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Do we really make a difference?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ZLTFUL, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. ZLTFUL

    ZLTFUL Well-Known ReefKeeper

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    So I was reading this article on CNN.com...
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/01/25/coral.year.ap/index.html
    And I got to thinking (Warning: Rambling thoughts ahead...).
    Do we really make a difference environmentally with our hobby?
    The more I thought about it, I had to say yes. But not in the positive way we would like to think when we tell ourselves that we are conserving a little piece of a slowly dieing ocean...
    Now, I have to stop right here. I am not into the hobby for the environment. I did not get my tank hoping to save the world or anything even remotely like that. I am not an evironmentalist. I just enjoy the outdoors. I got my tank because it was very interesting and pretty cool to watch. And it was shiny with lots of colors.
    Back to my thoughts...I can't help but think WE are the single biggest threat to the environment we claim to want to save.
    The first thing that comes to mind is the Bangaii Cardinal fish which is now "Endangered". The reason it is endangered? Overfishing for the marine hobby. Seems like a conundrum to me. I respect those who are trying to raise and breed rare livestock in their home or business environments. But is this really doing anything to perpetuate the oceans? It isn't like the folks who breed livestock captivly are doing it to release them back into the oceans. They are doing it to either make money or to satisfy their own personal desires wether they be sincere or benign.
    Anyway, I was just thinking to myself and this seemed like a good place to let my thought process be shared with others...
    Discuss...
    Ryan
     
  2. seanndenise1

    seanndenise1 Inactive User

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    i do think the aquarium hobby depletes the oceans of life but at the same time it makes people more aware of whats happening to it, its just like anything else, you overdo it and it becomes a problem.

    i would be more worried about overfishing the oceans, that is a serious threat to all life, a chain reaction go down the line when one species of fish is depleted, it really effects all the other life out there.

    wanna really worry about something? worry about all the crap running from our rivers into the oceans, poisoning them.

    just one ship running into a coral reef can wipe the whole thing out, never to return, ships dragging anchors across them really screws things up too.

    sooner or later they are gonna be gone.
     
  3. Philby

    Philby Inactive User

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    To respond to one of your points - while those species that are bred captively are not done so to be released into the ocean to replenish the numbers of that species in the wild - hopefully every captive bred fish purchased means a fish of that species can be left in it's natural habitat.

    So while the breeder's aren't specifically replenishing the ocean, perhaps they're lowering the numbers harvested.

    I know that I will try to buy captive bred fish when possible (unfortunately there's a limited number of species available) and I hope to buy most of my corals as frags from other reefers. So hopefully MOST things in my tank will have not come directly from the ocean, I'll say my goal is for 1/2 my fish to have been captive bred and 95-100% of my corals to come from other reefers tanks (or ordered as aquacultured).
     
  4. ZLTFUL

    ZLTFUL Well-Known ReefKeeper

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    Awesome responses folks...exactly what I was looking for. Keep em coming.
     
  5. Phathead

    Phathead Well-Known ReefKeeper

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    Good thought but if you think about it everything we do daily is depleting the earth in many ways.
     
  6. vvolfe1

    vvolfe1 Inactive User

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    I'd have to agree with everything we do has a negative effect. The aquarium trade has a minor effect compared to most. It is very scary how bad our enviroment has gotten in just my lifetime. The coral reefs and the amazon are the worlds filters in a way and both are endangered to the point that they no longer provide the ability to keep up with the growing CO2 in the atmosphere. Just look at the sunsets anymore 80%of the time the sky has a pink tint to it from CO2 levels.
     
  7. Travis

    Travis Well-Known ReefKeeper

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    Captive breeding slows the need for collection in a few ways. Obviously a captive bred clown saves one fish, but did you relize that on average for every fish that makes it to a hobbiest tank 3 died? The life span of a wild caught fish is also statistically shorter than a tank raised fish that has been bred into and survived in tank conditions its whole life. So, captive breeding saves 4 clowns from being collected every time one is purchased over wild caught. If you buy a pair of clowns that is 8 wild clowns saved. Average hobbiest goes through 3-4 clowns before getting a lasting wild caught pair. This could be translated to 16 clowns saved in the first year of a single hobbiest's first year. This fish spawns every 2 weeks and produces 1-2 THOUSAND eggs EACH TIME.

    Now lets look at the Bangaii cardinal. The bangaii only spawns once a month. The male holds eggs for 25 days and releases 15-40 fry. Wild bangaii carry a nasty internal parasite and picky eating disorder making them even less likely to survive in a hobbiests tank. They may last up to a month without eating which conveniently allows 1 week for transport, 1 week at wholesaler, 1 week at retailer, and if you are lucky 1 week in your home tank. With the low spawn rate, low numbers of viable fry, and low tolerance for captive environments, but a high demand in the hobby it is no wonder this poor fish is endangered. The islanders that collect these fish realize what they are doing to the population, but if they don't collect them the money train from the hobby stops. The hobby feeds this problem directly. Due to the poor hatch numbers and low price for wild caught bangaii they make them undesirable broodstock/investments to big breeder companies. The only way this fish will make it is to stop collecting wild specimens and to raise the price of captive bred bangaii.

     
  8. Travis

    Travis Well-Known ReefKeeper

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    I also find it funny that we americans point our fingers at South America's destruction of the rainforest as a reason for our enviromental crash. It was not a hundred years ago that most of North America was a rich forest that too had the power to scrub the air of polution. We produce a third of the world's air polution. I also wonder why nobody points out the fact that all of this removal of green space and creation of heat absorbing concrete and asphalt could be having a huge effect on our current planet temperature? Quick explaination is grass absorbs sunlight/heat and uses it to change CO2 to O2. Asphalt/Concrete absorb heat from sunlight (ever walked barefoot by a pool?) and then slowly release it through the evening, thus never allowing the air to cool as far as it normally would. Now compound this with the heat insulating effect (greenhouse effect) of air polution and tada you have the hot box we are currently living in and it is only going to get worse...
     
  9. seanndenise1

    seanndenise1 Inactive User

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    Posted By Travis on 01/29/2008 9:20 PM
    I also find it funny that we americans point our fingers at South America's destruction of the rainforest as a reason for our enviromental crash. It was not a hundred years ago that most of North America was a rich forest that too had the power to scrub the air of polution. We produce a third of the world's air polution. I also wonder why nobody points out the fact that all of this removal of green space and creation of heat absorbing concrete and asphalt could be having a huge effect on our current planet temperature? Quick explaination is grass absorbs sunlight/heat and uses it to change CO2 to O2. Asphalt/Concrete absorb heat from sunlight (ever walked barefoot by a pool?) and then slowly release it through the evening, thus never allowing the air to cool as far as it normally would. Now compound this with the heat insulating effect (greenhouse effect) of air polution and tada you have the hot box we are currently living in and it is only going to get worse...
    theres more trees in north america than there ever has been, approximately 1.5 billion more, seen that on discovery channel.
    but with every americans contribution of carbon into the air ,to make up for it you would have to plant 90 trees in your lifetime to make up for it. discovery channel.
    our forests never were giant suppliers of oxygen like the rain forests are. you can acctually see oxygen raising from the rainforest from outer space.
    but you can blame us for depletion of the rain forests in south america on account of our need for building materials.
    its pretty stupid that we cant figure out a renewable way to harvest from the rainforests by taking parts of it and replanting then moving, they are just mowing it down and not looking back.
    phyto plankton in the oceans is a major supplier of oxygen, we lose that and we are in deep doo doo. you can also see that from outer space.
     
  10. Travis

    Travis Well-Known ReefKeeper

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    Sweet another benefit to captive breeding... Our phytoplankton creates O2!!!
     
  11. reeffreak3652

    reeffreak3652 Inactive User

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    Well I for one would like to see a little more global warming. Have you been outside today? Holy Cow its cold!!!!
     
  12. xroads Veteran Reefkeeper

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    I imagine that within 10 years exporting wild corals will be coming to an end.
     
  13. Deleted member 120

    Deleted member 120 Guest

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    I'm not trying to disagree or discount all the studies and such that point to man having such a negative (or positive) impact on the environment but...

    At what point will we begin to understand that the earth is much more complicated and complex that we currently, or maybe ever, will understand. In some ways I can't help but wonder if we are simply a species that is so arrogant we have to believe we are the cause of nearly everything around us and refuse to think the posibility exists we have no control over our own destiny. History has shown over and over that the truths and certainies we cling to as "absolutes" always turn out to be simply an over-simplified lack of understanding of a very complex cause-and-effect relationship. The trouble with trying to predict how the earth will react to something occuring today is we simply lack the mental capacity and perspective to understand why things are the way they are. We see an animal on the way to extinction and think we should save it because that is somehow "the right thing to do". Reminds me of 20 years ago when we learned how to prevent forrest fires in the western USA because that was "the right thing to do". Now we understand that the fires served a purpose and our interference has created a condition where fires occur on a scale never before seen in that area.

    My point is simply this. Man is not smart enough, knowledgable enough or humble enough to accept that we cannot be and are not in control. This planet is older than humans can really coprehend and has gone through cataclysmic changes we will never know about. It has proven to have an amazing ability to maintain a balance necessary to support life on some level. Man is concieted, arrogent and control-hungry...but not in command of the earth and never will be.

    I'm done now....sorry for the rant.
     
  14. Bullet

    Bullet Inactive User

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    ^^^^^^^
    Very Very nice!

    You need to e-mail that Gore!
     
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    I am having trouble figuring out how you're not disagreeing or discounting studies that point to man having a negative impact with that post.

    Are you saying that we should assume ourselves to be ignorant and incapable of figuring out the effects humans have had and continue to make on the environment? I don't believe that to be true, and to me that sounds like man's conceited, arrogant ploy to remain stuck in its ways.
     
  16. seanndenise1

    seanndenise1 Inactive User

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    one of the most true and shamefull things i ever heard anyone say was from carl sagan quite a few years ago, he said

    if a traveler from another planet came to visit earth, how would we explain our stewardship of this planet.
     
  17. Travis

    Travis Well-Known ReefKeeper

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    I agree 100% that the earth will survive without us. That is the problem in my mind, we don't want it to move on without us. We would like to stay here as long as we can. The posts above are discussing ways to make that happen, not to control the weather or harness the power of mother earth. I have a little more faith in humans and their understanding of what they are doing and the negative effects that are resulting from thei actions. We used DPT as a bug repelant, result less Eagles, man takes action with an endangered species (endangered because of his actions), and today we have more eagles than you can shake a stick at. Playing god is one thing, but clean up after ourselves and projecting the outcome of our actions is just responsible...
     
  18. glaspie69

    glaspie69 Experienced Reefkeeper

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    This has always been a weird subject, I've never been sure if humans have ever REALLY wanted to do anything about saving the earth, no offense I'm all for new cleaner fuels and planting trees and such, but does it really help anything when we are dumping millions of pounds of waste daily into landfills. Flushing millions of gallons a day in waste here there and everywhere. I've always look at it as borrowing a spot on this planet, earth will take care of itself. It's going to work things out reguardless, look at the hurricanes, weather changes and earthquakes. How do we know the planet wasn't warming before we got here? maybe we sped it up? who knows.....i don't think anyone does, humans on this planet don't even blip the radar in the timeline of this planet, who knows what it has planned for us
     
  19. seanndenise1

    seanndenise1 Inactive User

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    Posted By glaspie69 on 01/30/2008 3:39 PM
    This has always been a weird subject, I've never been sure if humans have ever REALLY wanted to do anything about saving the earth, no offense I'm all for new cleaner fuels and planting trees and such, but does it really help anything when we are dumping millions of pounds of waste daily into landfills. Flushing millions of gallons a day in waste here there and everywhere. I've always look at it as borrowing a spot on this planet, earth will take care of itself. It's going to work things out reguardless, look at the hurricanes, weather changes and earthquakes. How do we know the planet wasn't warming before we got here? maybe we sped it up? who knows.....i don't think anyone does, humans on this planet don't even blip the radar in the timeline of this planet, who knows what it has planned for us
    that is exactly what the problem is, in the earths timeline we are but a blip, dinosaurs were here for what? a billion years? whatever it is , its alot of time, we have been here as an industrial people 200 years max and in that small amount of time 1000s of creatures have been wiped out, extinct, the rate of extinction can only be rivaled by the dinosaurs, and they say it was a cataclismic event that did that, like an ateroid.
    we are the reason its happening, sure earth will survive it will always be here, until the sun explodes 10 billion years from now, but it wont be the same, who knows what it will be like.
    its a fact that the earth cannot support us the way its being used, it will survive , we wont.
     
  20. glaspie69

    glaspie69 Experienced Reefkeeper

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    It was a good run though......maybe the next group of human type lifeforms will learn from our mistakes.....they'll have a good headstart on us if they forget to make money
     

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