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Reef Aquariums get some heat

Posted on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 at 12:22 pm by

The New York Times published a story about the potential impact the reefkeeping hobby may have on the Oceans. With an estimated 700,000 saltwater home aquariums in the US alone, a larger draw is being applied to the earth’s marine ecosystems. Some scientists believe that these elevated levels of collection, of corals, fish and invertebrates, are changing the Ocean’s balance. Invertebrates, which we use in our tanks as clean-up crews or for pest-control, serve a similar purpose in nature. Removing them at such high level, some say, can lead to an unstable environment. Marine biologist Andrew Rhyne, of Roger Williams University and the New England Aquarium say that “We may be increasing the catch up to a point where you push something over the edge.”

There are those who disagree with Rhyne and believe that no threat is posed by the hobby. Biologist Jessica McCawley with the Florida fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that “These collectors are a special type of fisherman. They’re very concerned about the environment and the sustainability of the fishery. And they came to us and said, ‘Can you put some regulations on us?'”

[via Johnathan Dooley | New York Times]

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2 Responses to “Reef Aquariums get some heat”

  1. Tony Vargas says:

    Another article depicting us the hobbyist as villains.

  2. Aaron Wilson says:

    There is a lot of stuff anymore that is just raised for the marine hobby I can see their point but the collection rules have really changed what is available and what comes out of the ocean.

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