Q. Why should I consider not using anything from the wild to set up my captive reef system?
Many people ask me why it is important to do our part to help educate people about our hobby and how it can have positive impact on the wild reefs. We can build wonderful reef aquariums that use almost nothing from the wild reefs. These aquariums can help us teach people who have never seen a wild coral that these delicate animals need our help.
This is a picture of my seven-year-old reef. It is amazing how much she has taught me. It is a great pleasure to share this experience with so many. She gives me another reason to wake up.
Miracles keep unfolding and lessons are there for all of us to learn.
Here at GARF we know it is our duty to be the voice for these animals that can not continue to win the battle in the wild. We all play a huge role as to how many more generations these animals will grace our planet. The present facts are not only alarming but the simple truth rests on all of our shoulders. If we do not get involved we will loose our natural wild reefs in our lifetime.
So many people think that the reef is so vast that could never happen. It is misinformation like that, which leads to horrible practices.
It has to be our commitment to arm ourselves with actual data. We all need to teach others as much as we can. We believe that the best way to show others the fragile beauty of the reefs is with our captive grown reefs.
People who have seen captive reefs can finally understand that reefs are made up of living animals. Our hobby has the potential to educate children and adults. People can understand and care for wild reefs better when they have seen our living captive reefs.
One percent of that is actual reef and as much as thirty percent of the wild reefs are dead today.
We are loosing fish, coral, habitat, and miles of reef structure every year. Female fish are showing up sterile and it may be because we are using more birth control. These chemicals may be discharged with our wastewater.
In many places coral colony spawning is at an alarming low and sometimes it is none existent. This is not just happening in the United States it is happening in all parts of the World.
What is killing our wild reefs? I wish I had an easy answer. I wish we could solve it all tomorrow. The problems are huge, vast and mostly caused by all of us (humans).
The killing is done by people with knowledge. The damage is also done by many people who have no idea the impact they are having on the animals that they can not see. Many people do not think of coral reefs unless they are planning a special vacation.
Sometimes they think of them when they go by a jewelry store and see necklaces, big shells and large harvested coral heads for sale. We have an opportunity to educate people by showing them our ZERO IMPACT REEF AQUARIUMS. We can make a difference by refusing to purchase live rock that is harvested with no thought of sustainable yields. We need to purchase tank raised fish and corals.
Loss of our natural wetland that provided the vital filter to our reefs contributed more than we can put words to. Pollution that seeps from each mining trail, from our farmer's crops, big business and our need to have golf courses built right up to the oceans.
Tons of erosion, ocean water temperatures on the increase and more people wanting to build a resort right up to the bay cause some of the problems. We have visited oceans where people are snorkeling with wild fish but before they go into the fish's home they pour sunscreen on themselves to pollute these amazing fish.
Never once would I put either lotion or sunscreen on my hands and then place them in my amazing little glass boxes and hope that I would have them be faithfully with me for years to come. It seems that Mother Nature herself has shown her anger by warming the ocean temperatures. Seeding red tides, depleting oxygen and fighting back with her might.
We can make a difference - remember SAVE - A REEF -- GROW YOUR OWN