The Hawaii Marine Aquarium Fishery Relative to Recreational and Commercial Reef Fisheries

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The marine aquarium fishery in Hawaii is but one of many fisheries. While it is a significant fishery, it is by no means the largest, nor does it have the greatest impact. Nonetheless, anti-aquarium fishery activists target only the aquarium fishery and blame it for reef devastation. The facts, as you will see on HawaiiBanFactCheck.org, do not support their position. Based on the data, MASNA supports all well-managed sustainable fisheries, including recreational fisheries, commercial food fisheries and aquarium fisheries.  read more

Dr. Luiz Rocha set to speak on greatest topic ever! (Diversity of Reef Fishes)

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  If you are in the Washington DC area (or can get there this weekend) then be sure to catch the next can’t miss presentation.  Dr Luiz Rocha will be talking about reef fish diversity.  Dr. Rocha is another member of the fantastic group calling the Cal Academy of Sciences home.  His travels, studies, research, and overall experience learning about coral reef fishes and their evolution is second to none.  Truly a great opportunity if you can attend.  We’re hoping to check back in with an update following this presentation.  You can read all about his presentation and the DC area event here… read more

Ecolabels Coming to a Local Fish Store Near You

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Up until very recently, it has been difficult (if not impossible) for the average North American aquarist to know the specific origin of the animal he or she may be considering at the local fish store. Why does this matter? In the absence of any functioning third party certification program, point of origin has been the aquarist’s best tool when it comes to supporting sustainability through his or her purchase (if you’ve been to one of my talks, you have no doubt heard me say this). With the exception of some endemics from known sustainable fisheries (Hawai’i comes to mind), most fishes’ origins are unknown by the time they reach the local fish store–even the best store staffed by the most knowledgeble staff. This is, in my opinion, unfortunate, given many species vary greatly based on the fishery in which they were harvested in terms of environmental sustainability, fisher treatment and animal health. Said another way, a blue tang is not a blue tang is not a blue tang. This is why it is a move in the right direction that some companies are taking steps to make the chain of custody from reef to retail more trasparent through labels perhaps best described as ecolabels.  read more

Katie Barott breaks onto the scene with Coral/Bacteria Presentation

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 We’re always pleased to see new presentations, new ideas, and new speakers.  Reefapalooza featured a great new presentation a few months ago that we were fortunate enough to attend titled How Bacteria Affect Corals and Overall Reef Health. Katie Barott is a doctoral student working in the esteemed lab of Dr. Forest Rohwer.  If you aren’t familiar with Dr. Rohwer, he’s quite possibly the top marine biologist in the world and has one of the most cutting edge and progressive labs around.  Katie fits the mold for the lab as a researcher interested in bacteria, viruses, corals, and disease.  The presentation features some of the commonly quoted massive numbers of millions of bacteria per teaspoon of seawater, and the even bigger and mind boggling numbers of viruses.  But what really makes the presentation cool is the up close and personal accounts Katie presents.  Her photos of healthy vs unhealty reef systems and those reefs with very little human impact are worth of discussion and a great way to get hobbyists thinking about reef ecology.  She’s a delight to chat with, very knowledgeable, is quite cheerful and smiley, and is a crowd pleaser with her ability to present.   read more