CORAL, The Reef & Marine Aquarium Marine, has been named Hobbyist Magazine of the Year in a Niche Media awards ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina on February 26th. CORAL with its first Nichee Magazine Award. Likened to an Oscar for smaller publications, the Nichee Magazine Awards recognize excellence in content, visual presentation, and publishing acumen. CORAL is published in the small town of Shelburne, Vermont, but reaches an estimated worldwide audience of 37,000 readers, primarily in the United States and Canada, but with distribution in the UK, Australia, Scandinavia, South Africa and India. “We are thrilled to be recognized by our peers,” says Editor & Publisher James Lawrence. “In a time when print newspapers and magazines are said to be dying, in fact niche titles in many fields of interest are thriving.” “We couldn’t do it without our outstanding writers and photographers—some of the world’s best—our loyal readers and a small, dedicated and very hardworking staff in Vermont,” said Lawrence. “Someone here joked that this is Academy Awards weekend and we have already won ours, and I should keep the speech short.” The current incarnation of CORAL was launched in 2009 and is the official English Language Edition of the German title KORALLE, originally created by Publisher Matthias Schmidt and Editor Daniel Knop in 1999. One of Europe’s leading periodical and book specialty publishers, Natur und Tier-Verlag GmbH of Münster is the parent company of KORALLE and is known for publishing the work of authoritative authors, with bod graphics and arresting nature photography.
The new Pacific gorgonian, Psammagorgia hookeri, named for Peruvian biologist Dr. Yuri Hooker. A startling splotch of vivid crimson growing on the substrate was what first caught the eye of Peruvian marine zoologist Yuri Hooker in 2002 while he was diving in the relatively unexplored waters of the Peruvian Pacific. Not a sponge, which Hooker collects from time to time, the colorful organism turned out to be a gorgonian coral, but not one he could identify. Now a team from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and the University of Costa Rica have collected the species again and have described as Psammogorgia hookeri in a new report published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association in the UK. Dr. Yuri Hooker, Peruvian biologist who first collected samples of the coral. “This new species may be found nowhere else in the world,” said Hector Guzman, marine biologist and soft-coral expert at STRI
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0liBnH0xlr0 CREDITS Reef Fishes – Reef Life of the Andaman Nick Hope | Bubble Vision | You Tube This is Part 9 of Nick Hope’s excellent series, also available in feature length on the Andaman Sea, also known as the Burma Sea, part of the eastern Indian Ocean. Read more here.
Butterflyfishes on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii where aquarium collectors are active. Image by Eric Sorensen, WSU. An Aquarist’s Notes: Turbulence in Hawaii I first went to Hawaii on assignment for CORAL Magazine in 2010, and for the better part of four years I have covered that state’s aquarium fishery. I expected to find a fishery full of complicated regulations and even more complicated conflict. I found the latter in spades, but the former, to my surprise, didn’t really exist. Regulations were relatively few and far between—no total allowable catches (TACs), no quotas, no bag limits, no limited entry. I was, quite frankly, shocked that a commercial fishery in U.S. waters would be so unregulated. The fishers I interviewed, especially on Big Island, didn’t view it that way. Many felt they were being unfairly targeted and that veils of regulation were being drawn around them like the barrier nets they use to catch aquarium fishes. Some felt they had consistently given ground, made concessions in the face of anti-trade activism. Some were ready to make a stand, saying they couldn’t—wouldn’t—give any more. Some of these fishers opposed the rules package just signed by the governor. A few of them still oppose it, although they are not willing to say so on the record. Those fishers who stand in opposition to the new rules have some strange bedfellows. There are the anti-trade activists who say the rules don’t go far enough; the most extreme will not be satisfied with anything short of a fishery closure. Then there are mainland aquarists who are lukewarm on the new rules. They worry that a White List will make it more difficult to acquire some species with which they want to work in the short term. They anticipate a slippery slope that will lead to fewer and fewer species remaining available to trade in the long run. Personally, I was pleased to see the governor sign the rules package. I’m pleased because I see it as a step forward for aquarium fisheries in general. I see an opportunity to manage the fishery based on real data. The data really does matter, and rather than less, we need more. This rules package takes a relatively small swath of ocean—a shoreline of less than 150 miles—and says we’re going to manage it based on something more than anecdote and emotion. I look forward to reporting on the progress and talking about how this may be a model viable for export to other aquarium fisheries in far worse shape than Hawaii’s. Hawaii is on a path of good, data-based, adaptive management of its aquarium fishery. This type of management can protect the fishery in terms of both environmental sustainability and economic value. It replaces a messy form of conflict resolution with a multi-stakeholder, community-based approach, and now that the new rules are law, I think we all owe it to the people, the process, and the potential to get behind them.