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View Full Version : Directions to Seahorses and Frogfish: Bad Idea?



tursiops
05-29-2011, 10:05 AM
There have been a lot of directions given on here recently to these illusive animals, but on an open forum like this I wonder if it is a good idea?

That "bush" that Rod Lusher mentioned is live coral -- a gorgonian -- and one inadvertent touch with a finger or a camera strobe and the coral dies. The frogfish at Invisibles is an ambush predator, and is not eating while folks are nearby scaring away the prey. There was a long discussion on the Coral Reef forum recently about whether strobes harm the eyes of seahorses; the conclusion was that the science had not been done to know for sure, but the precautionary principle would suggest being more conservative than just moving in close and blasting away, and then the next diver moves in and repeats, etc.

When your good diving buddy asks for directions to that frogfish you just saw, and you know your buddy is a careful diver with good buoyancy and really cares about the environment and is a do-no-harm photographer, then sure, you're going to give some directions. But when the directions are given in the open, on this site, to the world, are you helping or potentlally hurting the animals?

A couple of years ago at Buddy Dive there was seahorse nearly in front of the resort and its location was passed around (not by the divemasters but by the customers) to anyone who asked. That area of coral and purple tube sponges and gorgonians now looks like a bomb went off; little life left, colorless, and no seahorse anymore, of course.:(

I suggest that specific locations of these animals NOT be allowed on BT, as a matter of policy. Meanwhile, we could simply not post such info. Send it in a PM to someone you know and trust, sure.

Dive safe, and carefully.

wwguy
05-29-2011, 11:44 AM
Well put Mel.

We shouldn't solicit or provide detailed information regarding location of rare and sensitive marine life in an unrestricted public forum. The impact and risk to the critters and the surrounding reef isn't worth the extra photo or dive log entry.

This isn't a sustainable means of finding and viewing these critters... for them or us!

Moderators, will you consider a policy, or other means, addressing this topic? (I don't assume you read all threads and/or posts, so I clicked the "Report Post" button to get your attention.)

-Roger

ModRoy
05-29-2011, 02:44 PM
for bringing this to our attention, a very good point indeed.

We (the Mods) are discussing policy on this and we will let you know the outcome.

Thanks Roger for your input too, rest assured we do read every post, just not immediately as we have our paying jobs and own family lives to lead, and a continued onslaught of spammers to keep out of BT.

kob
05-29-2011, 06:21 PM
Mel -- never thought about it that way, but I have to agree with you. I have been guilty of giving directions for frogfish and seahorses, :( which I will not do going forward.

In addition to all you mention, we are also potentially depriving local Bonaire DM's of the opportunity to escort visiting divers.

Excellent post !!

brenda
05-30-2011, 08:43 AM
I agree, since a disasterous seahorse event in '93, Town Pier, I've never given specific directions (or point out anything not free swimming), not even to octo dens, and never sleeping turtles. Leave it to the DMs to decide if their charges can be shown these critters in a safe and respectful way.
I rarely show anyone I don't know a "stationary" critter, and if with a group, I wait till they're well past before deciding whether any pics are safely possible. The strobe firing is like a dinner bell calling all divers.
Besides, the thrill of the hunt, is making your own discoveries. IMO

On the other hand, I don't expect/accept to be shown critters, while on group dives. I tell the DM before the dive, so they don't get frustrated trying to call me over!
Diving privately with DM or Photo pro., different story, that's how we learn.

DiveSergeant
05-30-2011, 09:25 AM
for bringing this to our attention, a very good point indeed.

We (the Mods) are discussing policy on this and we will let you know the outcome.

Thanks Roger for your input too, rest assured we do read every post, just not immediately as we have our paying jobs and own family lives to lead, and a continued onslaught of spammers to keep out of BT.

Hi ModRoy,

While the discussion amongst moderators goes on, add my vote in support of the idea.

And I appreciate your work as moderators. I do the same thing for a forum about another island. Weeding out the spammers can sometimes be a full-time job. There should be a bounty on them!

Yours,
DS

ModFreddie
05-30-2011, 09:41 AM
Weeding out the spammers can sometimes be a full-time job. There should be a bounty on them!

Yours,
DS

OMG I LOVE THAT IDEA!! Hey the spammers get paid to spam how come we dn't get paid to delete them????:rolleyes::confused::eek:

Suzie
05-30-2011, 10:06 AM
Very well put Mel. I agree completely. The scenario that you describe near Buddy's reminds me of a similar occurrence on the house reef of the Bonaire resort we were staying at a few years ago.

There were three sea horses, two black and one yellow, all in very close proximity to each other at a relatively shallow depth. We were lucky enough to visit Bonaire twice within a four month period, and observed all three seahorses on both occasions. When we returned to Bonaire about nine months later, we were horrified to see that the location looked as if it had been bulldozed. The coral was dead and shattered, the sponges and soft corals had disappeared. And of course, the seahorses had gone.

I agree that information passed onto friends whom we trust to respect nature and not to damage the environment is fine, but concur that it's probably not a good idea to publish detailed directions to seahorses, frogfish and the like in an open forum.

DiveSergeant
05-30-2011, 06:12 PM
OMG I LOVE THAT IDEA!! Hey the spammers get paid to spam how come we dn't get paid to delete them????:rolleyes::confused::eek:


Exactly. Especially if you are talking about deleting the spammer, not just the spam posts :D