They say that aquariums and oceans are relaxing. Calming if you will. Some people even use them as forms of meditation.
Yet every time I get into a reef forum or Facebook group, someone is causing a ruckus. It got so bad in our local group that all the comments had to go through moderation before posting. In this hobby – like most hobbies – everyone has their own opinion. Some things work for some people, and for others they are a disaster. Like wipe your whole tank out disaster, but that is no need to go yell at the person advocating “macaroni dosing”. You just have to do your research.
Please don’t research macaroni dosing though, I made it up. Although I may be onto something. Patent pending okay.
Recently, the hot debate has been the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publishing a proposed rule in the Federal Register (77 FR 73219) in response to a petition submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity to list 83 reef-building coral species as threatened or endangered under the ESA. When this first hit the forums everyone was really nervous that this would kill the reef-keeping hobby. By making the buying and selling of these corals illegal, the hobby would become like selling cocaine to the Cartels. There was even talk of undercover agents at frag-swaps and conferences.
I will admit that reading through the panic did give me a couple nightmares of being arrested for coral trafficking, but after further research my fears have been stifled. Quite a few reefers have taken it upon themselves to call NOAA to get more information on what exactly will be illegal. It appears that the only thing illegal will be buying and selling these corals for commercial use, and keep in mind it isn’t law yet.
The biggest fear is that the agents enforcing these laws won’t be able to decipher the different species and would ultimately confiscate the wrong corals. Sort of a slippery slope.
Don’t get us wrong, anyone that is involved in this hobby wants to preserve corals, reefs, and the ocean habitat in general. We just don’t want to become convicts for admiring their beauty. Our personal belief is that reef keepers are ultimately trying to preserve the futures of many species of corals and livestock as the wild becomes a harsher and less sustainable home. At least that is our goal.
I am sure Federal Regulation is not as juicy as Kim K’s sex tape, or as crazy as Miss Lohan’s shenanigans but you should see some of the cat fights going down.
Have you been following this topic?
Been involved any Spears-sized drama lately?
Want to try macaroni dosing?
For more information on this topic check out these helpful links and resources:
Overview of ESA from NOAA
NOAA’s contact information
Good overview and spicy comments
Some Forum fun