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Old 11-05-2004, 09:20 AM   #1
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Goverment wants to take away our reef tanks

dosen't matter reef or FO. they want to take away our hobby alltogether.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...080ECTvk:e972:
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:28 AM   #2
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I tried to read your article and got this message.

Please resubmit your search
Search results are only retained for a limited amount of time.Your search results have either been deleted, or the file has been updated with new information.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:29 AM   #3
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Nothing there when I opened it. It says "Please re-submit your research".??

I'm dying to see this.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:32 AM   #4
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ok here it is.

Quote:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Coral Reef Conservation and Protection Act of 2004'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:

(1) Coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems are the marine equivalent of tropical rain forests, containing some of the richest biological diversity, habitats, and systems on Earth and supporting thousands of fish , invertebrates, algae, plankton, sea grasses, and other species.

(2) Coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems have great commercial, recreational, cultural, and aesthetic value to human communities as shoreline protection, areas of natural beauty, and sources of food, jobs, and pharmaceuticals, and are the focus of a wide variety of activities, including education, research, recreation, tourism, and fishing.

(3) Studies indicate that coral reef ecosystems in the United States and around the world are being degraded and severely threatened by human activities including land-based pollution, overfishing, destructive fishing practices, coastal development, vessel groundings, and climate change.

(4) Executive Order 13089 created the United States Coral Reef Task Force, which is chaired by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce, to develop measures necessary to reduce and mitigate coral reef ecosystem degradation and to restore damaged coral reefs, assess the United States' role in international trade and protection of coral reef species, and implement appropriate strategies and actions to promote conservation and sustainable use of coral reef resources.

(5) International trade in coral, other reef invertebrates, reef fish , live rock, and other coral products contributes to the decline and degradation of reefs, primarily through the use of destructive collection practices, overexploitation of resources, loss of reef habitat, and introduction of non-indigenous species, invasive species, and pathogens.

(6) The United States is the largest importer of live coral, live rock, and marine fish for the aquarium trade and of coral skeletons and precious corals for souvenirs and jewelry.

(7) The harvest of live coral and wild live rock is of special concern because it removes essential components of reef habitats, increases erosion, and damages critical fisheries habitats.

(8) More than half of the fish imported into the United States for the marine aquarium market are estimated to be captured with the use of cyanide and other poisons which kill other coral reef species and the corals that form the reef framework, and these destructive fishing practices are becoming increasingly common in other countries to meet the growing worldwide demand for ornamental fish and live food fish .

(9) As many as 1/3 to 1/2 of the aquarium fish imported from Southeast Asia die shortly after arriving in the United States due to stress associated with handling and transport and the use of cyanide during capture, and such high mortality rates lead to continued pressure for extraction from the wild to maintain public and private collections.

(10) The United States, as the world's largest importer of coral reef species and products and as a party to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), should play a substantial role in conserving and restoring coral reef ecosystems, including assisting other countries in developing and implementing coral reef conservation programs and ensuring that the market in the United States for coral reef species and products does not contribute to the detriment of the survival of the species in the wild or to the detriment of coral reef ecosystems.

(11) The United States should also exercise leadership in moving from a species-based sustainable management approach to an ecosystem-based approach.

(b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to provide a series of nondiscriminatory measures which are necessary for the conservation of coral reef species and further the obligations of the United States under CITES.

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON TAKING, IMPORTING, EXPORTING, AND TRANSPORTING CERTAIN CORAL REEF SPECIES.

(a) In General- Subject to section 4, it is unlawful for any person to--

(1) take any covered coral reef species within waters under the jurisdiction of the United States;

(2) import into or export from the United States any covered coral reef species;

(3) possess, sell, purchase, deliver, carry, transport, or receive in interstate or foreign commerce any covered coral reef species taken or imported in violation of paragraphs (1) or (2); or

(4) attempt to commit any act described in paragraphs (1) through (3).

(b) Covered Coral Reef Species-

(1) IN GENERAL- For the purposes of this Act, the term `covered coral reef species' means--

(A) any species of coral or ornamental reef fish ;

(B) any coral reef species listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as of the effective date of this Act;

(C) any coral reef species added to Appendix II of CITES after the effective date of this Act, unless the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, finds before the expiration of the 90-day period which begins on the effective date of the inclusion of such species in Appendix II that the take, import, and export of such species do not represent a substantial risk of harm to the sustainability of such species and its coral reef ecosystem; or

(D) any other coral reef species (excluding any finfish, mollusk, crustacean, or other animal or plant species taken for human consumption) the take, import, or export of which the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce have determined, after notice and opportunity for public comment--

(i) presents a substantial risk of harm to the sustainability of such species or of its coral reef ecosystem; or

(ii) results in high mortality rates for individuals of that species due to poor survivorship in transport or captivity.

(2) REMOVAL OF A SPECIES FROM DEFINITION-

(A) IN GENERAL- A species may be removed from the definition of covered coral reef species under paragraphs (1)(B) through (D), if the Secretary of the Interior determines that the take, import, and export of such species do not represent a substantial risk of harm to the sustainability of that species and of its coral reef ecosystem.

(B) ROLE OF SECRETARY OF COMMERCE- In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary of the Interior shall consult with the Secretary of the Commerce with respect to a covered coral reef species under paragraph (1)(B) or (1)(C), and act jointly with the Secretary of the Interior with respect to a covered coral reef species under paragraph (1)(D).

(c) Effective Date- This section shall take effect upon the expiration of the 1-year period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. EXCEPTIONS.

(a) In General-

(1) SCIENTIFICALLY-BASED MANAGEMENT PLANS-

(A) EXCEPTION- Section 3 shall not apply with respect to a covered coral reef species if such species was taken in accordance with a qualified scientifically-based management plan.

(B) QUALIFICATION OF PLAN- For purposes of this subsection, a scientifically-based management plan is qualified if the appropriate Secretary determines that the plan--

(i) provides for the conservation of a covered coral reef species and its habitat;

(ii) provides that a covered coral reef species is taken in such a manner and in such quantities so as not to threaten the biological sustainability of that species or its role in the ecosystem and so as to minimize the adverse impact of the take on the coral reef;

(iii) addresses factors relevant to the conservation of a covered coral reef species, which may include illegal trade, domestic trade, subsistence use, disease, habitat loss, and cumulative effects of the take on the coral reef species; and

(iv) prohibits the use of the destructive collection practices described in subsection (b)(2).

(C) APPROPRIATE SECRETARY- For purposes of this paragraph, the term `appropriate Secretary' means--

(i) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to domestic plans;

(ii) the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior with respect to foreign plans; or

(iii) the Secretary with jurisdiction over the waters in which the plan is located with respect to plans located in waters within the Exclusive Economic Zone (as defined under section (3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1802)).

(2) COOPERATIVE BREEDING PROGRAMS-

(A) EXCEPTION- Section 3 shall not apply with respect to a covered coral reef species if such species is a product of a qualified cooperative breeding program.

(B) QUALIFICATION OF PROGRAM- For purposes of this subsection, a cooperative breeding program is qualified if the Secretary of Commerce, in the case of domestic programs, or the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior, in the case of foreign programs, determines that the program is--

(i) designed to promote the conservation of covered coral reef species and maintain such species in the wild by enhancing the propagation and survival of such species; and

(ii) developed and administered by, or in conjunction with, an aquarium, conservation, or zoological organization which meets standards established by the appropriate Secretary.

(3) AQUACULTURE AND MARICULTURE FACILITIES-

(A) EXCEPTION- Section 3 shall not apply with respect to a covered coral reef species if such species is a product of a qualified aquaculture or mariculture facility.

(B) QUALIFICATION OF FACILITY- For purposes of this subsection, an aquaculture or mariculture facility is qualified if the Secretary of Commerce, in the case of domestic facilities, or the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior, in the case of foreign facilities, determines that the facility--

(i) demonstrates the capability to produce sufficient captive covered coral reef species in the numbers to be traded from that facility;

(ii) operates in a manner which is not detrimental to the conservation of the species in the wild;

(iii) operates in a manner which does not harm existing ecosystems, such as by introducing non-indigenous species or pathogens; and

(iv) operates with sufficient safeguards so as to prevent the escape of captive species and their eggs, larvae, young, fragments, and other organs of propagation.

(4) SCIENTIFIC, MUSEUM, OR ZOOLOGICAL PURPOSES- Section 3 shall not apply with respect to a covered coral reef species taken pursuant to authorization by the Secretary of Commerce, or imported or exported pursuant to authorization by the Secretary of the Interior for scientific purposes, museum purposes, or zoological breeding or display.

(5) INCIDENTAL TAKES- Section 3 shall not apply with respect to a covered coral reef species taken incidentally, if such incidental takes are exempted by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce by regulation.

(6) SUBSISTENCE- Section 3 shall not apply with respect to a covered coral reef species taken for personal consumption by an individual, if the taking is customary, traditional, or necessary for the subsistence of the individual or the individual's family.

(b) No Exception for Species Taken Using Destructive Collection Practices-

(1) IN GENERAL- No exception shall be allowed under subsection (a) with respect to a covered coral reef species that was--

(A) taken in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States using any destructive collection practice; or

(B) imported or exported without a certification by the importer or exporter that the covered coral reef species to be imported or exported was not taken through the use of any destructive collection practice.

(2) DESTRUCTIVE COLLECTION PRACTICES- For the purposes of this Act, `destructive collection practice' means any practice used in the take of coral reef species which includes any of the following:

(A) Reef-dredging.

(B) Explosives.

(C) Poisons.

(D) Any other destructive collection practice identified by the Secretary of Commerce by regulation, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the advisory group described in section 6(b).

(3) PRESENCE OF POISONS- For the purposes of this Act, the presence of cyanide, any other poison, or any metabolite associated with any such poison in a coral reef species shall constitute evidence that poison was used in the take of the coral reef species.

SEC. 5. CONSULTATION REGARDING PROTECTION OF CORAL REEF SPECIES.

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of Commerce, may initiate consultations with foreign governments which are engaged in, or whose citizens include persons engaged in, commercial operations which take coral reef species, for the purpose of--

(1) encouraging the protection of coral reef species through building consensus on standards for, and implementation of, sustainable management plans; and

(2) taking steps to eliminate of the use of the destructive collection practices described in section 4(b)(2).

SEC. 6. COORDINATION REGARDING CONSERVATION OF CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS.

(a) Coral Reef Task Force- In carrying out this Act, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce shall coordinate with members of the Coral Reef Task Force for the conservation and sustainable management of coral reef ecosystems.

(b) Advisory Group-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce shall convene an advisory group consisting of individuals representing public and private organizations affected by this Act, including persons involved in the conservation of coral reef ecosystems, the harvest and trade of coral reef species, and the operation of cooperative breeding programs and aquaculture and mariculture facilities for the propagation of coral reef species, and representatives of Federal agencies, states, and territories, which are represented on the Coral Reef Task Force.

(2) DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDELINES, STRATEGY, AND CRITERIA- Before the expiration of the 1-year period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the advisory group, shall develop--

(A) criteria and indicators for the conservation and sustainable management of coral reef ecosystems;

(B) a coordinated national strategy for conservation and sustainable management of coral reef species and ecosystems based on the criteria and indicators developed under subparagraph (A); and

(C) guidelines for the capture, commercial transport, and handling of coral reef species which would improve their rates of survival.

(c) International Cooperation- The Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, in coordination with the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies, shall utilize their authorities to further the purposes of this Act by encouraging policies and implementing programs to promote the conservation and sustainable management of coral reef ecosystems in other parts of the world, by such means as multilateral negotiations, participation in various international fora, bilateral assistance, and capacity building.

SEC. 7. ENFORCEMENT.

(a) Civil Money Penalties-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce, upon finding a violation of section 3, may require the person responsible for such violation to pay a civil money penalty in an amount determined under a schedule of penalties which is established and published by the Secretary, but which does not exceed $25,000 for each violation, and which takes into account--

(A) the nature of the violation involved;

(B) the revenues of the person;

(C) previous violations of section 3 by the person; and

(D) such other factors as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(2) NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR HEARING- The Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce may not make any determination adverse to a person under subsection (a) until such person has been given written notice and an opportunity to be heard before the Secretary or designee.

(b) Declaratory or Injunctive Relief- The Attorney General may bring a civil action in an appropriate United States district court seeking declaratory or injunctive relief for any alleged violation of sections 3.

(c) Criminal Penalties-

(1) IN GENERAL- Any person who knowingly violates section 3 shall be fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.

(2) PERSONS ENGAGED IN BUSINESS- Any person engaged in business as an importer or exporter of coral reef species who knowingly violates section 3 shall be fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both.

(3) FALSE STATEMENTS IN CERTIFICATIONS- Any person who knowingly makes, causes to be made, or submits any false material statement or representation in a certification under section 4(b)(1)(B) shall be fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both, and may also be prohibited from importing or exporting any coral reef species.

(d) Rewards and Incidental Expenses-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce may pay, from sums received as penalties, fines, or forfeitures of property for violations of section 3--

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Old 11-05-2004, 09:38 AM   #5
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That would be H.R. 4928

go to the main site and put in that query...you will see it, it is pretty daunting for sure. Although it should be adjusted...the reasons behind it are pretty important as most people would agree.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:50 AM   #6
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Tim, Your comment could not be further from the truth. I have talked with people on the coral reef task force as well as other governmental lobbists on this very issue and this is something that people are taking WAY out of context.

What the Coral Reef Task Force (setup by President Clinton) is trying to do is establish substanable harvest practices in countries where our corals and fish are collected. I have acutally posted time and time again on this website information about this very topic and every time I do it seems to get totally ignored or overlooked.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:59 AM   #7
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Sorry Aaron, It was brought to my attention just recently. I treid to read and understand it. but it's kind of complicated to me. here is a email I got recently at yahoo, and it just erked me.

Quote:
Hi All,
Can somebody tell me was the original article that I posted about on this subject by a very concerned member of the marine hobby trade in Hawaii not factual ? as I considered it to be a potentially very serious situation, as if passed it would mean that those of you living under its jurisdiction and in possession of an occupied FOWLER or reef tank would be breaking the law !!! yet those that have posted on the subject seem mostly to be unconcerned and treating it lightly ??. If the original article I read was correct and this bill gets passed then it will mean the end of the Marine hobby full stop.!!
regards,
Sorry if i'm cuasing a panic. Wil I get to keep my Tanks?
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:04 AM   #8
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=10623

Above is a link to a post I made over a year ago with links to important websites on this topic.

Another speaker on this exact issue was Drew Weiner with http://www.reefprotect.org

This kind of topic is going to be covered very heavily at next year MACNA meeting http://www.macnaxvii.com
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:13 AM   #9
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Thank god for Masna. I do think it is important that we don't destroy our reefs, but I think there should just be some rules and leave us alone. Rules such as no cyanide and no selling gonopora .

I usually get aquacultured corals and I try to limit my wild caught corals and fish. I also get a lot of corals from frag swaps.
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:26 AM   #10
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Yes you can keep your tank. Be assured there are lobbiest orginizations in Washington on your behalf being sure the government knows the full story.

The fact is more than half of the global exports in ornemental reef wildlife is imported into the US for hobbists. By our own demands for this product we will either consume all of the worlds coral reefs in a few decades or we can take the approch in trying to continue to supply the hobby but at the same time make sure that the collection is monitored and done in a manor where the coral reefs can continue to survive. Many third world countries economies are affected by the export of marine fishes and corals so its in everyones best interest to establish what creatures are in danger of extension in the near future and put a total ban on them. Then identifying creatures that have the potental for extension if their collection is not controlled. This is where the CITES list comes into play.

http://www.cites.org/

As you can see CITES is alot more than just a list of marine fish and corals.
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