I heard of local Fijians eating sea turtles even though it was illegal since January, an article was published in the Fiji Times about how two turtles from a research station in Hawaii were caught and 1 was eaten.I also witnessed a sea turtle in a fish collection system in Suva.I inquired the manager on why it was there and she replied it would be returned to the ocean soon.I also witnessed various large breeding size fish including specimens that would be considered exported by the aquarium trade eaten for food.Am I saying they cannot eat these fish?
No, but eating of breeding fish will and does have an impact on the overall fish population and variety of the reef.While most reef keepers are not marine biologists by title many have become lay marine biologist through the love of their hobby.While I might defend the hobby through words I would like you to take a look at various sites that have been created because of the hobby.Online magazine created for hobby: p 1 of the captive breeders of tropical saltwater fish: m/ Largest hobbyist site on the Internet: efs.Org While you state "I don't think the reef keepers have a clue what is going on down here, or care how much they are contributing to the destruction of the reefs to build "pretty little artificial reefs'.My apologies if I sound hard or defensive, but the aquarium industry is no longer a sink hole for fish and inverts, many of the animals that are now imported are now being captive grown and bred.
I invite you to join the reef keeping community as an outside observer and if you still believe we don't have a clue after 6 months of active participation then so.Org Prasanna Weerakkody wrote: I am not so sure if the aquarium enthusiasts are anymore enlightened lot than the average diver as ursula defined.(may be there is one or two) Down here in Sri Lanka one of my prime activities is re-settling hundreds of pieces of coral broken by fish collectors (to extract the fish from their hiding places)supplying the aquarium industry.Post to the 1998 bleaching event the reefs down here have suffered tremendously with less than 50 of the reefs remaining and struggling to survive.There is significant loss in fish abundance and diversity.But the aquarium fish industry has not been so "understanding or aware" and continue pumping reef fauna out at the same rate.
They still comb and squeeze the reefs for fish(and inverts) down to the last one left.If there is even a slight reduction to the numbers exported it is more due to fish collectors quitting the job as it is no longer viable; than because of the sensitive Reef keeper hobbyists voluntarily putting.I don't think the reef keepers have a clue what is going on down here, or care how much they are contributing to the destruction of the reefs to build "pretty little artificial reefs' that they can keep at home.May be the recreational divers who visit the reefs could check out the reefs and make the aquarists aware.The aquarists should know that every colourful fish that livens their living room makes the reefs less and less colourful as the selective predation by the trade is leaving the reefs full of only the 'bland' fishes.