they distorted the conclusions of others on coral harvesting), however I came to a similar conclusion to you, that "there is no better source of information or assessment currently (available)" and while I have not been closely following this debate, I thought that others might benefit by reading it. For your info, I am one of those practical marine ecologists who feels that coral reefs are renewable resources, and if we don't use that value to figure out how to feed the "masses" then we are missing the boat. I was a US Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and Mike Ross was my partner. We both fought strongly against the coral export ban from the Philippines, but the academics won. The main point of Ross and Grigg's work was to show that both theoretically and in the field, stoney coral harvesting had no significant impact. As usual, the problem comes down to the management of the industry. I like what Paul Holthus and MAC are doing. I think that the future is going to be in aquaculture of all these animals and that will end the debate. Are you related to Doug Fenner? If you would like, please add a link to our Reef Check site to your site. You might also enjoy my chapter in Life and Death on Coral Reefs, where I discuss this need to allow and manage some level of resource extraction. Hodgson, G. (1997). Resource use: conflicts and management solutions. Chapter 17, p 386-410. In: C. Birkeland (ed) Life and Death of Coral Reefs, Chapman and Hall, New York, USA. Cheers, Greg >> Outstanding response to my input. And thank you for your worthy suggestion. No relation to Doug Fenner (directly), down under, but have "spoken" with him regarding the coincidence of appellation. Will ask my friend, fellow web-siter Mike Kaechele to add your link to our "jump" area... on our site (www.wetwebmedia.com). And will post the "review" written for pet-fish/ornamental aquatics purposes to the listserv here at your prompting... Lastly, thank you for your involvement here, and in the broader sphere of resource management, education and inspiration... Will check out the citation above. Bob Fenner

> << Subj: Global Trade in Coral > Dear Bob > Thank you for posting the url to your review of the trade report, and for > your personnal perspective on it. > Obviously there is much in the details over we would disagree to no clear > conclusion. > <Let's' hash these out... if ever there was a forum... this certainly appears > to be it currently... Ivory tower, civil servants, folks hoping to join them, > hobbyists, culturists, extractors, folks with a parochial interest... What > don't we agree on?> > > However I would reply to your review with a comment which applies not only to > the coral report, but to the subject of information on the aquarium trade as > a whole. It is the lack of quantitative data, or analyses based on > quantitative data, on aspects of the marine ornamental trade which means that > opinion is directed more by guesswork than fact. > > If this eventually materialises in unnecessarily strigent restrictions on the > trade, and there appear to be many who believe that management authorities > are moving in this direction, then it would be to the detriment of the > hobbyists and collectors' livelihoods alike. I would illustrate this with two > criticisms which you levy at the coral trade report. > > 1. "These establishments [Quality Marine in the U.S. and Tropical Marine > Centre in the U.K] are inarguably the best of their kind, and receive much > better, larger livestock than the vast majority of marine livestock > wholesalers" - well if so how much smaller are the items received by lesser > traders? Until a similar number of corals are measured from other sources I > will stand by our measurements as being representative. > <Easily half to two-thirds less in weight and displacement... Order the > organisms yourself under a DBA and you'll discover this to be so... I have > spent the last 34 years in the ornamental aquatics trade... I will gladly > take you about (the InterZoo in May could open your eyes immediately... > www.interzoo.com> > > 2. "The calculated export value of live stony corals at $5 million U.S. for > all collecting countries is fallacious. Within the scope of even just my > travels to these countries and their collecting stations I assure you this > number is way too low". - well if so, what is the value of of the exports? We > present one way of calculating it, how would you calculate the value > differently? > <Probably an order of magnitude greater than this value... I know this to be > so not simply from inference (the number of tons, pieces back-figured times > the going rates per piece...) There are some suppliers that alone ship more > than this dollar equivalent... at the local level of income...> > > In summary one should not base global assessments of issues such as this on > personal opinion. > <Sir, we are not delving in speculation here... simple fact> > > I am quite prepared to compare our methods and conclusions against different > approaches but think that such comparison only stands up when the alternative > is also based on sound quantitative data. > > Thanks,  Ed. > Dr. Edmund Green > Head, Marine and Coastal Programme > World Conservation Monitoring Centre > 219 Huntingdon Road > Cambridge > CB3 0DL > United Kingdom >> > http://www.wcmc.org.uk/marine > >> > <And I am agreeable to any further discourse on this subject, a review of > methodologies... and introducing you to my trade, in earnest. > Sir, > Robert (Bob) Fenner> -- Gregor Hodgson, PhD Coordinator, Reef Check Global Survey Program

Global Trade in Coral Bob, Ed Green is a good guy and a very straight shooter -- this doesn't mean that he doesn't have an agenda. We all do. He is trying to help bring attention to the problems facing coral reefs. If things get worse, the regulations on aquarium trade will be tighter and folks like you will suffer. By working with people like Ed and Paul Holthus, it could help you a lot because they have a lot of credibility. I think Ed is just telling you that he understands that the numbers may be off, but they were all that were available, this was a first attempt, and he would like to see some factual evidence of other numbers that support your claims rather than just your opinion before he changes his tune. <And I appreciate your input, and understand the implications here. As an industry person, human, scientist as well. I in turn, only wish to make known what needs to be... and gladly offer, and have done so to Paul Holthus/MAC any/all assistance I might avail them (free use of images, articles, book sections...) that might aid in the collection of only the most suitable species, best methods for their capture, holding, shipping and general husbandry...> I'm sure he would be happy to admit he was wrong if you can show him the evidence. Try to lower your "dukes" and work with the guy. It will be to your advantage. Regards, Greg <Again, thank you... Find a little "drama" stimulating in these regards... But am jjustifiably defensive in the ever-diffident finger pointed at the "non science" parts of the human experience... May I ask you, why isn't it these same "public servants" (for the most part) don't come forward with revelations as to their "employers" as the principal root causes of habitat destruction? E.g., is it too personally painful to admit that oil, trash, human wastes vented from "military" sources, errant anchoring, cruise ship accidents and practices, recreational diving, two-stroke outboard use, jet boat blending of the uppermost water column, coral-making of cements/hydrated calcium silicates, dwarf "pet-fish" influences in reef destruction? Are the "curio and ornamental" coral trades just too easy, too visible a target/smokescreen for bureaucrats and administrator/scientists? Perhaps a slightly more humorous/humourous tack at outlawing scarids on reefs would be a better use of my time? I can see (and supply the images for) the poster now! Be chatting, Bob Fenner, who suspects he is, indeed, in the "same corner" as "you" folks. Re: Global Trade in Coral Bob, Again, I think you would find that if you sat down with Ed Green, that you and he would agree on all of this and probably a lot of other stuff as well. <Ah good, I embrace your friendship, and all's comradery in these fields, and the human experience>  The problem is that ALL these impacts are cumulative. No one has investigated the aquarium trade yet on a global basis in any detail. We've just had glimpses of bits and pieces of the puzzle. Where people have looked they have noted e.g. in Hawaii, that it can lead to some problems where you have people harvesting a lot of animals from one small area. The advent of the internet and bulk sales will increase the growth of the business. The point is, how to achieve what Charles is talking about -- allow people to have pet marine animals for amusement and education in their homes, without damaging the source environment. <Agree with most of your above statements... but would add, emphasize that disallowing the public exposure to the resource, its contents albeit mainly for ornamental purposes, is detrimental to "source environment"... perhaps more than some calculated extraction, collateral damage... These same folks pay for the research, enforcement... development of these same resources... To paraphrase (poorly) Phil Slater's "Pursuit of Loneliness", the toilet assumption, "out of sight, out of mind"... Jacques Cousteau and the pet-fish industry... have done more to "save the marine environments" than all "science, governmental administration..." combined...> Its not an either/or question. By working with commited, well-meaning, smart folks like Ed Green, who do have credibility with regulators, you will do the industry a favor. Why not go back to him and suggest that you work on a paper together and help him to get the best info available? <Agreed. Don't know what I can offer Mr. Green that I haven't offered... Am not an academician, but a popularizer- writer, photographer... friendly assistant to folks in the trade, public aquariums, culture facilities... more of an applicator than a scientist... But vouchsafe, pledge to help in what ways I can. Introduce folks, gather specimens, endeavor to aid in ending nefarious practices when/where they're discovered...> BTW -- he is not connected with government. WCMC is a starving NGO and although Ed has a PhD I am sure his salary is lower than yours although you both work equally hard. <Don't have a salary myself... income from selling images, writing, investments from many years savings... Give "talks" to hobby, business, scientific groups about once a month... for free... And salute Mr. Green and your efforts> BTW -- one of the major results of Reef Check has been to show that our previous ideas about the effects of pollution on reefs were wrong. Most of the world's coral reefs are not near cities. Pollution problems are restricted to narrow bands of mixing zones. What Reef Check demonstrated was that at most of the best reefs in the world, the high-priced food fish were simply gone. <Interesting, and anecdotally... valid> For those of us who grew up with Jacques Cousteau, and diving in these areas, we have seen this tremendous change. The "moving baseline" problem has been addressed by Jeremy Jackson and Charles Shepherd who suggest it is much greater than we suspect due to the short lifespan of humans. <Not surprising in retrospect, eh?> Regards, Greg >> And I again thank you, sir. Bob Fenner

off the list and off the record <E.g., is it too personally painful to admit that oil, trash, human wastes vented from "military" sources, errant anchoring, cruise ship accidents and practices, recreational diving, two-stroke outboard use, jet boat blending of the uppermost water column, coral-making of cements/hydrated calcium silicates, dwarf "pet-fish" influences in reef destruction?> You've got that straight, especially if your first line embraces consequences considerably more serious than injured pride. Sincerely, Bill >> Well stated, and recorded... and I do appreciate the input. Bob

RE: New Coral Collection/Trade/Cites Publication > Hi Bob, > Thanks for alerting me to your nice site and the review of this > paper. If > you have > not done so already, I would encourage you to publicize your > review of the > paper > on the coral list server with a more complete citation of the location > website and > a slightly less critical statement to accompany it: > http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WCMCRepRev.htm > > The reason I forwarded the citation is because I keep watching > busy people > reinvent the wheel and ignore the literature that is out there. After > reading the > paper, I also disagreed with many of it's conclusions (they distorted the > conclusions of others on coral harvesting), however I came to a similar > conclusion > to you, that "there is no better source of information or assessment > currently > (available)" and while I have not been closely following this debate, I > thought > that others might benefit by reading it. > Bob Interesting comments and agree (personally) with the 'busy people reinventing the wheel'. The report is published by a respected group and is based on genuine data rather than hot air. We do not have to agree with the conclusions, but the CITES data makes in invaluable. Let me know if you think that we should be doing more to get it out to people. Particularly Stateside. Daniel >> Indeed... this is exactly why I spent the big-bongo bucks buying the 30 copies from TMC... and have distributed them (largely for free) amongst parties I thought that should be interested, informed... Be chatting, Bob Fenner

Re: Global Trade in Coral I'm sure you know this Bob, but forwarding private emails to a public list is considered very poor net edicate, especially if you did not ask for permission to do so by the author. I'm not sure what agenda you are trying to promote by doing so, but this kind of behaviour only hampers your reputation. Respectfully, Charles  >> Charles, and I'm sure as a youth you had a look/see at Dante's "Infermi"... in terza rima? Let me refresh your memory re the critical point... the lowest ring of Hell is reserved for the worst sinners... guilty of hypocrisy.... Charles, I have had a call today (and yesterday at the news of Don.D's passing...yes) from Sue Steele (RCM/FAMA Art Editor... helping to clean up, carry on... of your sending "our" private e-mail re your insights into netiquette...?  What is this? Unbelievable...  Bob Fenner

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