being another old fart who managed a lfs
in the early eighties, I remember the dynamite collection technique and cyanide (I doubt it's not still being used)
and the enormous losses incurred when importing directly from collectors.
Back then keeping coral was a fantasy for 99% of hobbyist, and yes, the recommendation was a large tank, the bigger the better. Breeding programs were just starting with salt water, (I even had a pair of some of the first tank raised percula's )
I do agree with most of the viewpoints expressed to one degree or another and would like to reiterate that if it were not for the hobby, there would have been no impetus to develop the science and methodologies for keeping and raising the wide variety of marine creatures we have available today.
The $$$ the hobby generates pushed the envelope much faster and greater than any pure scientific research ever could or would have.
So like every other thing in life, it's a two edged sword.
The hobby has damaged/depleted the natural reserves/habitats...
It has also driven the research into how to keep and breed/rear these creatures and with great success thus far considering any shmuck with experience/time and tanks can frag corals and help to propagate and maintain the species and some of you folks have managed to breed marine critters yourselves.
I couldn't do that 30 years ago, so kudos to the hobby in that respect.
The only thing in this thread that I feel is in error and completely wrong is the following;
Originally Posted by Andy Sager
We are the only specie that lives above it's local environmental capacities. When we run out of our local resource, we look elsewhere for it to get it .....
That is incorrect.
Any species, plant or animal, in the absence of natural predation with over populate and over-exploit their resources and when it's gone, they migrate if possible, same as us "evil humans".
That is why there are laws forbidding the importing of certain species of plants and animals, it's why there are hunting seasons and "culling's", etc., etc.
It just seems as if humans are the only ones who do that because we are the apex predator of the planet, it really is that simple.
Now if you want to make the argument that humans have caused a lot of the population issues with other species by removing natural predators and are still ultimately to blame, I'm right there with ya, but as far as the quoted portion, we are doing exactly the same as any other creature on the planet would if they were sitting in the our position on top of the heap.