In this slide you will see several of the people we were teaching to make rock in Mexico. This new industry needs teachers and researchers, and these young Biologists are ready to help. The hobby can help by asking for and buying aquaculture products.
Let me also share with you another fear I have about proposed regulations that may affect the people living near the reefs. About three years ago LeRoy and I attended an International Marine Ornamental Conference. Many people said that wild collection needed to be stopped all together.
I will state as I have stated many times we as the hobbyists and members of the Industry have often had a negative impact on wild reefs. Some things such a poison collecting and destructive live rock collection needs to stop.
In this meeting I attended speech after speech where organizations were fighting to make rules and regulations that will impact all of us, however the real issues of the underlying problems seemed to be missing. For after years of research my conclusion is that it is not that simple. It is not what is coming out of the ocean that is killing the animals inside this struggling resource. It is everything that is going into it.
It seems that people want to make rules and regulations that impact everyone, but many of them have never been in the shoes of the man in the village trying to catch enough food to feed his family. If you make rules and regulations but have no real concept on how the industry works there is a question about how effective will the program be.
GARF is coming more from a pro-active angle. We are trying to inspire woman from villages to make rock, place it in the ocean, and make some income. This would empower them. We know that such a project can be done. We have tested sites and found that at some locations man made rock was coralline algae covered or 80% covered in less than 12 weeks time. We have already seen that as more people make live rock more new and creative forms are invented. We all need to stay focused, we all need to work together, we all need to be one voice and most importantly we all need to share!