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Coral and Reef USA 2013 Editor's Note

Get Involved to Save Wild Reefs

By Clay Jackson |

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There are some who keep corals and other invertebrates in aquaria whose worldview goes far beyond the boundaries of simple acrylic panels or the walls of a fish room. These coral advocates know all about the intricacies of ocean acidification, environmental hypoxia, global warming and the subsequent bleaching events as well as many other things, both local and global, that adversely affect coral reefs. The rest of us in the reefkeeping world need to be brought up to speed from time to time in terms of what’s going on in the larger world of cnidarians. Besides wanting to hone your skills in keeping such animals — not just alive but thriving — in aquaria, you should likewise be concerned about their well-being in the wild. For as go wild scleractinians, anemones, polychaetes, mollusks, etc., so goes the reefkeeping hobby. Right now, legislative manacles are waiting to be slapped on to some facet of our hobby, should the powers that be perceive some aspect of reefkeeping to be detrimental to the environment. So why not be proactive when it comes to giving back to coral reefs?  

In this spirit, I want to direct you to Katie Barott’s “Black Reefs” article. Barott writes about the adverse effect some shipwrecks are having on some of the world’s most pristine coral reefs. The metals leaching from the rusted remains of these wrecks is causing algal and cyanobacteria blooms that are smothering these reefs. Barott wants reef hobbyists to get involved by emailing officials who can actually do something about these “black reefs” by removing the rusty metal skeletons that are causing the problem. You can also download our free tip sheet “Things You Can Do to Save Coral Reefs."

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