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# Material Reviewed - 1994-01 TAB B

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• pg 1
									                    REPORT OF THE CORAL MANAGEMENT C O M M m E

CLEAFWATER BEACH, FLORIDA

MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 1994

The committee viewed the draft of Coral Amendment 2 which would provide management
for the live rock fishery. Also reviewed were public hearingsummaries Vab B, No. 4) and
letters from the public (Tab B, No. 5). Also considered were recommendationsfrom the
advisory panels, Scientific and Statistical Committee (Tab B, No. 7), and the federal

The staff compiled a list of eight additional issues to be considered from the above reviews
and these appear in Tab B, No. 3(a), and the committee reviewed these issues.

The committee makes the following recommendationsfor the amendment (Tab B, No. 3):

1. Definition of live rock (page 6, Section B.l):

Motion: Delete from the list of                 organisms associatedwith live rock all
crustaceans, mullusks, and echin                                        encrusting sessile
organismswould be included in
-   -

2. Problems and Objectives: In accord with the recommendation of General Counsel
include the Item 1 from Tab B, No. 3(a).

impacts on coral, coral reds, and live rock

Redefinition of octocorals (Page 7 Section 8.2):

Motion: Redefineallowable octocorals as ' e r a nanencmsting species o t e subclass
f h
Octocorallia, except the prohibitedsea fans Goraonia&@ellurn and Gommhsmtah~,
including only the substrate covered by and within one inch of the holdfast

ionale; This would prevent the taking of large pieces of live rock with allowable
octocorals while providing sufficient material for anchoring the octocoral.

Phase out Live Rock Harvest, (Page 10, Section C .2.b):
/

Motion: Establish a hanrest quota of 400 tons o loose, rubble (non attached) rodc for 1994.
f
This would be reduced by 2 % 00 300 tons) in 1995; 50% (to 200 tons) in 1996; 75% (100
5
tons) in 1997; no wild harvest in 1998.

nale; This would phase out wild harvest to allow transfer to aquaculture. Harvest of
loose rock would prevent chipping and prying of rock from reefs and ledges.

Aquaculture:

tf
Motion: Saf in conjunction with NOAA Counsel should develop a report by the end of
1994 outlining detailed proceduresfor acquiring an- aquacuftureoperation in federal (or
state) waters.
•   Optimum yield (Page 14, Section D):

Motion: Add a new OY as suggestedby NOAA Counsel: 'OY for live rock is to be that
established by quota or which may be allowed by permit'.

Rationale; This would provide for the proposed quota.

tf
-
NMFS for Secretarial approval subjed to approval by the SAFMC.

(Note: requires a roll call vote)
Coral Motions Januarv Council Meeting

Motion: Delete from the list of living marine organisms associated with live rock all crustaceans,
mollusks, and echinoderms because they are motile (only encrusting sessile organisms would be
included in the definition.)

Amendment: delete "because they are motile" from the motion.

Sub motion: Live rock: living marine organisms or an assemblage thereof attached to a hard substrate
(including dead coral or rock). For example such Living Marine Organisms associated with hard
Bottoms, Banks, Reefs, and Live Rock may include, but are not limited to: see list on pages 6, 7 o f
draft amendment 2

(delete crustaceans, mullusks, and echinoderms). Motion carried

Sub motion: delay action on the coral issue until the next scheduled Council meeting (March). Motion
withdrawn.

Motion: Add live rock t o Objective 2 to read: "Minimize, as appropriate, adverse human impacts o n
coral, coral reefs, and live rock."

on coral, coral reefs, live rock, and live bottom habitat."
sub-motion carried.                                                                           -  -
Motion: Redefine allowable octocorals as "erect, non-encrusting species of the subclass Octocorallia,
except the prohibited sea fans Gornonia flabellurn and Goraonia ventalina, including only the substrate
covered by and within one inch of the holdfast. Motion carried

Motion: Establish a harvest quota of 400 tons of loose, rubble (non attached) rock for 1994. This
would be reduced by 25% (to 300 tons) in 1995; 50% (to 200 tons) in 1996; 75% (100 tons) i n
1997; no wild harvest in 1998.

Sub motion: Establish a stable harvest quota of 400 tons per annum of loose, rubble (non attached)
rock 1994 through 1997 followed by a prohibition of wild live rock harvest in 1998 providing that
mitigation of harvested material be provided with acceptable material on a 211 ratio of mitigated
material to harvested material.

Sub motion failed due t o lack of second.

Sub motion: Live rock harvest be allowed without prohibition for the next three years in the EEZ south
of Cape San Blas to the southern extent of Collier County only.

Sub motion: Establish a harvest quota of 400 tons of wild live rock for 1995 to be reduced by 25%
in 1996, 50% in 1997, 75% in 1998, with no wild harvest in 1999. motion failed.

Sub motion: Establish a harvest quota of 400 tons of wild live rock for 1995 through 1998, with n o
wild harvest in 1999 and subsequent years. If a federal live rock aquaculture permitting system is not
in effect by 1996, wild harvest will remain at the 1995 level.

Motion carried. 9-7

Motion: Staff in conjunction with NOAA Counsel should develop a report by the end of 1994 outlining
detailed procedures for acquiring an aquaculture operation in federal (or state) waters. Motion carried.
Motion: Add a new OY as suggested by NOAA Counsel: "OY for live rock is to be that established
by quota or which may be allowed by permitn. Motion carried.

Secretarial approval - subject to approval by the SAFMC. Tabled and removed.

motion carried

motion: require a federal permit in excess of 10 pounds

sub motion: allowance of non-commercial possesion of 2 gallons of wild live rock be allowed per
person, per trip (possession limit). motion carried.

amend include the words while

Motion: Require a permit for the possession or harvest of live rock from aquaculture operations.
NMFS permits shall be available only to those individuals who have demonstrated that they have
deposited rock or substrate in the permitted site

To obtain permits for live rock aquaculture in the EEZ permittees must have an approved COE permit
to place substrate in the EEZ, and have demonstrated that they have deposited approved material in
the permitted area. such a permit shall be subject to an administrative fee. In order to harvest or
possess live rock from an aquaculture site requires a NMFS permit. Harvest from the area may only
be done by the permitttee or his written designee.                                            -   -
motion carried.

Motion: In addition to any applicable state license or permit, require a federal permit for the harvest
and possesion of wild live rock in the EEZ during the phase out period. Permits shall be limited t o
persons who have commercially landed               required reported wild live rock landings prior to the
control date.                                             3

Motion carried

coral-mo
DRAFT

AMENDMENT 2

TO THE

FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN

FOR

CORAL AND CORAL REEFS

OF THE GULF OF MEXICO

AND

SOUTH ATLANTIC

INCLUDING A DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL
-   -

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

REGULATORY IMPACT REVIEW

AND

INITIAL REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS

NOVEMBER 1 9 9 3

GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
LINCOLN CENTER, SUITE 3 3 1
5 4 0 1 WEST KENNEDY BOULEVARD
TAMPA, FLORIDA 33609-2468
8 1 3-228-281 5

SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
SOUTHPARK BUILDING, SUITE 3 0 6
1 SOUTHPARK CIRCLE
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA 29407-4699

This is a publication of the GUMof Mexico and South Atlantic fishery Management Councils pursuant to National Oceanic
end Atmospheric Administration Award Nos. NA4 7FC0005 and NA47FC0006.
COVER SHEET

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES:                  Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Lincoln Center, Suite 331
5401 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33609-2468

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Southpark Building, Suite 306
1 Southpark Circle
Charleston, South Carolina 29407-4699

National Marine Fisheries Service
9450 Koger Boulevard
St. Petersburg, Florida 33702

TITLE OF PROPOSED ACTION:              Draft Amendment 2 to the Fishery
Management Plan for Coral and
Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico
and South Atlantic

TYPE OF DOCUMENT:                      Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEISL
-
CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
-   -

Terrance Leary
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Lincoln Center, Suite 331
5401 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33609
813-228-281 5

Roger Pugliese
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Southpark Building, Suite 306
One Southpark Circle
Charleston, SC 29407-4699
803-57 1-4366

COMMENTS DUE BY: January 15, 1994

ABSTRACT:

The Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Councils (Councils) are considering an amendment to the
Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic
(FMP) that could add "live rock" t o the fishery management unit. Live rock means certain living
marine organisms or an assemblage thereof attached to a hard substrate (including dead coral or
rock]. In addition to corals, these organisms include anemones, sponges, tube worms, molluscs,
crustaceans, echinoderms, bryozoans, sea squirts, and algae.

Management could include harvest limitations or prohibition t o prevent fishery habitat loss,
permitting of harvesters, and a provision for aquaculture of live rock.

Section                                                                                                                   Page

SUMMARY         . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
1.0 INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Description of the Fishew
Purpose and Need

2.0 ALTERNATIVE INCLUDING THE PROPOSED ACTION                                .........................5
3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT                    ........................................                                           14

4.0 REGULATORY IMPACT REVIEW
AND INITIAL REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS                              . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
5.0 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES                . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
6.0   TIME AND LOCATION OF PUBLIC HEARINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

7.0   LIST OF PREPARERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
;        '

8.0   LIST OF AGENCIES AND ORGANIZATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1

9.0 OTHER APPLICABLE LAW                . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
10.0 REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F-1

APPENDIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A-1
SUMMARY:

Live rock is a calcareous material containing an assemblage of living marine organisms. It is
harvested by hand from the substrate by divers and is sold for use in marine aquaria. The harvest
accelerated in the 1980s, with most production being off Florida. That state became concerned
with the removal of hard bottom habitat for other marine species and prohibited harvest in its
waters. The Councils propose management of this resource.

Alternatives under consideration include:

A. No action
0. Definitions for Management Unit
( 1 Defining live rock and adding it to the management unit
(2) Redefining octocorals
C. Management of live rock
( 11 Harvest limits
a. Establishing an annual harvest quota for live rock
b. Limiting access and providing effon limit for live rock
(2) Harvest Prohibition
a. Prohibiting live rock harvest
b. Phasing out live rock harvest
c. Providing for aquaculture of otherwise prohibited live rock                                 -
(3) Provide for different management in the jurisdictional areas of the two councils            _
(4) Permits
(a) Providing for a federal permit for wild live rock harvest and possession
(b) Providing for a federal permit for possession and harvest of live rock from aquaculture
operation
(c) Providing for a federal permit to take prohibited live rock for scientific and educational
purposes

D. Optimum Yield

Issues and concerns to be addressed in the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)
are: what are the direct and indirect effects of live rock harvests on substrate availability and reef
fish productivity? (Habitat Loss); how will restrictions on live rock harvests affect the aquarium
trade? (Aquarium Sales); how can we ensure the viability of the entire coral reef ecosystem?
(Ecosystem Management); how does the continued collection of live rock affect non-consumptive
usersldivers? (Aesthetic Values); and what is the most consistent management regime for live rock
in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), state waters, within protected zones such as National
Marine Sanctuaries, state and federal parks? (Consistent Regulations).
Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in this Document

CFMC             Caribbean Fishery Management Council
DSEIS            Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
EEZ              Exclusive Economic Zone
FDEP ( = FDNR)   Florida Department of Environmental Protection (successor t o Florida
Department of Natural Resources)
FMFC             Florida Marine Fisheries Commission
FMP              Fishery Management Plan
FMRl             Florida Marine Research Institute
GMFMC            Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
NMFS             National Marine Fisheries Service
OY               Optimum Yield
RFA              Regulatory Flexibility Act
RIR              Regulatory lmpact Review
SAFMC            South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
1.O INTRODUCTION

Description of the Fishery

With the recent development of technology to maintain marine aquaria, a market developed for
calcarious material to decorate the tanks and to maintain the proper water chemistry. This
material, composed of calcium carbonate and the attached marine life occurs naturally off the
Florida coast and consists of coral reef rubble and limestone. Coral reefs and hard corals are
protected by federal and Florida regulations.

Live rock was marketed in the 1970s, but the fishery expanded greatly in the 1980s and early
1990s to meet the demand from the development of public and private marine aquaria.

Technical advances in saltwater aquarium filtration systems during the mid-1980s led t o the
feasibility of so-called 'mini-reef" systems dominated by invertebrates. These organisms and
nitrogen-fixing bacteria serve as a form of filtration to reduce toxins and filter out excess organics
as they feed (Blackburn, 1988). Demand for ornamental fish began to include "live rock,"
consisting generally of calcareous substrates encrusted with a variety of living marine organisms.

Live rock is now being air shipped throughout the United States and to Canada and England. The
marine aquarium hobby at first concentrated on fishes because neither the equipment nor the
knowledge allowed the keeping of other organisms. Gradually, as knowledge and equipment
improved, more and more invertebrates were kept successfully. In recent years, the development -
of "Living Reef' aquarium systems that were able to maintain stable ecologies in closed-system
aquariums has enabled aquarists to set up and maintain tiny bits of reef ecology in their homes
(Feddern, pers. comm.). Florida live rock landings in 1992 reached 390 tons (FDEP).

Robert Stewart, Jr. (pers. comm.), reports that live rock "carries" the marine aquarium trade
industry of Florida and estimates that without the sale of live rock, his company would lose 50-75
percent of their gross revenue, since the live rock is very important in stimulating the sales of
related marine life products.

Most of the live rock collectors are in the marine life fishery, which also harvests tropicals for the
aquarium trade. Live rock is harvested by divers who selectively pick-up small pieces from the
bottom. Harvesters maintain that they do not remove large quantities from a single site, but range
over wide areas of hard bottoms choosing aesthetically pleasing pieces that would beautify aquaria.
One square mile of hard bottom is estimated t o contain about 600,000 tons of live rock in the top
one foot of surface. The Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources in the Gulf of Mexico
estimates there to be 19,691 square miles of live bottom within 55 fathoms in the Gulf (GMFMC,
19911.

Purpose and Need

In 1989, the Florida Department of Natural Resources (FDNR) (now Department of Environmental
Protection) determined that live rock harvest (i.e., the collection of rocks with marine organisms
attached for use in home aquariums) was detrimental to the Florida Reef Tract and other hard
bottom habitat areas (Wheaton, 1989). Accordingly, Florida prohibited live rock landings from
state waters in May, 1989; however, effort shifted to the EEZ off Florida (Florida Marine Fisheries
Commission (FMFC, 1991).
Although the councils discussed the live rock issue, no action was taken because the Florida
Marine Fisheries Commission had decided to begin rulemaking regarding live rock landings from the
EEZ off Florida (FMFC, 1991). During the course of its rulemaking, the FMFC noted that
approximately 35 individuals were reporting landings of about 300 tons (1991 1 of live rock from
waters adjacent to the Florida Reef Tract, Florida's east coast reefs, and the west central coast
(FMFC, 1992). (Reported landings in 1992 totaled about 400 tons [Florida Marine Research
Institute (FMRI, 19931). (See Figures 1A, 1B and 6).

Beginning in March 1991, FMFC held five public hearings and two workshops throughout the state
regarding the impacts of live rock harvests on coral conservation, habitat preservation, and the
effects of harvest restrictions on the marine aquarium industry.
During its rulemaking the FMFC noted that the only current net production of the carbonate
substrate underlying live rock occurs on living coral reefs; and, in Florida, these areas are either in
equilibrium or eroding. FDNR personnel testified that more than 90 percent of the live rock
examined at the request of enforcement agents contained visible colonies of prohibited corals. The
FMFC concluded that live rock removal (11 can violate state and Federal laws that prohibit the
taking of corals. (2) reduces the surface area and topographic complexity of Florida's coral reefs
and other live bottom areas, and (3) removes entire micro-communities along with targeted
aquarium species.

The Councils, along with other state and Federal agencies, also received a petition in June of 1991
from Project ReefKeeper requesting rulemaking action to prohibit the taking and landing of live rock
within their areas of jurisdiction. The purpose of the request was to protect coral reefs and their
associated marine life (Stone, 19911. The Councils and NMFS advised Project ReeKeeper that they
were deferring action to obtain additional data.

In June 1992, the Florida Governor and Cabinet approved the FMFC rule t o phase-out live rock
landings over a 3-year period, ending on June 30, 1995. The phase-out period was designed to
allow development of live rock aquaculture which would be exempt from the harvest ban. The
phase-out was to be accomplished by a 25 percent annual reduction in landings (baSed on the
1991 reponed landings) accompanied by a 500 pound daily vessel limit. The quotas set were 225
-
tons for 1993, 150 tons in 1994, 75 tons in 1995. A July 1 June 3 0 season was established,
and the 1993 quota was filled by February 12, 1993.

On March 31, 1993, a U.S. District Coun Judge issued a preliminary injunction to prevent
enforcement of the state's quota or vessel landing limits relating to possession or landing of live
rock taken in the EEZ. Florida live rock fishermen argued that the Magnuson Act supersedes state
landing laws and that the Councils had made 'an affirmative and conscious decision" not to
prohibit the taking of live rock in the EEZ. The councils had deferred action because the
implementation of a phase-out of live rock landings by the state of Florida addressed what
appeared to be a localized management issue. Subsequently, they became concerned that the
removal of live rock from the EEZ was now unregulated, and there now is interest in harvest from
North Carolina through Alabama. In April, 1993 the SAFMC approved a motion to include live rock
in the Coral Fishery Management Plan and reactivate the South Atlantic Coral Advisory Panel. In
May, 1993 the Gulf Council, on being advised of live rock landings in Alabama and on the request
of that state and Florida, initiated development of options for live rock management. In June,
1993 the SAFMC held a public scoping meeting in Duck Key, Florida t o solicit input from the
harvesters and the general public on the management of live rock. In addition, the Councils
recommended that a control date be published t o accomplish two things; first, it would put all
active harvesters and people interested in beginning harvest on notice that the Councils are
developing regulations to manage live rock in the EEZ, and secondly, that the Councils would
consider all options from total prohibition to a limited entry system.
Live rock landings and other fishery statistics for states other than Florida are not available;
however, live rock landings are believed to occur in Alabama, and possibly South and North
Carolina. In addition, in SAFMC deliberation on live rock, it was noted that a request had been
made to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for information on the distribution of live
rock or hard bottom off Georgia with the intent of identifying possible harvest locations. NMFS
recently received a request for licensing information for a new business planning to land live rock in
North Carolina (R.Schmied, pers. comm.). Live rock harvest is currently allowed in the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary, but may be restricted to specific areas by a developing plan.
Subsequently both councils have decided to consider options regarding live rock and to establish a
control date for entry into the fishery.

-
ISSUES TO BE CONSIDERED
HABITAT LOSS What are the direct and indirect effects of live rock harvests on substrate
I
availability and reef fish productivity?
I                       -
AQUARIUM SALES How will restrictions on live rock harvests affect the aquarium trade?
I1
11   ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT        -   How can we ensure the viability of the entire coral reef
1    ecosystem?
I
-
AESTHETIC VALUES How does the continued collection of live rock affect non-consumptive         :
usersldivers.                                                                       -      -
-
CONSISTENT REGULATIONS What is the most consistent management regime for live rock
harvests in the EEZ, state waters, and the National Marine Sanctuary.

2.0 ALTERNATIVES INCLUDING THE PROPOSED ACTION

A. NO ACTION

Discussion:

Before the mid-1980% marine aquarium hobbyists concentrated on tropical fish rather than
invertebrates. In recent years, however, experienced hobbyists have been able to establish "Living
Reef" aquarium systems using live rock and its associated invertebrates (Feddern, pers. comm. 1.
By the late 1980s, the Florida Marine Patrol estimated that about 3 tons of live rock left Miami
International Airport daily (Wheaton, 1989; FMFC, 19911. In April 1990, Florida began a licensing
and reporting system for live rock landings from the EEZ. In the first year, landings increased 68
percent, but this could have been an artifact of the new reporting system. Between 1991 and
1992, reported landings in Florida increase by one-third (FMRI, 1993). Florida landings of live rock
in 1991 were composed of 41 percent rubble rock, 35 percent algae rock, and 9 percent serpulid
rock with sea mat, false coral, and gorgonian rock comprising the remainder. Live rock is now
being air shipped from Florida throughout the United States and to Canada and England (Feddern.
pers. comm.).

Ecoloaical: Expert testimony to the FMFC (FMFC, 1991, 1992), to the South Atlantic Council ( J u n e
19931 and Wheaton (1989) indicates that live rock harvests represent a consumptive use of an
essentially non-renewable resource. In addition, live rock removals are concentrated in only a few
areas, primarily off South Florida (Figures 2, 3, and 4). About 40 percent of the 1992 landings
were recorded along a 40 mile stretch of reef in the Florida Keys (Tavernier to Duck Key) (FMRI.
1993) (Figure 4). Thus, adverse impacts can be expected on hard bottom habitat from a
continuation of live rock harvests at reported levels. The FMFC estimated that the 1991 harvest
resulted in the loss of at least .39 acre of hard bottom surface (4 inches deep). BY 1992, harvest
levels had increased from a reported 300 tons to about 400 tons. In the period January through
July of 1993, with no harvest allowed in March, 250 tons were landed (FMRI, 1993). Monthly
landings have continually increased in 1993 over 1990 (Figure 6).

The SAFMC's Habitat and Environmental Protection Advisory Panel developed the following
position statement: "It is the opinion of the majority of scientists familiar with the ecology of live
rock habitats that continued harvest of "wild rock" is resulting in a net loss of this important
resource, ..." In addition, they referred to live rock as "... habitat of at least high value and, to a
larger extent, critical value for a number of managed species including spiny lobster, reef fishes
including the snapperlgrouper complex and state managed species such as "tropical species" for

Socioeconomi~:Florida estimated that the ex-vessel value of the FY 95 live rock harvest in the EEZ
off Florida would be about $3.5 million, assuming no state or Federal restrictions and a 30 percent annual increase in landings (FMFC, 1992). 6. DEFINITIONS FOR THE MANAGEMENT UNIT The management unit already consists of the coral and coral reefs of the EEZ within the jurisdiction of the Councils. The species already included in the management unit area: - - a. Corals: the corals of the Class HYDROZOA (stinging and hydrocorals) and the-class ANTHOZOA (sea fans, whips, precious corals, sea pens, and stony corals). b. Coral Reefs: The hard bottoms, deep-water banks, patch reefs, and outer bank reefs. (1 Addition of Live Rock to the Coral FMP's Management Unit G&SA* Additions to the management unit: c. Live Rock: Certain living marine organisms or an assemblage thereof attached t o a hard substrate (including dead coral or rock). Such Living Marine Organisms associated with Hard Bottoms, Banks, Reefs, and Live Rock may include: Sea Anemones (Phylum CNIDARIA: Class ANTHOZOA: Order ACTINARIA) Sponges (Phylum PORIFERA) Tube Worms (Phylum ANNELIDA) Fan worms Feather duster worms Christmas tree worms G - lndicates preferred option of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council SA - Indicates preferred option of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Crustaceans (Phylum ARTHROPODA: Class CRUSTACEA) Molluscs (Phylum MOLLUSCAI Snails Nudibranchs Bivalves: scallops, oysters, clams, mussels Cleaner shrimp Decorator and hermit crabs Echinoderms (Phylum ECHINODERMATA) Starfish Brittlestars and feather stars Crinoids Sea Urchins Byozoans (Phylum BRYOZOA) Sea Squirts (Phylum CHORDATA) Marine Algae Mermaid's fan and cups (Ydotea spp.) Corraline algae Green feather, green grape algae (Cauler~a SPP.) Watercress (Halimeda spp.) Discussion: - In order to be included in the management unit live rock must be defined. The Councils are , _ authorized to develop management plans for fisheries (composed of stocks of finfish, mollusks, crustaceans, and all other forms of marine animal and plant life other than marine mammals and birds). This definition aptly describes the product and conforms to those animals and marine life forms subject to management under the Magnuson Act. (21 Redefinition of Allowable Octocoralt G & SA "Allowable octocorals" could be redefined as follows: Allowable octocorals means erect. non-encrustinn soecies of the subclass Octocorallia, gxceot the orohibited sea fans Gomonia flabellum and G. ventalina. includinn onlv the substrate covered bv the holdfast. Discussion: Any restrictions on live rock harvests will affect harvest of octocorals allowed under the FMP since most octocorals taken for the marine aquarium trade are removed with attached substrate. A redefinition,of "allowable octocorals" would help clarify that only individual colonies, and not whole rocks, may be taken under the octocoral quota. Harvest of encrusting octocorals he., primarily Briareum and Ewthrooodium spp. or "gorgonian live rock") involves removal of the entire substrate. C. MANAGE LIVE ROCK HARVESTS The impacts of managing live rock harvests will depend upon the specific type of restrictions chosen. Restriction alternatives include: C. 1. Limit Harvest a. Establish an annual quota for live rock harvest b. Limit access/effort for live rock C.2, Prohibit Harvest a. Prohibit harvest of live rock b. Phase out harvest of live rock c. Provide for aquaculture of live rock C.3 Provide for different management in the jurisdictional areas of the two councils Any restrictions on the harvest of live rock will entail consideration of scientific and educational uses, the addition of live rock to the management unit, a possible re-definition of allowable octocorals, and the timing of restrictions as a mitigating measure. C. 1. Limit Harvest C.1 .a. Establish a live rock quota and permit system. Section 12.3.1 may be revised to provide an annual quota for live rock. An additional management measure may be added to include a permit and reporting system for live rock harvest, similar to allowable octocorals. Other than recent production statistics from Florida there are few data on which t o base a quota. Discussion: - - Ecoloaicd: Florida live rock collectors argue that there is net production of live rock on the Florida Reef Tract. In testimony on the State's rulemaking, marine life fishermen noted that - pieces of coral reefs naturally break off during storms forming the rubble zones or coral rubble - and that this live rock was surplus to the needs of the ecosystem and available for harvest. They recommended no quotas but wished to limit future entry into the fishery. Trip limits have been suggested by some. About 85 percent of the 1991 live rock harvest was rubble, algae, or serpulid rock (FDER). It is used as a base in saltwater aquariums to improve filtration. The filtration capabilities of coral rubble depend on the presence of a complex assemblage of micro-organisms, bacteria, larval forms of coral, and other macro-invertebrates. Live rock, however, is probably at least as useful in the reef ecosystem as it is in marine aquaria, i.e., as substrate essential for colonization of sessile organisms including prohibited coral (FMFC, 19911. Some commercial live rock is encrusted with "showyw macro-organisms to form a "mini-reef". Based on estimated growth rates for coral reefs, these mini-reefs probably grow extremely slowly, if at all (FMFC, 1991; CFMC in draft). Socioeconomi~: The wholesale (exvessel) value of live rock varies by location and with encrusting organisms. Bare rubble rock may be priced as low as$0.50 per pound while
"Christmas tree rock' brings 53.00 per pound (R. Londeree, pers. comm.).

C.1 .b. Limit AccesslEffort in the Live Rock Fishery

Implement a moratorium on new entrants in the harvest of live rock and limit the harvest to         X
pounds per daily trip.
Discussion:

Ecoloaical: Florida live rock collectors recommended no quotas but wished to limit future entry
into the fishery (Januzzi. 19911. Trip limits have also been recommended by some fishermen
during Council discussions.

Studies have shown that the coral rubble communities are extremely rich in species diversity,
provide refuge for species that are not found in other habitats, and contribute a substantial
amount of the total coral reef biomass (Meesters et al. 19911. Only about 30 percent of the
1991 live rock harvest was so-called "rubble rock" used as a base in saltwater aquariums to
improve filtration (FMFC, 1992). Based on estimated growth rates for coral reefs (maximum
sustainable growth of about 10 mmlyr [Buddemeier and Smith, 19881), these "mini-reefs" grow
extremely slowly. Serpullid rock, composed of calcareous worm tubes, accretes more rapidly.
It comprised about 33 percent of live rock production on Florida's West Coast in 1991.

Florida's live rock harvest in 1992 was about 800,000 pounds as compared with 370,000 for
1 1.5 months of 1991. With increasing sophistication of marine aquarium facilities there is a
potential for increasing the number of participants in the fishery and harvest of live rock.

Socioeconomic: Currently about 35 individuals or about 18 percent of those engaged in the
marine aquarium or "marine life" fishery in Florida are involved at least part-time in the
collection of live rock. The FMRl reports the exvessel value of the 1992 live rock harvest at -
about $628,000. Limiting entry and effort rather than prohibitions on harvesting of live roc-k could allow this industry to continue at some prescribed level of harvest. C.2. Prohibit Harvest s U? C.2.a. Prohibit Harvest of Live Rock SA Amend the FMP to prohibit the take or possession of live rock from the EEZ. This is the preferred option of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Discussion: Ecoloaical: The current Coral FMP prohibits the damaging, harming, killing, or possession of prohibited coral or of coral reefs. Thus, the taking of live rock from these sources is currently prohibited. The importance of live rock t o the reef ecosystem is threefold. First, the sessile invertebrate communities that comprise live rock are a significant food base for fisheries of commercial and recreational importance. Second, the physical and topographical complexity of the hard substrate and attached living communities provides critical shelter and habitat to a wide range of organisms. Limestone ledges and outcroppings and serpulid rocks which occur in the eastern Gulf of Mexico also provide habitat for invertebrate reef dwelling organisms as well as reef fish assemblages. Indeed, many studies show a positive correlation between increased habitat complexity and increased fish abundance and diversity (e.g., Carpenter et al., 1981; Roberts and Ormond, 1987; Hixon and Beets, 1993). Third, rock and dead coral surfaces are vital substrates for the settlement of larval phases of benthic organisms. Suitability of substrate is one of the major factors controlling the distribution of many species (Kinzie, 1971; Wheaton, 1989). There is little known of the generation rates of live rock complexes. In terms of some hard substrate, replacement is likely to be in the order of geological time and harvest is expected to result in net loss of this substrate. In addition, Amendment 1 to the SnapperIGrouper FMP in the South Atlantic (SAFMC, 1988) prohibits trawling a live bottom to protect essential fishery habitat from disturbance. The SAFMC considered disturbance of essential reef fish habitat unacceptable considering the limited distribution of limestone ledges and outcropping which constitute the majority of hard bottom in the South Atlantic north of Cape Canaveral, Florida (Figure 5). Wheaton, in a presentation to the South Atlantic Council's Habitat Committee, stated that the rubble zone of a reef tract promotes the highest carbonate production from coral and algae which sustains the living coral reef. she noted that 75 percent of the rubble live rock has come from Area 748, a 40-mile section of the Florida reef tract (Figures 3 and 4). Harvest of "wild" live rock could be replaced with live rock from aquaculture in state waters. Experiments on the cultivation of live rock in Tampa Bay, Florida, indicate that marketable live rock can be produced within 6 months (Ehringer and Webb, 1992). A more desirable product would take longer to produce, perhaps a year or longer (Shella Barger, pers. comm.). One 5- acre lease site has been approved off Tarpon Springs and the Florida Governor and Cabinet is scheduled to consider a second lease site in September 1993. FDEP plans to survey a third site in October. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is developing rulemaking which provides for a general permit for live rock aquaculture which should be implemented in July of 1994, prior to the approval and possible effective date of regulations presented in this amendment (V. Wetherell, pers. comm.). Prohibition of harvest upon implementation of this amendment would correspond closely with the original phase-out implemented by Florida. In addition, total landings from the now unregulated fishery will exceed what the total landings would have been under previous state regulations. Billy Causey, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (Sanctuary) Manager, testified at a SAFMC Habitat Committee meeting in June, 1993 that the aquaculture of live rock could be done in the "special use zones" which have been proposed in the Draft Sanctuary Plan. Special use zones, as described in a Sanctuary draft management alternatives document (NOAA, 1993) can be used to, "establish areas that confine or restrict high-impact activities ... and to reduce user conflicts." FDEP personnel are meeting with Sanctuary personnel in October of 1993 to discuss the coordination of aquaculture sitings in the Sanctuary (Wheaton, pers. comm.). Socioeconomi~: There will be costs associated with permitting and licensing systems to establish and monitor open-system aquaculture operations. A continuation of a supply of aquacultured product, however, could benefit the marine aquarium industry as a whole, including fish collectors, fish wholesalers and retailers, equipment suppliers, and the live rock producers. Although most marine aquarium species are taken from the wild, about 90 percent of the freshwater fish available in the ornamental trade are captive-bred (Andrews, 1990). If prohibitions are placed on wild harvests, the marine aquarium industry could transfer to aquaculture provided the legal means to do so are implemented in state or federal waters. A further delay of up to one year after placement of the cultch material may be expected to allow for attachment and growth of marine organisms. C.2.b. Phase-out Live Rock Harvest Allow a harvest or decreasing annual quotas of live rock harvest for a prescribed period to allow eventual replacement from aquaculture. The Gulf Council proposes as its preferred option to allow three more years of unlimited live rock harvest after implementation of the amendment. After three years live rock could be harvested.from or possessed in the EEZ only under permit for aquaculture or scientific collection. This alternative would allow time for live rock fishermen to convert to aquaculture. There is proposed to be such a system in Florida; however, no such operation has been completely permitted. An applicant may spend a year obtaining a permit once a system is developed and another year in culturing the introduced cultch (seed rock) material. There are a number of other phase-out schedules that may be considered, including longer or shorter time periods and the use of daily vessel limits. Florida prohibited live rock harvest from state waters in 1989, but decided to allow a gradual phase-out of landings from the EEZ to minimize economic impacts on fishermen and to allow the development of live rock aquaculture in state waters (FMFC 1992). Florida's phase-out schedule: Harvest of live rock in the EEZ is not to exceed 225 tons during the 1993 season, 150 tons during the 1994 season and 75 tons during the 1995 season. Following the close of the 1995 season, OY for live rock in the EEZ is to be zero (0) except as may be authorized for scientific and educational purposes or aquaculture permit. This phase-out schedule was - overturned by a federal court in March 1993, however. - - Discussion: Ecolo~ical: A phasing out of live rock harvest from the EEZ would allow three more years of harvest but would eventually eliminate any adverse impact caused by the removal of hard bottom material. Socioeconomi~: Presumably, aquaculture operations could eventually replace the harvest of naturally occurring live rock while contributing to a reef type of habitat. Deposition of material would be similar to construction of an artificial reef. In addition, stony corals and other prohibited corals will settle on the aquaculture substrate, and their harvest and sale will need to be addressed specifically. No aquaculture venture has yet obtained all necessary permits for operation in Florida or federal waters; though several collectors are currently attempting t o do so (R. Londeree, pers: comm.). The Florida Department of Environmental Protection expects to develop a rule- making for allowing live rock aquaculture in July 1994 (V. Wetherall, per. comm.). The Minerals Management Service has no history of leasing bottom areas for such purposes in federal waters; though some arrangement may be possible (C. Oynes, pers. comm.). Sufficient phase-out time, perhaps several years after permitting procedures are resolved, would be required to prevent a disruption of the live rock fishery and market. C.2.c. Provide for Aquaculture of Live Rock in the EEZ Discussion: The organisms in the management unit for live rock will readily attach to and grow on suitable material introduced into the marine environment given the appropriate conditions. Shipwrecks, offshore platforms, rock jetties, bottles, and artificial reefs all bear evidence of accretion of various organisms. The Coral FMP, for example, specifically exempts the "harvest" of coral in the removal of marine equipment such as that used in offshore petroleum extraction. The Gulf Council proposes to provide allowance of aquaculture of live rock in the EEZ. The rate of the encrustation of the material by desirable live rock organisms depends on local environment. Some seed rock may be saleable as live rock in as short a period as six months while development of more showy pieces may require several years. In order to identify the cultured rock it may be necessary to require use of non-indigenous material or some type of mark or tag to separate the aquaculture rock from "wild" live rock. A number of potential aquaculturalists are interested in Federal lease sites for open-system live rock aquaculture. The Mobile District of the Army Corps of Engineers has indicated a willingness to authorize placement and removal of cultch material for live rock culture within the general permit area for artificial reef construction off Alabama. Authorization would be on an individual basis upon application. However, the applicant would not have exclusive property rights over the seeded live rock. Socioeconomi~: A provision to allow 'production and sale of cultured live rock if the harvest of wild live rock is prohibited would at least partially replace the loss to fishermen and others in the business. Exvessel sales of rock in 1992 were estimated t o be$628,000 in Florida. If
maintenance of marine aquaria are dependent on such materials, then its production would .
affect the entire industry.                                                              -  -

C.3.    Provide for Different Management in the Jurisdictional Areas of the Two Councils

Discussion:

The two Councils have selected different preferred options for discussion at public review. The
issues may be very different in the two areas. Most of the Florida reef tract where much live rock
is produced lies within the jurisdiction of the South Atlantic Council. Most live rock in the Gulf
comes from live bottom areas on the Florida shelf where there are fewer live coral reefs. The
Councils could opt for different approaches to management because of the difference in bottom
types and their need for protection.

C.4.    Permits for Live Rock Harvest

m?           C.4.a.         Require a federal permit in the absence of a state permit for harvest and
G                           possession of "wild" live rock from the EEZ during the phase-out period.

Discussion:

The use of a permit would identify participants if effort limitation or a moratorium is selected
as the preferred option.

The use of a permit could also facilitate statistical reporting. Florida already requires a
marine life permit for landing live rock from the EEZ, therefore only persons landing live rock
in other states would be affected.
s
u?     C.4.b Require a permit for the possession or harvest of live rock from aquaculture
G               operations.

Live rock from a federally-authorized aquaculture operation may be possessed aboard a
vessel in the EEZ or landed from the EEZ under a harvest permit issued by a federal entity.
The presence of prohibited coral on the live rock is authorized under the permit.

While the Councils and NMFS do not have the authority to lease federal water bottoms for
aquaculture, other federal agencies (Corps of Engineers, Minerals Management Service, and
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary) may have some regulatory responsibility in that
respect. A permit would allow harvest and possession of otherwise prohibited material.

Discussion:

Ecoloaical: The transfer of live rock harvest from naturally occurring rock to aquaculture
operations would preserve and enhance hard bottom habitat. A permit requirement would
limit harvest to persons with authorized aquaculture operations. Although there is currently
no known provision for leasing federal water bottom for aquaculture, some mechanism may
be used through a Corps of Engineers' permit to place and remove cultch material.
Individuals could obtain authorization to deposit the cultch material (seed rock) without
exclusive harvest rights afforded by a lease. In such cases the existence of an aquaculture:
permit for live rock harvest would be useful in separating aquaculturalists from illegal - -
harvesters.

The exemption for possession of prohibited corals on cultured live rock becomes appropriate
due to the probability that corals will settle and grow on the cultch material.

The introduction of rock or other cultch material in aquaculture operations would serve to
expand hard bottom areas similar to the construction of artificial reefs on otherwise barren
bottoms.

Socioeconomi~: If the marine aquarium industry is dependent on a source of live rock to
stabilize water chemistry in aquaria, the livelihood of a number of people in associated sales
and services would be adversely affected by a termination of supply. Included would be fish
collectors, fish wholesalers and retailers, equipment suppliers, as well as the live rock
producers.

s
I      C.4.c.          Require a federal permit for harvest of prohibited corals and prohibited live
G&SA                   rock from the EEZ for scientific, aducational, and restoration purposes.

Discussion:

The Coral FMP currently provides for issuance of a federal permit t o take prohibited corals
for scientific and educational purposes. If live rock is added to the management unit and its
harvest is restricted or prohibited, allowance should be made to add it to the scientific
collecting permit.
D.     OPTIMUM YIELD (OY) FOR LIVE ROCK

D l    OY for live rock is to be zero except for that which may be allowed by permit.
SA
There is to be no allowable harvest under this OY except that which is provided under scientific,
educational, or restoration collecting permit or aquaculture permit. The amended FMP currently
defines overfishing as an annual level of harvest that exceeds OY.

Discussion:

Ecolooical: This alternative would provide the maximum protection to the hard bottom habitat. I t
is compatible with Alternative C.2,prohibition of harvest.

Socioeconomi~: There would be no further loss to fisheries from habitat removal due to harvest of
live rock. Harvestors and dealers of live rock and those in the aquarium trade would lose access t o
the natural resource unless and until an alternative source is provided through aquaculture or from
imported material.

0.2.       OY for live rock to be unlimited for three years after which it is to be zero except for that
which may be allowed by permit.

This alternative is compatible with Alternative C.2.b, which would provide for a three-year ~hase-
out period. After that, harvest would be allowed only under permit for scientific collection or
aquaculture.

Discussion:

Ecoloaical: Live rock harvest would continue, probably at or near current level. The material would
be removed from rubble areas and hard bottom areas, and to that extent would degrade the hard
bottom habitat.

Socioeconomi~: This option would provide a three-year grace period to allow harvestors, dealers,
and users to develop an alternative source of supply.

3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT
..
_-
Florida's "marine life' or aquarium fishery involves at least 300 species of tropical ornamental fish
and invertebrates. In recent years, declining catch-per-unit-effort has led t o industry sponsored
proposals for limited entry. Florida's Department of Environmental Protection IFDEP) has issued
marine life endorsements on 198 saltwater product licenses (SPLs); about 60 percent are full-time
fishermen. About two-thirds reside in Monroe County and almost 90 percent are from South
Florida [Januzzi, 1991; Florida Marine Fisheries Commission (FMFC), 19921.

Wheaton (1989) defined "live rock" as a broad term used by the marine life collection industry to
describe several types of substrate colonized by marine organisms and described four main types
collected in somewhat specific habitats:
1. Rubble Rock - Also called base rock, "possesses very little life" but is desirable for the
"borers" living'in the rock and as a substrate "base" in aquaria. Rubble rock is collected
from mounds in shallow water in back-reef locations.

-
2. Algae Rock Also called plant rock, is colonized chiefly by algae, secondarily by feather
duster worms and other invertebrates. Algae rock is collected from rubble areas in the back
reef and from inshore areas on both the Atlantic and Gulf sides of the Keys.

3. False Coral - Also called anemone rock, is covered with anemones in the genera Ricordea
and Rhodactis, which are accompanied by encrusting gorgonians, chicken liver sponges,
other invertebrates, and algae. Although collected mostly from patch reef areas, false coral
occurs in other reef habitats.

4. Sea Mat - Also called gravel rock, is colonized almost exclusively by anemone-like
organisms, usually of the genus Zoanthus, and is principally collected from dredged rock
jetties.

Wheaton continues that her sources (dealers and collectors) maintain that the majority of the rock
itself is dead coral, and its collection is primarily to obtain the associated organisms. Similar types
of live rocks are also harvested from Gulf waters (personal observation1 communication). However,
the underlying substrate in the Gulf is chiefly limestone outcropping with carbonate sediments
rather than dead coral. Live rock can therefore be defined as a substrate with a composition that -
varies from deadleroded coral, to a conglomerate of cemented calcium carbonate sediments, to
-
non-organic rock of various shapes and dimensions with attached andlor associated biota, f&ming
micro-communities. The substrate may exist as reef framework, outcroppings of hard bottom, or
unconsolidated rubble.

In 1989, FDEP determined that live rock harvests constituted prohibited mining of state submerged
lands, and landings from state waters were prohibited, but fishing operations shifted t o the EEZ and
intensified due to increasing demand (FMFC, 19911. By the late 1980s, the Florida Marine Patrol
estimated that about 3 tons of live rock left Miami International Airport daily (FMFC, 1991 ;
Wheaton, 1989). About 31 percent (61 of Florida's SPLs with a marine life endorsement (198)
report live rock landings from the EEZ off Florida (FMFC, 1992). According to Norris and Wheaton
(1991 ), during the last 9 months in 1990 (the first required reporting period), a total of 133 tons of
live rock were reported landed in Florida. During the same 9 month period in 1991, over 226 tons
were reported (a 68 percent increase). Total reported landings in Florida were about 300 tons in
1991 (FMFC, 1992). Landings and other fishery statistics for other states are not available;
although live rock landings are believed to occur in Texas and Alabama. NMFS recently received a
request for licensing information for a new business planning to land live rock in North Carolina (R.
Schmied, pers. comm.).

of
Descri~tion the Resource

A.      Invertebrates Associated with Reefs and Live Rock:

The assemblage that makes up live rock comprises a community of organisms that have recruited
at different times, grown at different rates and pursued different life history strategies (Wheaton
1989), supported by a hard substrate, often composed of dead coral. In general, little is known of
the biology of the individual organisms and even less of the communities they form. Some are
sessile (do not move) for all of their adult life, some are sedentary and move slowly or rarely, and
others range extensively over the live rock and reef habitats. These organisms are members of a
variety of species of the Phyla Porifera (sponges), Cnideria (anemones and gorgonians), Annelida
(polychaete worms), Mollusca (bivalves, snails and octopus), Arthropoda (shrimp, lobsters, and
crabs), Bryozoa, Echinodermata (starfish, brittlestars, urchins), and Chordata (tunicates or sea
squirts).

Following is a brief summary of the general characteristics of each of these groups.

1. Porifera - Sponges (Phylum PORIFERA) are typically attached to hard substrate. They are all
sessile and exhibit little detectable movement. They display great variability in size and shape.
Growth rates and body shape are highly dependent on space availability, the inclination of the
substrate, and current velocity. They are taken commercially for curios, as bath sponges, and for
use in marine aquaria. Certain species are thought to provide critical habitat for juvenile spiny
lobster (Butler et al. 1992).

-
2. Cnideria Corals and sea anemones (Phylum CNIDERIA) include stony corals, octocorals,
gorgonians, and anemones. Coral biology and life history is discussed in the FMP and Amendment
1. Anemones include a wide variety of organisms that may be solitary or colonial. The polyps vary
greatly in morphology and colonial structure. Species are often brightly colored and are usually
attached to rocks. Solitary anenomes are considered sessile but can change location by slow
gliding. Colonies of anemones are comprised of numerous polyps, each 1-2 cm in diameter and
interconnected as a.mat, which may form large encrusting masses on rocks. The Caribbean or
pink-tipped anemone, which spawns off Key West in late spring, provides shelter for a variety of
juvenile and adult fish and crustaceans (Jennison 19811. No information is available on its age and
growth characteristics.                                                                      . -

-
3. Annelida Segmented tube worms (Phylum ANNELIDA: Polychaeta) including fan worms,
feather duster worms and Chistmas tree worms, live in tubes of varying degrees of complexity
attached to hard substrate and filter-feed with their "fans." Because they firmly adhere to the
substrate, in many cases it is necessary to remove the underlying rock t o collect segmented
worms.

-
4. Mollusca The molluscs (Phylum MOLLUSCA: Gastropoda; Bivalvia; Cephalopoda) are a very
diverse group including snails, nudibranchs, clams, oysters, and octopus. The gastropods (snails
and nudibranchs, or sea slugs) are the largest class of molluscs and have adapted t o a wide range
of habitats including live rock. Snails usually have a spiral shell and an operculum (shell cover),
while the shell is reduced in nudibranchs which have no operculum. Molluscs can be herbivorous,
scrapping algae from rocks, or predaceous, like the horse conch.

Nudibranchs are often highly colored and may occur on the surface of living or dead coral. Many
gastropods reach adult size and maturity in 6 months to 2 years, but slow growth continues and
many species do not reach maximum size for many years. Bivalve molluscs (clams and oysters) are
laterally compressed and possess a shell with two valves, hinged dorsally, that completely enclose
the body. In general, bivalves grow most rapidly during their early years. Ages of 20 t o 30 years
are now known to be common in some bivalves. Flame scallops are commonly collected for marine
aquariums. The flame scallop measures up to 8 cm and occurs in narrow rock crevices,
occasionally in groups. Octopus also occur on coral reefs and live rock and feed at night on other
invertebrates.

-
5. Arthro~oda The shrimp, crab, and lobster (Phylum ARTHR0PODA:Crustacea decopoda)
species are some of the most important reef-associated invertebrates. They are characterized by
their segmented bodies, chitinous exoskeleton, and compound eyes. The shrimp species harvested
for aquariums are characteristically highly colored and are often associated with anemone species,
from which they may derive protection from predators. Some species help clean fish and may play
an important role in reef fish health. Some crab species occur on coral branches and feed on
polyps by night. Decorator crabs attach bits of sponges and algae to their bodies, presumably for
camouflage, The arrow crab most commonly occurs on sponges and near sea anemones. Little is
known of the natural abundance, growth, longevity, or replacement rates of the decapod crustacea
found on live rock and reefs.

6. Echinodermata - The starfish, brittlestars, feather stars and sea urchins are all members of
the phylum ECHINODERMATA. They possess an internal skeleton of calcareous plates and, despite
an underlying bilateral symmetry, often appear circular or exhibit 5-rayed symmetry. Brittlestars
have long arms and can move actively over the reef, while the basket star, attached to gorgonian
or tall coral heads, is relatively sessile. Some sea urchins are valuable research organisms, occur in
rocky habitats, and are probably slow-growing.

-
7. Brvozoa and Chordata Other Phyla, principally the BRYOZOA (ectoprocts or 'moss' animals)
and CHORDATA (ascidians or sea squirts) may be the animals primarily responsible for the water-
filtering characteristics of live rock. Bryozoans colonies can form a thin encrusting layer over rock
or they may be erect and branching. As adults, sea squirts usually live attached, singly or in
colonies, to hard substrate or to the bases such as gorgonian stalks, and vary greatly in size and
coloration.

0 . Ecological Relationships
-
-
The frequency of commensalism (relationship between two organisms in which one species -
benefits and the other species, the host, is neither benefited nor harmed) in the coral reef
-
environment is one of the most important contributing factors to high species diversity (Bruce
1974). Hanlon and Hixon (1986) recorded over 30 small West Indian reef fish within the tentacles
of a single anemone. Several reef and shrimp species, living in close association with anemones,
are believed to play an important role in reef health by their "cleaning" activities. Limbaugh (1961
recorded one cleaning station that was visited by 300 fish over a 6 hour period. Following removal
of cleaner species from 2 reefs, he noted a marked decline in fish in the area over the following
few weeks and, among those remaining, an increase in infections and parasites.

Other interspecific associations have been documented for other fish, cnidarians, molluscs,
crustaceans, echinoderms and brvozoans (Wheaton 1989). For example, sponges are inhabited b y
a wide variety of animals, including crustaceans,'polychaetes, and fish. Several reef fish feed on
sponges as does the endangered hawksbill sea turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata. Zoanthus, a colonial
anemone, is a food source of major importance for at least 1 6 species of fish in 7 families (Randall
1967). In Randall's study, polychaetes were among the most important food items of 62 West
Indian reef fish species in 24 families, and were surpassed as preferred foods only b y crustaceans.
Ophiuroids (brittlestars) were food for 33 fish species and 1 6 species fed on benthic tunicates.
Octocorals have been noted to provide important habitat for fish and invertebrates and may be
especially critical for lobster in the 20-40 mm size range (Wheaton pers. obs.1.

4.0   REGULATORY IMPACT REVIEW AND INITIAL REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS

Introduction

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) requires a Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) for all
regulatory actions that are of public interest. The RIR does three things: 1) it provides a
comprehensive review of the level and incidence of impacts associated with a proposed or final
regulatory action, 2) it provides a review of the problems and policy objectives prompting the
regulatory proposals and an evaluation of the major alternatives that could be used to solve the
problem, and 31 it ensures that the regulatory agency systematically and comprehensively considers
all available alternatives so that the public welfare can be enhanced in the most efficient and cost
effective way. .

The RIR also serves as the basis for determining whether any proposed regulations are a
"significant regulatory action" under certain criteria provided in Executive Order 12866 and
whether the proposed regulations will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number
of small entities in compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA).

This RIR analyzes the probable impacts on fishery participants of the proposed plan amendment t o
the Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic
(FMP).

Problems and Objectives

The general problems and objectives are found in the FMP, as amended. The purpose and need for
the present plan amendment are found in Section 1.0 of the amendment document. Essentially the
current plan amendment addresses the issue of including "live rock" in the management unit,
regulating their harvest in the EEZ, and requiring permits for their harvest and possession.

Methodology and Framework for Analysis
--
The fundamental issue in this plan amendment is the management of "live rock" as part of the
FMP. The basic approach adopted in this RIR is an assessment of management measures from the
standpoint of determining the resulting changes in costs and benefits to society. The net effects
are stated in terms of producer surplus to the harvest sector, net profits t o the intermediate sector,
and consumer surplus t o the final users of the resource.

The harvest sector refers to the commercial harvesters of live rock and the intermediate sector, t o
dealers of live rock. Final users of the resource are taken t o refer to the individuals that derive
benefits from the resource in either consumptive or non-consumptive manner. This last group
consists of individual buyers of live rock from commercial dealers or harvesters, harvesters of live
rock for use in personal aquaria, extractors of live rock for research purposes, and non-extracting
users of live rock such as divers.

In addition to changes in the surpluses mentioned above from managing live rock, there are also
changes in producer and consumer surpluses of indirect users of the resource, such as those
involved in other fisheries and tourist activities, that will be effected through a change in the
management of live rock. Moreover, other so-called non-use values, such as existence value,
bequest value and option value, will be affected by a change in the management of live rock. .
Finally, there are public and private costs associated with the process of changing and enforcing
regulations on live rock.

Ideally, all these changes in costs and benefits need to be accounted for in assessing the net
economic benefit from management of live rock. The RIR attempts to determine these changes t o
the extent possible, albeit in a very qualitative manner.

In addition to discussions on net economic benefits, some consideration is given on such other
issues as community employment and income opportunity, acceptability of the regulatory
measures, and present and historical panicipation in the fishery.
Impacts of Proposed Actions and Alternatives

A. NO ACTION

Global retail sales of in the ornamental fish hobby has been estimated at about $4 billion, and about$1.6 billion of that amount are spent in the U.S. (Derr, 1992; Andrews, 1990). Reportedly, the
fastest growing component of the marine life or aquarium trade is minireefs or live reef aquarium
systems, the cost of which could range from a thousand to several tens of thousands of dollars
(Derr, 1992). The backbone for this type of aquarium is live rock and its associated invertebrates.
Consumer demand then for such type of aquariums underlie the derived demand for live rock.
Empirical estimates of such demand are not currently available, and in fact there is little known
about the demand for live rock. It can be said, however, that as long as such consumer demand
for minireefs continues to grow over time, derived demand for live rock or its substitutes will
correspondingly grow. The likelihood of such growth in demand depends partly on whether
minireefs are a mere fad or a structural shift in demand for aquariums. While as a fad minireef
demand would decline in the near future, as a structural shift such demand would be sustained
over time. In the latter case, income and population growth would become significant factors.
Looking only at the income factor, one can possibly argue that if a growing demand for minireefs is
observable at current times when the economy is at its ebb, a stronger demand can be expected
when the economy starts to recover. Given such prospects for demand, the derived demand for
live rock and its substitutes may be expected t o keep apace.
-
Supply of accessories for aquarium trade come from many countries, including the U.S. While   -
domestic production of ornamental fish comprises only a small percentage of the entire U.S.
--
supply, it does reportedly account for a good percentage of live rock supply in the U.S. As
mentioned elsewhere in the amendment document, a portion of domestic production is also shipped

While live rock landings are reported to have occurred in Alabama and possibly in the Carolinas,
only records of landings in Florida are available. The live rock industry in Florida is one major
source of live rock supply in the aquarium trade. Since Florida included in trip ticket reporting the
harvest of live rock harvest around March 1990, reported landings over the period 1990-1993 have
shown a steady increase. This is highly reflective of supply of live rock matching the demand for
the product.

Among the states in the jurisdiction of the SAFMC and GMFMC, only Florida has explicit
regulations on the harvest of live rock. Although there are several species comprising live rock,
Florida instituted a management plan for live rock as one unit. This management mainly consists of
a regulation that would phase out the harvest of live rock over a three-year period ending June 30,
1995 by providing gradually reduced harvest quota with trip limits. As mentioned in several
instances in the amendment document, such rules could not be enforced on live rock harvested in
the EEZ.

Based on the foregoing discussions, a no action alternative would practically mean a continuation
of a matching of live rock harvest with an increasing demand. The presence of the mentioned
Florida rules means that, in principle, fishermen would likely fish in state waters during the open
season and in the EEZ during the season when state fishery is closed. This condition would
undoubtedly increase harvest cost, but the reopening of the season (at least in the EEZ) after
March 31, 1993 has revealed that increases in harvest costs are far outweighed by revenue gains
from the sale of live rock. Of course, fishermen would have the option of fishing in state waters
during closed season but they have to match revenues with the probability of a higher cost in the
event they are caught violating state rules, although there is some reason to believe such
probability to be relatively low.

A no action alternative essentially means that the producer surplus to the harvest sector, net
profits to the dealers, and consumer surplus would be maintained at a level that matches any
growth in demand. The level of these benefits cannot be estimated due to lack of information. It
mav only be stated that about 35 individuals or about 18 percent of those engaged in marine
aquarium are involved at least part-time in the collection of live,rock. Various types of live rock
command different exvessel prices, for example, bare rubble rock could be sold at $0.50 per pound while "Christmas tree rock" could get as much as$3.00 per pound. FMRl repons the exvessel
value of the 1992 live rock harvest at about $628,000. However, if demand continues to improve, more individuals in Florida and other states would be involved in the fishery, likely resulting in increased harvest and larger revenues. Noting the relatively lower cost of harvesting live rock, producer surplus may be expected to increase as well. While benefits of the no action alternative accrue to the live rock industry and its associated industries, certain potential costs would be borne by other sectors and by society as a whole. These cost items are associated with forfeiting benefits from non-harvest of live rock. These benefits are in turn associated with the value of live rock either by itself or as contributing factor to the survival of other marine organisms that may have commercial, recreational or other uses. Like any natural resource, live rock commands what has been termed non-use values, specifically . existence value, bequest value, and option value. Existence value refers to the satisfaction individuals derive from knowledge that a natural resource exists and will continue t o exist in the future even though they may never use or see the resource. Bequest value is the benefit associated with endowing a natural resource t o future generations. Option value refers to the benefit individuals obtain from retaining the option to use the resource in the future by conserving it now. These values are undoubtedly difficult to measure, but measurement has been done in few instances. For example, Pearce (1990) estimated the existence value for the Amazonia rainforest to be at least USS3.2 billion and Hundloe (1987) estimated the existence and option values of the Australian Great Barrier Reef of about AUSS45 million per year. It only needs mentioning here that certain degree of the mentioned three values would be forfeited by the harvest of live rock. Elsewhere in the amendment document are outlined some of the important contributions of live rock of various kinds t o the survival and growth of some marine species that have commercial or recreational value and in the particular case of rubble rocks t o the promotion of high carbonate production from coral and algae which sustains the living coral reef. The economic issue related t o the effects of live rock on other marine species is one of productivity. This issue involves the valuation of the change in the productive capacity of an area relative to the affected marine species where live rock is harvested. The actual estimation of such value requires an enormous amount of data especially that some of the organisms sustained by the food and protection afforded by live rock would command larger than minimal commercial or recreational value only when they reach certain size. The 'other uses" referred above relate to the scientific, educational, and pharmaceutical values of those species, including organisms attached to the hard substrate, whose survival partly depend on the presence of live rock. In the case of live rock's contributions to the living reef, the economic issue involves valuation of such contribution to the overall non-extractive value of reefs such as those derived from tourism and non-extractive research and education activities. While some methodologies exist to estimate such values, data are simply non-existent to undertake the exercise. There are, nonetheless, existing estimates on the value of reefs some of which were conducted in assessing the value of damage to reefs. In connection with the damage assessment of the Mavro ship grounding, the value of bottom habitat was estimated at about$11 per square foot (FMFC, 1991; GMFMC,
1992). This valuation was based on the dockside value of rubble rock with encrusting organisms.
In another instance using tourism expenditures, Mattson and DeFoor (1985) estimated the value of
coral reefs in seven sites located in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Key Largo
National Marine Sanctuary to be $15.75 per square meter annually based on direct revenues and$85 per square meter annually based on gross revenues (i.e., inclusive of indirect expenditures).
They also estimated the lifetime value of coral reefs in these seven areas to be at least $1 - 6 billion. Using a different technique, Finch, Julius, and Lopez (1992) estimated at$1.5 million the value of
1,610 square meters of coral reefs in the Florida Keys damaged due to vessel grounding.

While the above estimates for coral reefs are not directly applicable to the issue of valuing live rock
as an integral pan of coral reef, they do point to the possibility of estimating such values. In the
present case, it has been reported that 75 percent of rubble live rock comes from a known area of
the Florida reef tract, the so-called Area 748 which is a 40-mile section of the Florida reef tract.
Thus, if valuation of live rock and its contribution to the living reef were attempted, this area would
be the prime candidate for study. Spurgeon (19921 spelled out the various components of valuing
coral reefs in terms of financial and social benefits associated with reefs. These benefits can be
assigned monetary values or a range of monetary values where estimation proves difficult. The
two major estimating techniques are travel cost method (TCM) and contingent valuation method
(CVM). Valuation under TCM utilizes such information as the number of people visiting a reef site
and their corresponding travel costs. One major assumption of this method is that the number of
people visiting a site is inversely related to the distance travelled. Under CVM, valuation is        -
undertaken generally by asking people how much they would be willing t o pay for certain reef         -
products assuming they could not be obtained elsewhere. The basic idea in CVM estimation is to
construct a hypothetical market for reef products and to elicit information from people on the
amount they are willing to pay, or be compensated, for any increase or decrease in such products.
Both techniques have been employed in the Gulf but only with regard to determining the
recreational value of fishing for certain marine species (Green, 1989; Leeworthy, 1990; Milon,
1988, 1993; Milon et al., 1993). Currently, a study is under way to estimate the economic value
of reefs in Florida (Adams, per. comm., 1993).

In sum, the no action alternative may be expected to sustain the benefits derivable from the
harvest of live rock, but the attendant costs of an increasing harvest of live rock, although not
quantifiable at the present time, appear to be less than negligible.

B. DEFINITION FOR THE MANAGEMENT UNIT

B.1. Inclusion of live rock in the management unit and provision of explicit definition thereof.

8.2. Redefinition of 'allowable octocorals

Both the Gulf and South Atlantic Councils prefer B.l while only the Gulf Cduncil expresses
preference on 8.2. While 8.1 provides for an explicit definition of live rock and associated
organisms, 8.2 redefines octocorals that are allowed to be harvested as one excluding the hard
substrate on which certain octocorals grow. Thus even if octocorals may be harvested, they have
to be separated from the any hard substrate on which they may be found.

The inclusion of live rock in the management unit means that explicit management regulations may
be enacted affecting live rock taken in the EEZ. In part, the need to explicitly manage the harvest
of live rock in the EEZ is prompted by the existence of state regulations on the fishery. More
importantly, however, earlier discussions on the potential effects of a no action alternative points
to the need of managing the live rock fishery for purposes of recognizing and estimating the costs
and benefits associated with the harvest of live rock. While the no action alternative may seem t o
afford the live rock industry a more competitive environment, the harvest of live rock results in
positive or negative economic externalities that justify government intervention. These externali~ies
have been discussed earlier in terms of costs to society from forfeiting benefits from consumptive
and non-consumptive use of live rock and other affected marine species.

C. MANAGEMENT OF LIVE ROCK HARVESTS

C. 1.   Limit harvest

a. Establish an annual quota for live rock
b. Limit accessleffort for live rock

C.2.    Prohibit Harvest

a. Prohibit harvest of live rock
b. Phase out harvest of live rock
c. Provide for aquaculture of live rock

C.3.    Provide for different management in the jurisdictional areas of the two Councils-     --
The basic difference between C. 1 and C.2 is that the former allows an almost sustained harvest of
live rock while the latter closes the fishery either immediately or over a period of time with an
option for aquaculture harvest of live rock. The current preference of the Councils is C.2 over C. 1,
although the two Councils differ in selecting a preferred option under C.2. The Gulf Council prefers
the phasing out of live rock harvest to be supplanted later with aquaculture production while the
South Atlantic Council prefers to immediately ban the harvest of live rock in the EEZ. If the
Councils cannot reach a consensus, C.3 presents a possibility of adopting differing regulations
affecting the harvest of live rock in the Councils' respective iurisdictional waters. Further
discussion of this last option is not pursued here.

The economic issue in the choice between a limit on harvest and a prohibition on harvest of live
rock is one of trade-off between net benefits derived from consumptive use and net benefits
derived from non-consumptive use of live rock. Net benefits from consumptive use are broadly
taken to be the resulting change in producer surplus from the harvest of live rock while net benefits
from non-consumptive use refer t o the increase in values derived from non-harvest of live rock.
This latter set of values refers to those values mentioned earlier in the discussion of the no action
alternative. .Incidentally, the no action alternative is another option appropriately involved in the-
trade-off of net benefits between consumptive and non-consumptive use. The no action alternative
would give the largest allocation of live rock for consumptive use while the harvest prohibition
would give the least of such allocation for consumptive use. The option t o limit harvest would
stand in between the two extreme options. The main indicator involved in assessing the resulting
effects of such trade-off is the resulting overall net benefits t o society.

The mentioned trade-off in net benefits may be appropriately approached within the context of
allocating the live rock resource among competing uses, i.e., consumptive and non-consumptive In
the present case. For an optimal allocation, the necessary condition stipulates that marginal net
benefits are equalized among the various resource uses. Information is obviously too scarce to
determine what level of allocation of live rock between consumptive and non-consumptive uses
satisfies this condition. This lack of information is compounded by the problem of estimating non-
consumptive values for live rock. Under this situation, the ensuing discussion merely points out the
likely changes in overall net benefits to society from a given allocation.

As alluded to earlier, the no action alternative presents a good opportunity for the generation of
relatively high producer surplus in consumptive use but at the same time the same alternative
provides the highest likelihood of a relatively low benefit from non-consumptive use. The economic
disexternalities on users of other marine species and reefs enhanced by the presence of live rock
may not be quantifiable but could be deemed to increase as harvest of live rock increases over
time. The prohibition on harvest of live rock would also present a situation where net loss is
suffered by consumptive users (harvesters) of live rock and a high likelihood for a relatively high net
benefit from non-consumptive use. While the net loss to harvesters may be estimated, the
resulting net benefit for non-consumptive use may not be known, so that the resulting overall net
benefit cannot be determined. In the case of limiting harvest, both consumptive and non-
consumptive net benefits would be realized. In many economic decisions involving purely market
values, most oftentimes the allocation that results in highest net benefits is one that allows many
competing users to remain in business. The difficulty of directly applying this on live rock is that
for a large portion of the benefits derivable from live rock there is no market mechanism that can
be tapped to quantify especially the non-consumptive benefits. As mentioned earlier, however,
there are modeling techiniques that can be employed to estimate those benefits, but one has yet t o
be applied to live rocks in the Gulf and South Atlantic EEZ. The likely possibility that live rock is a-
non-renewable resource only intensifies the problem of quantifying such benefits. A t any rate,_ -
there is probably a relatively higher benefit to society afforded by an allocation that does not
eliminate any of the competing users of the resource. However, such allocation may be achieved
either by simply limiting harvest of wild live rock or by banning such harvest but providing for
aquaculture production. A comparison of the effects of these two alternatives is presented below.

Under C.1, the two options are not mutually exclusive. In fact, a limited access system that is
structured so that fishermen are allocated fixed harvests, an overall quota may be necessary
although such quota may be variable between fishing seasons or within a particular fishing season.
An overall quota presupposes to some extent the provision of an allowable catch. Where an
allowable catch can be provided like in some usual commercial fisheries, provision of an overall
quota without corresponding restriction on effort would ultimately render the fishery inefficient
with resulting reduction in producer surplus. Under this scenario, the adoption of a limited access
management may correct the situation of declining producer surplus.

Under C.2, options (a) and (bl would have similar long-term impact which is a reduction in producer
surplus to the consumptive users, but their short-term effects differ. The phase-out approach
presents a gradual reduction and less overall reduction in short-term producer surplus than the
immediate ban. In addition, the phase-out approach offers a transition phase from harvest of wild
rocks to aquaculture.

As mentioned earlier, an allocation that allows both consumptive and non-consumptive users to
remain in the fishery may be deemed to generate a relatively higher net benefit than an allocation
that excludes one group of users or the other. Here the issue shifts to the effects of forcing the
consumptive users t o switch from harvest of wild live rock t o aquaculture. Assume for discussion
purposes that there are no costly legal obstacles to pursuing aquaculture production. The current
absence of aquaculture production may be taken to imply that this type of production is more
costly than harvest of wild live rock or that demand is still not large enough to render aquaculture
production profitable. In either case, the switch from wild harvest to aquaculture would entail a
reduction in producer surplus or a forgoing of larger profits especially in the face of an increasing
demand. However, such reduction in producer surplus or forgoing of larger profits have to be
modified by the presumed absence of negative externalities on other fisheries or in non-
consumptive use of the live rock resource. In this situation, the switch t o aquaculture may not
result in significant reduction in overall producer surplus, but it will most likely result in the
distribution of producer surplus from those currently in the fishery who may not be able to afford
the investment required for aquaculture to those who can afford and do invest in aquaculture
production.

C.4. Permits for Live Rock Harvest

C.4.a.   Require a federal permit in the absence of a state permit for harvest and possession of
"wild" live rock from the EEZ during the phase-out period.

C.4.b.   Require a federal permit for the possession or harvest of live rock from aquaculture
operations.

C.4.c.    Require a federal permit for harvest of prohibited corals and prohibited live rock from
the EEZ for scientific. educational, and restoration purposes.

Depending on which type of harvest restriction is adopted, any of the three options may be
appropriate. The basic advantage of requiring permit is the identification of fishery participants and
the subsequent effective monitoring and enforcement of rules governing live rock. The
corresponding cost may be deemed minimal considering that the direct cost outlay for-securiirg-
permits may not exceed the administrative cost of issuing permits. There is, of course, the
possibility of some transaction costs that may be incurred in case some form of access limitation is
adopted for the fishery. But such costs would be appropriately considered attendant to that other
regulation that may be adopted and not necessarily from any of the permitting options considered
here.

D. OPTIMUM YIELD (OY) FOR LIVE ROCK

D.1.     OY for live rock is to be zero except for that which may be allowed by permit.

D.2.     OY for live rock is to be unlimited for three years after which it is to be zero except for
that which may be allowed by permit.

The inclusion of live rock in the management unit generally requires the provision for definition of
overfishing. The current FMP, as amended, already contains a definition of overfishing which is
tied to the definition of OY. Specifically, the FMP, as amended, stipulates that overfishing is an
annual harvest that exceeds OY. Either definition of OY may be appropriate depending on the type
of restriction adopted for harvest of live rock.
Government Costs of Regulation

Federal government costs of this action were associated with meetings, travel, calculation of
ABCs, preparation of various documents and reviewing all documents. Other sources of additional
costs include extraordinary research specifically done for the purpose of this particular action,
additional statistics costs, costs associated with the issuance of permits and additional
enforcement costs resulting from the action.

Prepare and implement action
Research
Statistics
Public cost associated with permits
NMFS cost associated with permits
Enforcement

The cost items above have been identified as the likely cost to be incurred in preparing and
implementing this plan amendment. No cost figures are yet available since this amendment is still
under consideration by both Councils.

Summary and Expected Net Impact of Proposed Action
-
The proposed regulatory action constitutes changes in management for of live rock harvests in t h e
EEZ under the jurisdiction on both the Gulf Council and South Atlantic Council. The emphasis of the
summary is on the expected economic impact of the various options.

The no action alternative could result in a sustained profitability of the live rock harvest sector, but
there are attendant costs that could increase along with any increases in the harvest of live rock.
Such cost increases may be prevented by the various options to include live rock under the FMP
and to provide certain restrictions in the harvest thereof. It has been concluded that an allocation
allowing both consumptive and non-consumptive users of the live rock resource to remain in the
fishery may be accompanied by a relatively higher net benefit to society than any of the other
proposed allocation including the no action alternative.

The permit requirement is deemed necessary to identify the industry participants and to monitor
and enforce any rules adopted for the fishery. A definition of OY is deemed appropriate if live rock
is to be included in the management unit. The appropriate definition of OY depends on the type of
restrictions imposed on the harvest of live rock.

Determination of a Major Rule

Pursuant to E.O. 12866, a regulation is considered a "significant regulatory action" if it is likely to
result in: a) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; b) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or c) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic or export markets. The entire Florida commercial harvest sector of the live rock fishery is valued at about$628,000
exvessel which is significantly less than $100 million. Even if the fishery in other states were accounted for, it is very unlikely that the total value would exceed$1 0 0 million. The proposed
actions in this plan amendment apply to live rock harvests in the EEZ under the jurisdiction of the
Gulf Council and South Atlantic Council. Given the size of the fishery and the segment of the
fishery directly affected by the proposed regulation, it is concluded that any revenue or cost
impacts on the fishery would be significantly less than $100 million annually. In the event that an outright prohibition or severe restriction on the harvest of live rock is adopted, a major cost increase (in terms of forgone profits) to the industry will ensue. As long as the reduction in domestic production is offset by other supply sources of live rock, prices to consumers are expected to not increase significantly. The possibility of outright ban or severe restriction in the harvest of live rock may be expected to have a significant adverse effect on employment, productivity, and investment; likewise such ban or severe restriction would render the domestic industry less competitive in the international market, specifically in Canada and England. Based on the foregoing, it is concluded that this regulation if enacted would constitute a "significant regulatory action" under some of the mentioned criteria. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Introduction The purpose of the Reaulatorv Flexibilitv Act is to relieve small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental entities from burdensome regulations and record keeping requirements. The - category of small entities likely to be affected by the proposed regulatory amendment -is that of commercial businesses currently engaged in the harvest of live rock. The impacts of the proposed action on these entities have been discussed above. The following discussion of impacts focuses specifically on the consequences of the proposed action on the mentioned business entities. An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) is conducted to primarily determine whether the proposed action would have a "significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities." Although an IRFA focuses more on adverse effects, determination of beneficial significant effects is also an integral component of the analysis. In addition to analyses conducted for the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), the IRFA provides an estimate of the number of small businesses affected, a description of the small businesses affected, and a discussion of the nature and size of the impacts. Determination of Sianificant Economic Imnact on a Substantial Number of Small Entities In general, a "substantial number" of small entities is more than 20 percent of those small entities engaged in the fishery (NMFS, 1992). It has been estimated that there are about 38 individuals who are at least on a part-time basis engaged in the harvest of live rock. The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business in the commercial fishing activity as a firm with receipts of up to$2.0 million annually. Since the proposed action will affect practically all
participants of the live rock harvest sector, the "substantial number" criterion will be met in
general.

Economic impacts on small business entities are considered to be "significant" if the proposed
action would result in any of the following: a) reduction in annual gross revenues by more than 5
percent; b) increase in total costs of production by more than 5 percent as a result of an increase in
compliance costs; c) compliance costs as a percent of sales for small entities are at least 10
percent higher than compliance costs as a percent of sales for large entities; dl capital costs of
compliance represent a significant portion of capital available to small entities, considering internal
cash flow and external financing capabilities; or e) as a rule of thumb, 2 percent of small business
entities being forced to cease business operations (NMFS, 1992).

In the event that a ban or severe restriction on the harvest of live rock is adopted for this plan
amendment, revenues to the affected individuals may be expected to be reduced by more than 5
percent. A switch from harvest of wild live rock to aquaculture in compliance with the proposed
action may be deemed to result in a significant increase in the operating and capital costs to
fishermen as a result of complying with the regulations. Considering that all participants in the
commercial live rock harvest fishery may be deemed small business entities, the issue of big versus
small business operations is not relevant in determining distributional/regional effects of regulations,
and it thus also rules out disproportionate effects on capital costs of compliance. A number of
current participants of the live rock harvest industry may be forced to cease business or switch t o
other operations if the more severe restrictions are adopted for the fishery. This number, however,
is not known.

It can be inferred from the foregoing discussion that the proposed regulation can be expected to
result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities in the commercial
live rock harvest sector. On this account, an IRFA has been prepared. The following comprises the
remaining portions of the IRFA.

of
Ex~lanation Whv the Action is Beina Considered
-
Refer to the section on Problems and Objectives in the RIR and to Section I of the amendment-
document.

gbiectives and Leaal Basis for the Rulg

Refer to the section on Problems and Objectives in the RIR and to Sections I and II of the
amendment document. The Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976
provides the legal basis for the rule.

Analvsis
Demoara~hic

Refer to the Coral Fishery Management Plan, as amended.

Cost Analvsi~

Refer to the Government Cost and Summary sections of the RIR.

Effects Analvsig
Com~etitive

The industry is composed entirely of small businesses (harvesters and charter boats operations).
Since no large businesses are involved, there are no disproportional small versus large business
effects.

Reaulation~
Identification of O v e r l a ~ ~ i n a

The proposed action does not create overlapping regulations with any state regulations or other
federal laws. Some of the proposed options may even render federal and state (Florida) rules
compatible.
Conclusion

The proposed regulation is concluded to have a significant economic impact on a substantial
number of small entities. In this regard, the foregoing information and pertinent portions of the RIR
are deemed to satisfy the analysis required under the RFA.

5.0   ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES

Habitat Loss: Hard bottoms and reef rubble from which live rock is removed contributes t o
the habitat for reef dwelling organisms which include reef fish and ornamental fishes and
invertebrates. There is concern that the removal of this material degrades the value of the
habitat due to the slow rate of regeneration of the material. There is an estimated 19,691
square miles of live bottom in the Gulf of Mexico.

Aauarium Sales: Harvest of live rock at a level of about 500 tons per year is said by
producers to be the backbone of the marine aquarium trade because it allows appropriate
habitat for captive tropical fishes and invertebrates. Harvest of naturally occurring rock
could be replaced by material from aquaculture operations.

Ecosvstem Manaaement: An acceleration and continuation of removal of live rock can
degrade the quality of fishery habitat, particularly if the activity is concentrated i n high use   .
areas.
-   -
Aesthetic Values: Removal of coral or damaging coral reefs is already prohibited by federal
and Florida regulations. However, the removal of showy material in areas frequented by
divers would contribute to aesthetic degradation.

Consistent Reaulation~: Only the state of Florida currently regulates harvest of live rock.
Florida prohibits removal in its waters since 1989 and proposed a phase-out over a 3-year
period of landings from the EEZ.
SUMMARY OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES

EFFECTS OF LIVE ROCK ALTERNATIVES
ON THE ISSUES

LIVE ROCK ALTERNATIVES

LIMIT HARVEST                                         PROHIBIT HARVEST

ISSUES            No Action            Establish an               Limit              Prohibit all      Ptrase Out Harvest           Provide for           Permit
Annual Quota            AccessIEffort           Harvests         Except Aquaculture           Aquaculture         Requirement
Habitat LOSS      Loeeee increase      Loeees couM etebilize Losses could stabilize     No net loss          Short term loss;            from seed
Ga~n                   No effect
long term poss~blegaln        materlal

Aquarium Sales     Profits stable or        Profits stable       Redistr~bute and      Adverse effects    Aquaculture could replace    Temporary Loss         No effect
increase                                  possible reductions                        wild product~on  wlthout
Interruption

Ecosystem      Reef and hard bottom   Some level of loss to    Non-renewable          Benef~ts
other      Short term loss; long term    Some Benef~t       Enforcement and
~~~~~~~~~t systems unprotected reef systems and hard                losses               speclee             potent~al benef~t                          protection enhanced
bottoms

Aesthetic        Negative affects       Negatlve effects       Negative effects      Posltlve effects   Short term negative; long    Posltlve Effect        No effect
Values                                                                                                       term posltlve

Consistent       Not consistent with   Not consistent with     Not cons~stentwith     Cons~stentwlth      Cons~stentwlth Flor~da      Cons~stentwlth     Cons~stent  wlth
Regulations      Florida regulat~ons    Florida approach         state approach        state approach    approach after closure of          approach
Flor~da            Florida approach
w~ldharvest
.
Conclusion

-
Habitat of the Stocks Since corals are sessile animals the FMP section on Description of the
Stocks (5.01 and the FMP section on Description of the Habitat (6.0) adequately describe the
habitat of the stocks (105 pages in aggregate), including condition of the stocks as well as man-
induced and natural impacts to the habitat. Amendment 1 modified the FMP by including the
following updated revised subsections: 6.4 Habitat Information Needs; 6.5 Habitat Protection
Programs; and 6.6 Habitat Recommendations. These revisions are in Appendix A.

Phvsical Environment - The proposed actions in this amendment will have no adverse impact on the
physical environment.

-
Fisherv Resource The proposed actions are intended to maintain the coral, coral reefs, and live
rock and to prevent them from becoming overfished.

-
Human Environment Some marine life fishermen would be affected by restrictions intended to
conserve live rock. Long-term benefits are expected to exceed short-term loss.

Effect on Wetlands - The proposed amendment will have no effect on any flood plains, wetlands,
trails, or rivers.

Mitiaatina Measures Related to the Pro~osed         -
Action Introduction of aquaculture would enhance
the hard bottom habitat and tend to mitigate earlier loss from harvest of the natural live rock.
Aquaculture would also reduce the economic loss to live rock harvesters who are displaced from      .
harvest of naturally occurring material and who elect to revert to aquaculture.
--
-
Unavoidable Adverse E f f e m None: no change is proposed.

Relation Between Local. Short-Term Users of the Resource and Enhancement of Lona-Term
-

-
Irreversible or Irretrievable Commitment of Resourceg None.

6.0   TIME AND LOCATION OF PUBLIC HEARINGS

January 5    Savannah, Georgia                          January 13 Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
-
(7:00 p.m. 10:OO p.m.)                                            -
(7:00 p.m. 10:OO p.m.)
Holiday Inn Mid-town                                  Holiday Inn Wrightsville Beach
7 100 Abercorn Street                                 1706 North Lumina Avenue

January 6    Duck Key, Florida                          January 19 Clearwater Beach, Florida
-
(7:00 p.m. 10:OO p.m.)                                (8:30a.m.)
Hawk's Cay Resort                                     Gulf of Mexico Fishery
Mile Marker 61                                        Management Council meeting
(10 miles north of Marathon)                          Clearwater Beach Hilton Resort
71 5 S. Gulfview Boulevard
January 1 1 Pensacola, Florida
-
(7:00 p.m. 10:OO p.m.)            (Week of February 7)
Pensacola Civic Center                               St. Augustine, Florida
201 East Gregory Street                              South Atlantic Fishery
Management
Council Meeting
Ponce De Leon Hotel
Written comments on this draft must be received bv the resoonsible aaencies bv Januarv 15,
1994.

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Lincoln Center, Suite 331
5401 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33609
813-228-2815

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Southpark Building, Suite 306
One Southpark Circle
Charleston, South Carolina 29407-4699
803-571-4366

National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office
9450 Koger Boulevard
St. Petersburg, Florida 33702
813-893-3 141

-
7.0 LIST OF PREPARERS                                                                       -   -

Georgia Cranmore, Ecologist, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office
Antonio Lamberte, Economist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Terrance Leary, Biologist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Roger Pugliese, Biologist, South Atlantic Fishew Management Council

8.0 LlST OF AGENCIES AND ORGANIZATIONS CONSULTED:

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
- Scientific and Statistical Committee
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
- Scientific and Statistical Committee
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Office of General Counsel (SER)
- Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
National Marine Fisheries Service (SER)
- Southeast Regional Office
- Southeast Fisheries Center
Florida Marine Life Association
Florida Marine Aquarium Society
Project Reefkeeper
Reef Relief
Florida Live Rock Alliance
Coral Reef Coalition
Nature conservancy
Florida Keys Audubon Society
The Nature Conservancy

9.0 OTHER APPLICABLE LAW

-
lmoacts on Other Fisheries Unregulated removal of live rock could reduce the available hard
bottom habitat for reef fish and invertebrates and subject coral reefs to damage from collectors.
Regulated harvest would reduce this adverse impact. Aquaculture by introduction of cultch
material has the potential of increasing the hard bottom habitat for reefal species.

Data Needs - Data needs and responsibilities are listed in Appendix A.

-
Vessel Safetv The proposed actions do not impose requirements for use of unsafe (or other) gear
nor do they direct fishing effort to periods of adverse weather conditions.

Paoerwork Reduction Act   - (depends on permit options)
-
Coastal Zone Manaaement Consistency The Assistant Administrator has determined that this -
proposed action will be implemented in a manner that is consistent to the maximum extent
practicable with the approved coastal zone management program of the affected states in the
management area. This determination has been admitted for review by the states under Section
307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act.

-
Federalism This proposed action does not contain policies with federalism implications sufficient
to warrant preparation of a federalism assessment under E.O. 12612.

-
Effect on Endanaered Soecies and Marine Mammals The proposed amendment will have no effect
on endangered species and marine mammals. A Section 7 consultation was held for Amendment 1
with a "no jeopardy opinion" being rendered. The proposed actions do not alter provisions of the
FMP that would affect these animals. An additional Section 7 consultation on Amendment 2 is in
progress.

10.0 REFERENCES

Andrews, C. (1 990). The ornamental fish trade and fish conservation. Journal of Fish Biology 3 7
(Supplement A), 53-59.

Barger, S., pers. comm., Tampa, FL.

Blackburn. (August 1988). The Ecological Use of Live Rock. Fresh Water and Marine Aquarium
Vol. II, No. 8.

Bruce, A. J. (19741. Coral reef Caridea and "commensalism". Micronesica 12 (1):83-98.
Buddemeier, R.W. and S.V. Smith. (1988). Coral reef growth in an era of rapidly rising sea level:
predictions and suggestions for long-term research. Coral Reefs, 7:5 1-56.

Butler, M., Hunt, J., and W. Herrnkind. (In press). As reported in "The Lobster Newsletter":
Catastrophic Mortality of Sponges Affects Juvenile Spiny Lobster Populations. Volume 5,
December, 1992.

Caddy, J. F. 1993. Background concepts for a rotating harvesting strategy with particular
reference to the Mediterranean red coral, corallium rubrum. Marine Fisheries Review. 55(1), pp.
10-18.

Caldwell, R.L. (April 15, 19931, pers. comm., University of California, Berkeley.

Caribbean Fishery:Management Council. (In draft). Excerpts from the Initial Draft of the Coral FMP
for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. ( Y . Sadovy, ed.). Hato Rey, PR.

Carpenter, K.E., R.I. Miclat, V.D. Albaladejo and V.J. Corpuz. (19811. The influence of substrate
structure on the local abundance and diversity of Philippine reef fishes. Proc. Fourth Int. Coral Reef
Symp., Manila 2:497-502.

Derr, M. 1992. Raiders of the reef. Audobon, 48, MarchIApril, 1992.
-
Ehringer, J.N. and F.J. Webb, Jr. (1992). Assessment of "Live Rock" harvesting in Tampa Bay. -
Project Report, Florida Sea Grant. 2Opp.
-    -
Finch, D., Julius, B. and Lopez, Rafael. 1992. Assessment and restoration of damaged resources
in national marine sanctuaries: t w o vessel groundings in the Florida keys as an example.
Proceedings of the 1992 Coastal Society Conference, April 1992.

FMFC. (March 1991). Policy Options Regarding "Live Rock" with agenda attachments.
Tallahassee, FL.

FMFC. (April 1992). Economic Impact Review - Rule 46-42 FAC, Marine Life. Tallahassee, FL.

Gulf of Mexico Fisheery Management Council (19811. Fishery Management Plan for Gulf of Mexico
Reef Fish Resources. (GMFMC.) Tampa, FL.

Hanlon, R.T. and R.F. Hixon. (1986). Behavioral associations of coral reef fishes with the sea
anemone Condvlactig giaantea in the Dry Tortugas, Florida. Bull. Mar. Sci. 35(1):130-134.

Hixon, M.A. and J.P. Beets. (1993). Predation, prey refuges, and the structure of coral-reef fish
assemblages. Ecol. Monog. 63(1):77-101.

Hunloe, T.J. 1990. Measuring the value of the Great Barrier Reef. Austraiian Parks and
Recreation 26 (3) 1 1-15.

Januzzi, C. L. (Fall 19911. A Guide to Developing a Limited Entry Program for the Marine Life
Industry. University of Miami. Unpubl. ms. Key Biscayne, FL.

Jennison, B.L. (1981). Reproduction in three species of sea anemones from Key West, Florida.
Can. J. Zool. 59(9):1708-1719.
Kinzie, R.A. (197 11. The ecology of the gorgonians (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) of Discovery Bay,
Jamaica. PhD Diss., Tale Univ., 107pp.

Limbaugh, C. (1961 1. Cleaning symbiosis. Sci. Am. 205:42-49.

Londeree, R. pers. comm. Tampa Bay Saltwater. Tampa, FL.

Meesters, E., Kniin, R., Willemsen, P., Pennartz, R., Roebers, G. and R.W.M. van Soest. (1991).
Sub-rubble communites of Curacao and Bonaire coral reefs. Coral Reefs 10: 189-1 97.

NOAA, 1993. A Florida Key Sanctuary draft managment alternatives document.

Norris, M. D. B. and J. L. Wheaton. (December 19911. Synopsis of Live Rock Landings and
Historical Review of Issues. FDNR, Marine Research Institute. St. Petersburg, FL.

Oynes, C.C., pers. comm., Minerals Management Service, New Orleans, LA.

Pearce, D. W. 1990. Economics of natural resources and environment.

Randall, J.E. (1967). Food habits of reef fishes of the West Indies. In: Studies. Trop. Oceanogr.,
5, Miami. p. 665-847.

Roberts, C.M. and R.F.G. Ormond. (1987). Habitat complexity and coral reef fish diversity and        .
.
abundance on Red Sea fringing reefs. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 41 :1-8.                        --
SAFMC, 1988. Amendment 1 t o the Fishery Management Plan for the SnapperIGrouper of the
South Atlantic Region.

Schmied, R., pers. comm. NMFS. St. Petersburg, FL.

spurgeon, J.P.G. 1992. The economic valuation of coral reefs. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 24,
No. 1 1, pp. 529-536.

Stone, A. (June 19911. Petition for Rulemaking and/or Fishery Management Plan Action to Prohibit
the Taking and Landing of Live Rock. Project ReefKeeper. Miami, FL.

Wetherell, V., pers. comm. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee, FL.

Wheaton, J. L. (April 1989). The Marine-Life Fishery for "Live Rock": Biological and Ecological
Assessment of the Product and Implications for Harvest. FDNR, Marine Research Institute. St.
Petersburg, FL.

Wheaton, J. L., pers. comm. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Marine Research
Institute. St. Petersburg, Florida.
FIGURE 1 A

Seasonal Landings of Live Rock from the EEZ off Florida April 1990- July 1993.

l2OOOO   ,

Seasonal Landings by Month of Live Rock from the EEZ off Florida, (FDEP)
FIGURE 1B

SEASONAL LANDINGS OF LIVE ROCK
FROM THE EEZ OFF FLORIDA
(FROM FDER)

Live Rock Landings, 1991 - Feb., 1993

JAN   APR . JUL   '   OCT   '   JAN   '

SouthIEast Coast       0 Coast
West
FIGURE 2
Live Rock Landings, 199 1 - Feb., 1993
Collection Areas

Other
1.30%
Unknown                                                     39.249

Lower Keys (1)              Dade c u t
o ny
Upper Keys (744)

Landings by Area of Live Rock from the EEZ off Florida, (FDEP).

F-3
FIGURE 3

\

les.wl                              F     l                    180"WI
m j o r Florida East C m s t Llve S o u d i n a Areas-
(Jan. 1991 - Feb. 1993)
(as a % of total State landings)
Area 748  -   39.2%
Area 744 - 11.3%
Area 1 -       8.5%

'
-.  Flo.da   Keys National Marine Sartu

G   v   l   t   o    -           Ezl

=
1 - 1
[24"NI
/                                  -
FIGURE
Maior Florida West Coast Live Rock Landina
(Jan. 1991 - Feb. 1993)
(as a % of total State landings)
Area 5   -   Tampa - 12.1 1%
Area 6   -                -
Tarpon Springs 12.01%

'    20 Miles
I
FIGURE 5

LEGEND
Hard       B o t t o m
0   Pos s i b l e       H a r d   Bot t o m

*circles only indicate existance of hard bottom and not actual total bottom area.

Draft distribution map of live bottom habitat in the South Atlantic Bight identified in the
SEAMAP bottom mapping program. (NOAA, SCWMRD, 1993)
FIGURE 6

Trends in Monthly Live Rock Landings (EEZ 0%Florida 1990-1993).

Jan         Fcb     Mach      April      May        June        July   Aug   Sept   On       Nov   k.

..   State quota filled February 12.1993
March 3 1,1993 Reliminary injunction pventing enforcementof state quofa issued.

Trends in Monthly Live Rock Landings from the EEZ off Florida (FDEP).
F-7
APPENDIX A

Habitat Information Need$The following research needs relative to coral habitat are provided so that state, federal, and private research efforts can focus on those areas that would allow the Councils to develop measure to better manage coral and their habitat: 1. ldentify optimum environmental and habitat conditions that limit coral production; 2. Determine the relationship between coral reefs and estuarine habitat conditions; 3. Quantify the relationships between coral growth and production and habitat; 4. ldentify additional areas of particular concern for coral; 5. Determine methods for restoring reef habitat and/or improving existing environmental conditions that adversely affect reefs; 6. Identify mitigative methods for preserving andlor establishing reef; 7. Determine the impacts of trap fishing and trawling on coral and reef habitats. - - Habitat Protection Proarams State and federal agencies and laws and policies that affect coral habitat are found in Section 7.0 of the Coral EIS and FMP (1982). Specific involvement by other federal agencies are identified below. Office of Coastal Zone Management. Marine Sanctuaries Program, NOAA: Specifically, this program manages and funds the marine sanctuaries program. On-site management and enforcement are generally delegated to the states through special agreements. Funding for research and management is arranged through grants. National Marine Fisheries Sewice: The enactment of the Magnuson Act provides for exclusive management of fisheries seaward of state jurisdiction. This includes both specific fishery stocks and habitat. The process for developing FMPs is highly complex. It includes plan development by various procedures through fisheries management councils. National Marine Fisheries Service implements approved plans. The Coast Guard, National Marine Fisheries Service, and states enforce fishery management plans. Fishery management plans for billfish, corals, and coral reefs, coastal migratory pelagics, red drum, reef fish, shrimp, spiny lobster, stone crab, sharks, snapper and grouper, and swordfish are in force in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. National Park Service: National parks and monuments are under the jurisdiction of National Park Service. Management, enforcement, and research are accomplished in house. Minerals Management Service: This agency has jurisdiction over mineral and petroleum resources on the continental shelf. Management has included specific lease regulations and mitigation of exploration and production activities in areas where coral resources are known to exist. Fish and Wildlife Service: Fish and Wildlife Service assists with environmental impact review, develops biological resource evaluations, and administers the endangered species program with the NMFS. In the Keys area, the Fish and Wildlife Service manages several national refuges for wildlife. Geological Survey: In the coral reef areas, the Geological Survey has conducted considerable reef research and assisted or cooperated with other institutions and agencies to facilitate logistics and support of coral reef research. Coast Guard: The 1978 Waterways Safety Act charges the Coast Guard with marine environmental protection. The Coast Guard is the general enforcement agency for all marine activity in the federal zone. Among the duties are enforcement of sanctuary and fishery management regulations, managing vessel salvage, and coordinating oil spill cleanup operations at sea. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: The Corps contracts and regulates coastal engineering projects, particularly harbor dredging and beach renourishment projects. The Corps also reviews and is the permitting agency for coastal development projects, artificial reefs, and offshore structures. Environmental Protection Agency: This agency has a general responsibility for controlling air and water pollution. Disposal of hazardous wastes and point-source discharge permitting are Environmental Protection Agency functions. Certain mineral and petroleum exploration and - production activities are managed by Environmental Protection Agency. Environmenta! reseacch - germane to waste disposal and pollution also are funded. Federal environmental agencies such as the National Marine Fisheries Service, Minerals Management Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency also analyze projects proposing inshore and offshore alterations for potential impacts on resources under their purview. This is similar to the function of the Council's Habitat Protection Committees. Recommendations resulting from these analyses are provided to the permitting agencies (the Corps for physical alterations in inshore waters and territorial seas, the Minerals Management Service for physical alterations in the Outer Continental Shelf or the offshore Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Environmental Protection Agency for chemical alterations). Even though the Corps of Engineers issues permits for oil and gas structures in the EEZ, they only consider navigation and national defense impacts, thus leaving the rest to the Department of the Interior, in a nationwide general permit. Environmental Protection Agency is the permitting agency for chemical discharges into the Gulf of Mexico, under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program of the Clean Water Act for chemicals used or produced in the Gulf (i.e., drilling muds, produced water or biocides) and then released, or under the Ocean Dumping Regulations of the marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act if the chemicals are transported into the Gulf for the purpose of dumping. When discharge or dumping permits are proposed, federal and state Fish and Wildlife Agencies may comment and advise under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and National Environmental Protection Act. The Council may do likewise under the Magnuson Act and National Environmental Protection Act. The Councils also protect reef fish habitat under the Corals and coral Reefs Fishery Management Plan. Habitat Recommendation The coral resources contribute to the food supply, economy, health of the nation, and provides habitat for recreational and commercial fishing opportunities and aesthetic enjoyment. The continued use of these resources can only be assured by the wise management of all aspects of habitat. Increased productivity may not be possible without habitat maintenance and regulatory restrictions. Recognizing that all species are dependent on the quantity and quality of their essential habitats, it is the policy of the Councils to protect, restore, and improve habitats upon which commercial and recreational marine fisheries depend, to increase their extent and to improve their productive capacity for the benefit of the present and future generations. This policy shall be supported by three objectives which are to: 1. Maintain the current quantity and productive capacity of habitats supporting important commercial and recreational fisheries, including their food base. (This objective may be accomplished through the recommendation of no loss and minimization of environmental degradation of existing habitat); 2. Restore and rehabilitate the productive capacity of habitats which have already been degraded; and 3. Create and develop productive habitats where increased fishery productivity will benefit society. To achieve these goals the Councils have formed Habitat Protection Committees and Advisory Panels. The purpose of the committees is to bring to the Council's attention activities that may - affect the habitat of the fisheries under their management. The Councils pursuant t o the - - Magnuson Act, will use their authorities to support state and federal environmental agencies in their habitat conservation efforts and will directly engage the regulatory agencies on significant actions that may affect habitat. The goal is to ensure that habitat losses are kept t o the minimum and that efforts for appropriate mitigation strategies and applicable research are supported. APPENDIX B SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL HABITAT AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION POLICY (as amended- August , 199 1 ) POLICY: SAFMC HABITAT AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION POLICY Recognizing that all species are dependent on the quantity and environmental quality o f their essential habitats, it is the policy of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to: Protect, restore and develop habitats upon which commercial and recreational marine fisheries depend, to increase their extent and t o improve their productive capacity f o r the benefit of present and future generations. (For purposes of this policy, habitat is defined t o include all those things physical, chemical and biological that are necessary t o the productivity of the species being managed.) - -- - Policy Objectives: 1) To protect the current quantity, environmental quality and productive capacity of habitats supporting important commercial and recreational fisheries. (This objective will be accomplished through the recommendation o f no net loss or significant environmental degradation of existing habitat in the short term.) 2) To support and promote the net gain of fisheries habitat as a long term objective t h a t will be accomplished through; a) the restoration and rehabilitation of the productive capacity of habitats w h ~ c h have already been degraded and; b ) the creation and development of productive habitats where increased fishery production is probable. The Council shall assume an aggressive role in the protection and enhancement of hab~ta:s important t o marine and anadromous fish. I t shall actively enter Federal decision-rnak.7: processes where proposed actions may otherwise compromise the productivity of fishe-,, resources of concern to the Council. !Ado?.?? 4 .'>.3: S m C POLICY STAlX!4E\T C OXCER\lSG DREDGING AM) DREDGE .MATERIAL DlSPOSAL A C m m ~ s APPENDIX C SAFMC POLICY STATEMENT CONCERNING DREDGING AND DREDGE MATERIAL DISPOSAL ACTIVITIES . . an Dredged MatgCialPlSgosal Sites ( 0 n m The shortage of adequate upland disposal sites for dredged materials has forced dredging operations to look offshore for sites where dredged materials may be disposed. These Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites (ODMDSs) have been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) as suitable sites for disposal of dredged materials associated with berthing and navigation channel maintenance activities. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC; the Council) is moving t o establish its presence in regulating disposal activities at these ODMDSs. Pursuant t o the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (the Magnuson Act) , the regional fishery management councils are charged with management of living marine resources and their habitat within the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the United States. Insofar as dredging and disposal activities at the various ODMDSs can impact fishery resources or essential habitat under Council jurisdiction the following policies concerning its role in the designation, operation, maintenance, and enforcement of activities in the ODMDSs: Policies: The Council acknowledges that living marine resources under its jurisdiction a n d their essential habitat may be impacted by the designation, operation, and maintenance of DDMDSs in the South Atlantic. The Council may review the activities o f EPA, COE, the state Ports Authorities, private dredging contractors, and any other entity engaged in activities which impact, directly or indirectly, living marine resources within the EEZ. The Council may review plans and offer comments on the designation, maintenance, and enforcement of disposal activities at the ODMDSs. ODMDSs should be designated or redesignated so as to avoid the loss of live or hard bottom habitat and minimize impacts t o all living marine resources. Notwithstanding the fluid nature of the marine environment, all impacts from the disposal activities should be contained within the designated perimeter of the ODMDSs. The final designation of ODMDSs should be contingent upon the development of su~table management plans and a demonstrated ability to implement and enforce that plan. The Counc~l encourages EPA t o press for the implementation of such management plans for all designated ODMDSs. All activities within the ODMDSs are required t o be consistent with the approved management plan for the site. The Council's Habitat and Environmental Protection Advisory Panel when requested by the Council will review such management plans and forward comment t o the Council. The Council may review the plans and recommendations received from the advisory sub-panel and comment t o the appropriate agency. All federal agencies and entities receiving a comment or recommendation from the Council will provide a detailed written response t o the Counci: regarding the matter pursuant t o 16 U.S.C. 1852 (i). All other agencies and entities recelvlng a comment or recommendation from the Council should provide a detailed .written response : : the Council regarding the matter, such as is required for federal agencies pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1852 (i). ODMDSs management plans should indicate appropriate users of the site. These plans should specify those entities/ agencies which may use the ODMDSs, such as port authorities, the U.S. Navy, the Corps of Engineers, etc. Other potential users of the ODMDSs should be acknowledged and the feasibility of their using the ODMDSs site should be assessed in the management plan. Feasibility studies o f dredge disposal options should acknowledge and incorporate ODMDSs in the larger analysis of dredge disposal sites within an entire basin or -oject. For example, Corps of Engineers analyses of existing and potential dredge disposal sites for harbor maintenance projects should incorporate the ODMDSs. as part of the overall analysis of dredge disposal sites. The Council recognizes that EPA and other relevant agencies are involved in managing and/or regulating the disposal of all dredged material. The Council recognizes that disposal activities regulated under the Ocean Dumping Act and dredging/filling carried out under the Clean Water Act have similar impacts t o living marine resources and their habitats. Therefore, the Council urges these agencies apply the same strict policies t o disposal activities a t the ODMDSs. These policies apply t o activities including, but n o t limited to, the disposal of contaminated sediments and the disposal of large volumes of fine-grained sediments. The Council will encourage strict enforcement of these policies for disposal activities in the EEZ. Insofar as these activities are relevant t o disposal activities in the EEZ, the Council will offer comments on the further development o f policies regarding the disposal/ deposition of dredged - materials. - - - The Ocean Dumping Act requires that contaminated materials n o t be placed 'in an approved ODMDS. Therefore, the Council encourages relevant agencies to address the problem of disposal of contaminated materials. Although the Ocean Dumping Act does not specifically address inshore disposal activities, the Council encourages EPA and other relevant agencies t o evaluate sites for the suitability of disposal and containment of contaminated dredged material. The Council further encourages those agencies t o draft management plans for the disposal of contaminated dredge materials. A consideration for total removal from the basin should also be considered should the material be contaminated to a level that it would have t o be relocated away from the coastal zone. e-U Rerm Cr- The use of underwater berms in the South Atlantic region has recently been proposed as a disposal technique that may aid in managing sand budgets on inlet and beachfront areas. Two types of berms have been proposed t o date, one involving the creation of a long offshore berm, the second involving the placement of underwater berms along beachfronts bordering an inlet. These berms would theoretically reduce wave energy reaching the beaches and/or resupply sand to the system. The Council recognizes offshore berm construction as a disposal activity. As such, all policies regarding disposal o f dredged materials shall apply t o offshore berm construction. Research should be conducted t o quantify larval fish and crustacean transport and use of the inlets prior t o any consideration of placement of underwater berms. Until the impacts of berm creation in inlet areas on larval fish and crustacean transport is determined, the Council recommends that disposal activities should be confined t o approved ODMDSs. Further, new offshore and nearshore underwater berm creation activities should be reviewed under the most rigorous criteria, on a case-by-case basis. . . na and B - for Bear;h Renourtshment The Council recognizes that construction and maintenance dredging of the seaward portions of entrance channels and dredging borrow areas for beach re nourishment occur in the EEZ. These activities should be done in an appropriate manner in accordance with the policies adopted by the Council. The Council acknowledges that endangered and threatened species mortalities have occurred as a result of dredging operations. Considering the stringent regulations placed on commercial fisherman, dredging or disposal activities should not be designed or conducted so as t o adversely impact rare, threatened or endangered species. NMFS Protected Species Division should work with state and federal agencies to modify proposals to minimize potential impacts on threatened and endangered sea turtles and marine mammals. The Council has and will continue t o coordinate with Minerals Management Service (MMS) in their activities involving exploration, identification and dredging/mining o f sand resources for beach renourishment. This will be accomplished through membership on state task forces or directly with MMS. The Council recommends t h a t live b o t t o d h a r d bottom habitat and historic fishing grounds be identified for areas in the South Atlantic region t o provide for the location and protection of these areas while facilitating the identification o f sand sources for beach renourishment projects. en Water O I S ~ The SAFMC is opposed t o the open water disposal of dredged material into aquatic-systems which may adversely impact habitat that fisheries under Council jurisdiction are dependent upon. The Council urges state and federal agencies, when reviewing permits considering open water disposal, t o identify the direct and indirect impacts such projects could have on fisher~es habitat. The SAFMC concludes that the conversion of one naturally functioning aquatic system a t the expense of creating another (marsh creation through open water disposal) must be justified given best available information. NEW LIVE ROCK ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED 1. The amendment has no discrete problem statement to be related t o FMP objectives. (NOAAGC) Recommendation: List problems and objectives and refer to Problem 1 in FMP: "Degradation of stocks through natural and man-made impacts". Revise Objective 2 to include live rock: "Minimize, as appropriate, adverse human impacts on coral, coral reefs, and live rock". 2. Include an option for OY if management by quota is chosen (NOAAGC) Recommendation: Add an option D.3.: "OY for live rock to be that established by quota or which may be allowed by permit". 3. The redefinition for allowable octocorals allows removal of only that portion of substrate covered by the holdfast. That is insufficient to provide anchorage according t o collectors. (GMFMC Coral AP) Recommendation: Allow removal of a portion of the substrate not t o exceed 3 inches beyond the holdfast. (GMFMC Coral AP) 4. That portion of the Gulf of Mexico west of Apalachicola has only small, scattered patches of live rock which are valuable for reef fish habitat and as fishing sites. (GMFMC Coral AP and Pensacola Public Hearing) -- Recommendation: Consider more stringent measures for live rock removal in that area; i.e., lower quotas, smaller trip limits, etc. 5. Chipping or breaking up of rock ledges is causing substantial damage to reef and ledge structures. (Pensacola Public Hearing) Recommendation: Allow take only of loose rock or rubble, and prohibit chipping or breaking u p of rock reefs or ledges. 6. Some harvesters as well as conservation groups recommended a limited annual harvest and trip limits during a phase out period. (GMFMC Coral AP and Pensacola Public Hearing) Recommendation: Establish an annual quota based on recent production t o prevent an acceleration of harvest in the final years. The 1992 production was about 400 tons. A fishing year could begin in March as that is normally a high production month. Trip limits of 500 pounds were most frequently recommended. 7. Restrict access t o present participants. (GMFMC Coral AP) Recommendation: There are currently about 40 participants licensed in Florida. The Council's control date is t o be published this month. Persons in other states could submit sales receipts to qualify as permittees during a phase out period. 8. No provision is made for the hobbyist [B-5(19)1. Recommendation: Consider a small trip limit for recreational hobbyists of 25-75 pounds. The state of Florida did not provide for recreational harvest of live rock during the phase out period, however. EFBNG BOOK ADD SUMMARY COMMENTS CORAL PUBLIC HEARING T~ 3 C/ (a) DUCK KEY, FLORIDA JANUARY 6, 1994 70 persons attending Biscayne National Park representative stated concern over loss of substrate from a variety of causes. Project Reef Keeper recommended a ban on live rock harvest. If phased out, it should be 32 percent decrease each year over three years. Fish dealers expressed need of live rock for captive breeding of aquarium fishes. Suggested 1,000 pounds per week, per vessel. Florida Marine Life Association recommended permit limitation for wild harvest based on past participation, no immediate closure, trip limits. Noted resource is in trillions of tons. Time is needed to enter aquaculture and allow for first harvest. - - Attorney for live rock alliance notes no basis for closure of live rock harvest, harvesters want to take only loose rubble rock, suggests limited access, trip limits of 1,500 pounds, allow n o chipping of rock. Some were concerned that investment in aquaculture would be too costly. Aquaculture is feasible but State of Florida is foot dragging on the permit process. No complete aquaculture system has been permitted to date. Harvesters hope for a federal aquaculture system due to problems with state permitting. Would like a phase out to prevent imported material to take over the market. Divers see no lobsters in rubble rock zone. Center for Marine Conservation supports ban on live rock. Violates law by taking prohibited corals. Live rock is a base for fisheries, not environmentally rational, would support a phase out of one to t w o years. Labor costs in third world are less for collecting but freight costs are the only thing keeping it out of the market at present. Florida now charges$200 non-refundable up front fee for live rock lease, plus additional
charges as permit proceeds through the process.

There was discussion concerning the fact that collecting live rock may be considered mining
and therefore necessitates a permit from another state agency.
-
PUBLIC HEARING ON CORAL AMENDMENT 2

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA

JANUARY 11, 1994

40 PERSONS IN ATTENDANCE

1.    A representative of a diving school presented a petition with 900 signatures objecting to live rock removal.
[Tab B. No. 5(10)]

2.    A Siem Club representative requested a three-year moratorium during which a comprehensive impact study
on the impact of removal of rock can be conducted.

3.    Live rock collectors noted that other factors besides collecting affect the environment. A three-year period
to phase in aquaculture may not be long enough; five years may be required.

4.    A collector stated that breaking up of reef and ledges should be prohibited, but removal of rubble pieces
should be allowed.

5.    Several speakers noted that the bottom off the Florida Panhandle is mostly sand with little hard bottom.
There are active programs of artificial reef construction to provide bottom relief for reef fishes. Natural
relief in this area is far offshore and in limited quantity and should be protected. Aquaculture would be
a solution.

6.    A diver reported finding crowbars, picks, chisels, and other tools used to break up and remove ledges for
live rock harvest.

7.    One collector stated that he collects only in areas where rock rubble is abundant. He suggested a means
of identifying cultch material used in aquaculture with plastic tags or some other means.

8.    One collector noted that he collects rubble from coralline algae. He recommended trip quotas with
replacement of upland material.

9.    A representative from Project Reef Keeper recommended a phase out of 33 percent per year to stimulate
interest in aquaculture.

10.   One individual noted that live rock harvest is only a small part of live bottom loss. There are other man-
made perturbations which have far more impact.

11.   A charterboat operator noted his need for live bottom and reef sites for fishing and there were enough other
harmful impacts without live rock removal.
R e e f            r
S c a ~ es
385   745   2781                p.   02

(SYn;tf         A )
U -                                                                                   -
EIORAN. H ~ R A& E ~ u m - ~ L P
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.\TTORNE;E'B AT L ~ W
046 mn-~      a? r n : ~
.

October 7, 1993

GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY
MANAGEMENT COUNCIL MEMBERS
Re:    Proposed Measures on Uve Rock Collection
Dear Council Member!

Please be advised that our Law Firm represents the intdresu of "The Live Rock
Nlinncd', a g r ~ b p ayyiudnatcly rhlny (30') papla who are enga8ed m either the
uf
collection of the live rock or disrributiodrztailing of the product. We wanted to take yet
anothar oppofiunity to edviuiu the Q u l ~ c i l lakc a rcaaoncd and objcc~lvc
~~                           r~priach the
to
regulation of live rock and to avoid being influenced by the scare tactks being employed by
~ r liuknrioncd, but u d o r r ~ ~ yclauru aud u~yi~l;ratiuns
l                            cb                          caUing for a total prohibition of
live rock collcctjon.

I would like to bepin by giving an idea of what rho Live Rock Aniance & advocating: ;

1.     A system of licensing for all persons involyed i the collection o live rock; .
n                f
2.      Lirmted entry into the fishery;
.
3      A limit on the amount of rock which wuld bc Lalroc~ a per-trip bss
ou           ai;

4.      Licensing ~ n l fw those pcoplc whn have been involved in the fishery in the
y
past and dcerive a certain percentage of income from the collection and/or sale of live rock; ;
aud

5.     Roguhtians al& l-              ~        UP
t l ~011~bLivrl udy lubblc ruck Irl   h e wdrere   of zne
Atlantic and d i a o w a n a nf cnllacttrrn nf "rhippd rack" in sdd water:.

The Live Rock Alliance consists exclusively of small collectors who recognize the need
for rcgulalion uf the industry and want to educate the pubUc as to the nature of the marine
ecosystem and avoid the negative impacts thcreto. Unfortunately, there is a perception i    n
some circles that all live rock collectors are hesponsible and uncaring people who vigorousty
attack our reef with picks and explosives; this is certainly not the case...
R e e f            r
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October 7 , 1993
Page   2

It would bc helpful if ad persons involved with this issue wem ware of just exactly
what "rubble rock" is. Witb regard to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off of the Keys,'
rubble rock ip n~thing more than ancient coral mck, which has k e . n mlnni7erl hy vnrimls,
microarganjsms, plants and animals. The rock which is colonized comes from the coral
substrate and temporarily buried rock which has bccn rtwdtad theuC;h the action of the
elements. b r a y , tens of thousands of acres of rubble r'ock exist i the waters off the,
n
s
Florida Keys and, whde the rock itself i finite in the technical sense, the colonization
n
process is perperud and renewable. We rock does, i fact, play a major role i the marine
n
environment, but It must bz understood that there is a constant tnmover and recolanuation.
oi live rockI 'fie.action nf the ele,ments cause large areas of rock to be covered and.
uncovered in a continuous cycle.

One of the forcmost e x p m c rubble rock t h a c;ouut~y, Roy L Calhcll;
m               l
Yrofessor of Integrative Biology a the University of California a Berkeley, has been
t                                  t
studying cord rubble communities for over thiny (30) years and his knowledge is impressive:
7b~ugh   Jennifer Whemnn, Siologht far the State of Florida, has recently attacked Dr,
r
CaldweiPs studies and conclusions stating that D .Caldwell is actually a behaviorist studying
n3ari!1t i~~vactcbmteq must
it       be pointed out that the iavertsbrates studied are those that
r
traditionally colonhe rubble rock and, QS pan of D .CddweU's studios, hi: has probab)ly
more data and knowledge concerning live rock than anyone i the country.
n
Dr. Caldwell is an advocate of bath natural and cultured live rock collection, while
wi~ting U t t he has 'ha p ~ ,nr pw,sntrt finhnt:ial o ottiei ~ i e r m y buxine~ror person
Q ~  h                   t                   r             tu
.
invoked in the harvest or sale o live rock. ." IIis advocacy af live rock mllcctio~l
f                                                     CUIUW
from his belief that the benefits of fostering an interest in, and a knnwledge, of nur reef
comunitics through our aquarium indsstry fidlyjustitjics the "minimal"impacts of collection.
DrI CaMw8ll points out that he believes the sentiment to prohibit the collection and sale of
live rock seems to be an overreaction by a wcll intcntioned, bbt h s i d 6 1 1 ~ c dgroup. o
,       f
environrne.ntii1 activists who "seek protectioo of ow reef3 by imposing a complete
morat~riura most h m activitica Involving their we." Dr.Caldwr?ll states that coral
04
mbbh is a dynamk rasowcc brd b r;orwti~~ltiy    turning over'. Hc: ir~rliaicsthat:

While. same indiuiduals have argued that rubble lo not readily
renewable, they tend to base their conclusions on the
production of new coral or corellinc algae substrate. The fact
if only a parkinn of the standing map nf con1 nlhbk comes
directly &om liviqj coral or coralhe algae. Much of it is being
recycled from coral rack that is tempthrily buried, washed off
shore, or erodes from .ancient formations. From m tagging
y
R e e f            r
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October 7 , 1993
Page   3

studies i Panama, I have followed pieces of rubble for up to
n
ten (10) years Many pieces were buried aftzr storms only to
reappear several years later and quickly be recolonized. After
heavy storms, we have witnessed entire fubble bars created
&om beach deposits be colonized in a matter of months and,
after a year or two, disappear a they were washed back on
s
shore.     Estimates of substrate availability m s take into
ut
consideration these long-standing sources and should not be
based solely on cunent production o coral or coralline. While
f
it is true that harvesting cord rubble will have a small impact
on total substrate available for livc rock formation, the effect is
probably insimcant when compared to the total supply
substrate present. At several sites in Panama, I have rernmed         -    - .
&om sea grass beds all large pieerr of coral rubble wer area
of up to twb hectares. When the site8 were left undisturbed for
less than two years, I could not detect significant differences i n
the availability of rubble or the infauna community when
compared to measurements taken prior to the removals.

Though I have taken the liberty ofquoting D .Caldwell, I am enclosing two separate pieces
r
of corresponddncc daud March 26, 1 9 and April 15, 1993,respectively. Though it will
93
take some time, I would suggest that you carefully examine both pieces o correspondence
f
r
to determine f r yourself that D .CaldwrU-notonly has the credentials and research to
o
support his conclusions, but is also providing an abjective scientific approach to the issue of
live rock collection.

Though I am not an expert in this field, I have been an avid diver for approximately
twenty-fivz (25) years and much of that diving took place i the Atlantic Ocean off of the,
n
Florida Keys. I am aware of the vast quantities of rubble rock available for harvest and. I
a also aware of the constant turnover ofthis resource and its dynamic nature. In my work
m
with some o thC modern day trmsufi: salvors, 1have had the occasion to exldminc areas i
f                                                                             n
sand flats where salvors had worked and uncovered coral rubble i attempting to locate
n
treasure. These areas quickly turned into flourishing mini-habitats i an otherwise barren
n
tenah. The rock was quickly colonized by various plant$and animals which, in turn, brought in all varieties of M throughout the food chain. Further, these newly created live rock communities were often reburied by the action of the elements. R e e f S c a ~ es r October 7 , 1993 Page 4 & council members, I rsalize thcrt you arc not irnn~ullcI.,) public sentiment nor the lobbying effortsof vanow envkonrnentd goup. I simply w u t to irwurc that you y ~ ~ v i i i s primary emphasis to your obhgntions undcr the terms of the Mamuson Fisncry and C~u~crvation Managanent Act of 1976. Any regulaciods promulgated pursuant to thb Act : must be based nn the best scientific informnuan available aud we feel confident mat we are p r o v i a you with the best and most obicctive scientItic data available. It is not our. intention to make threats at this point, but you also must realize that you are dealing with the livrlihaod of my client4 and while wc rcw&c that the need for regulation, and such regulation, we will not sit idly by and w a i d l at: loss of this livelrhood through the efforts of 'bcfl-intentio~lrd mlsidormed people". We want to cooperate and work with but the countils to the bcst o uur abUdes, but 1 assur6 you that our clients 318 nll prepared to f fight any attempts at prohihitinn nf the colleation of live ruck. I a i the process of attempting to obtain relevant portions ofDr. Caldwell's actual m n studies and wiU forward these mterials on t yni~ o lipon rwipt. I r e a h that I have been ralhcr long-winded in this correspondence, but when you realize how seriously yaw decisions #affectmy clientg, I bellevc that thr time ~ c ~ ~ ito ~ r l r thoroughly rxarnine thin ~ ~ p o n d c lits enclosures arrd any other data provided in the ~c~, future, is well spent. Let me express the sinma thanks of all of my cknts for nhjmcively t~i~~uiubigLssues. the Vexy truly ybus, w. E ~ A R D HOW For the Firm EWH:xnma Enclosures r;,.: . i.. .. ' JT . ..- 'I," Operations Center November 17, 1993 Project Reef Keeper (1 Mr. Thomas Wallin, Chairman Gulf of Mexico Fisherv Management Council 5401 W. Kennedy lid. -- use 331 Tampa, FL 33609 re: Live Rock Collection and the Corals & Coral Reefs FMP I OPERATIONS CENTER Suite 162 2809 Bird Ave Dear Mr. Wallin: Florida 33133 M~ami. Now that the Council is going to hold public hearings on how to deal with live rock collection, Project ReefKeeper and the other 143 organizations endorsing the attached letter urge you and all other Council members to reconsider your preferred management option. We ask that you change your preferred option and instead take real substantive action to end live rock collection as an amendment to the joint Corals and Coral Reefs Fishery Management Plan for the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic. CARIBBEAN REGION It is simply not good enough to write into the FMP a mere intention to Suite 1271 ban live rock collection three years from now. Unfortunately, that is all that Castillo Del Mar lsla Verde. Puerto Rim 00913 the Gulf Council's preferred option for live rock management would amount to. Only you and your fellow Council members can see to it that real reduction or prohibition of live rock collection actually becomes a reality. Project ReefKeeper and 143 other groups strongly support the immediate prohibition of live rock collection. But if there must be a phase- out of live rock collection, then we must insist on a three-year tiered phase- out, with gradual evenly diminishing collection quotas over the 3 years. Starting with the best estimate of landings for 1993, a tiered phase-out PACIFIC REGION should reduce that amount by 33 percent each year until the landings quota Suite 106-542 350 Ward Avenue reaches zero. Honolulu. Hawaii 96814 Such a three-year tiered phase-out of collection will ensure immediate and increasing relief to the habitat upon amendment ratification by the Secretary of Commerce. It will prevent the escalation of live rock collection over the next 3 years that would otherwise come in response to closed collection in the U.S. Caribbean and increased market demand. It will discourage the entry into the "fishery" of new collectors. It will remove any incentive for present collectors to go into debt to expand their collection capabilities. And it will cause an immediate incentive for those same collectors to aggressively pursue aquaculture now in order to make up for the tiered quota reductions for wild live rock. LATIN AMERICAN REGION Calle 60 No. 3 8 7 4 Merida, Yucatan Mexico 97000 That scenario is the only one that makes sense in order to protect the habitat while providing for a rational and orderly transition to live rock aquaculture. The exact opposite will happen if you go along with just setting a date three years from amendment ratification for cessation of live rock collection. Think about it, please, and factor in human nature. During those 3 years, market demand will cause wild live rock collection to increase instead of decrease. For at least the first 2 of those 3 years, there will be no pressure to move towards aquaculture. But there will be plenty of market demand to bring new collectors into the field, and to push present collectors to increase their collecting capacity. Finally, when the closure date begins to loom on the horizon, the drive will be to collect even more and more in order to build up inventories as a hedge against the closure. There will no longer be enough time to make aquaculture work before the closure of wild live rock collection. - - And then the other shoe will fall -- live rock collectors will come to you and demand that the collection closure date be postponed into the future, so they can do what they would have done in the first place had there been a tiered collection phase-out schedule in place. We hope that is not what you will allow. We would find such a -- scenario and its attendant devastation of coral habitat -- to be utterly unacceptable and unconscionable. And so would the millions of people represented by the 144 groups endorsing the attached letter requesting a cessation of live rock collection in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Please don't let them -- and our coral habitats -- down. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, ALEXANDER STONE Director AS:hm enc. TAB B ~ 0 . 5 National Alliance to Protect Liue Rock November 17, 1993 Mr. Thomas Wallin, Chairman Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council 5401 W. Kennedy Blvd. -- Suite 331 Tampa, FL 33609 Dear Mr. Wallin: The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will be taking action soon on live rock collection in federal waters off Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. -- The 144 undersigned organizations -- representing millions of concerned citizens -- are opposed to any collection of coral or live rock within state or federal waters. It takes decades for countless generations of fragile, dime-sized coral polyps to build a single coral head -- and centuries to build coral reefs. Yet coral reefs and hard- bottoms in the Gulf of Mexico are in trouble and literally being chiseled away at an alarming rate due to live rock collection. Live rock is coral reef substrate or rubble with attached marine life such as sponges, anemones and soft corals. Collected live rock cannot be replenished on a biological time scale, as can all other fishery resources. It follows that each time a piece of live rock is removed from the reef, it is unlikely that it will be renewed in our children's -- -- or our grandchildren's lifetime. Finally, live rock formations provide essential habitat to countless marine creatures. Continued collection of live rock seriously disrupts -- or even destroys -- entire reef microcommunities. We therefore respectfully request that the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council move without delay to ban the collection of live rock within federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico because live rock collection is mining rather than harvesting of a renewable fishery resource, and because the microhabitat value of live rock justifies a complete prohibition on its collection. Respectfully submitted, National Organizations American Littoral Society Sandy Hook Dery Bennett Highlands, NJ 07732 Center for Marine Conservation One Beach Dr. SE -- Ste 304 Paul G. Johnson St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Compuserve Scuba Forum 334 Portico Ct. Frank Howard Chesterfield, MO 63017 Environmental Defense Fund Rockridge Market Hall Rodney M. Fujita, Ph.D 5655 College Ave. Oakland, CA 94618 Greenpeace P.O. Box 384 Bruce Jaildagian New Smyrna Bch, FL 32170 International Marine Alliance 201 West Stassney -- Ste 408 Vaughn R. Pratt Austin, TX 78745-31 56 Island Conservation Effort 90 Edgewater Dr. #901 Martha Walsh-McGehee Coral Gables, FL 33133 National Audubon Society Scully Science Center Carl Safina 306 South Bay Avenue Islip, NY 11751 .- National Coalition for Marine Conservation 5113 Bissonet Drive Bethlyn McCloskey Metaire, LA 70003 Natural Resources Defense Council 40 West 20th St. Lisa Speer New York, NY 10011-4211 Project ReefKeeper 2809 Bird Ave -- Ste 162 Alexander Stone Miami, FL 33160 Sierra Club National Marine Committee 1414 Hilltop Dr. Shirley Taylor Tallahassee, FL 32303 Underwater Society of America (NY) 10 Redfield St. Rick D'Amico Rye, NY 10580 World Wildlife Fund 1250 24th St, N.W. Tundi Agardy Washington, DC 20037 State and Local Organizations Florida 1000 Friends of Florida 524 E College Ave. James Murley Tallahassee, FL 32301 Alachua Audubon Society P.O. Box 140464 John C. Winn Gainesville, FL 32614-0464 Audubon Society of the Everglades P.O. Box 6762 Elwood Bracey W. Palm Bch, FL 33405 Audubon Society, Panhandle Chapter 4330 Maywood Drive Ed Hebb Marianna, FL 32446 Byrne-Rinehart Associates 5830 SW 73 St. Thomas E. Byrne Miami, FL 33143 Central Florida Pleasure Divers 3022 Hidalgo Dr. Dee Parkes Orlando, FL 32812 Citizens for Wekiva Springs 1800 Wekiwa Circle Dean E. Mair Apopka, FL 3271 2 The Conservancy 1450 Merrihue Drive Christina Ramsey Naples, FL 33942 Coral Reef Community Foundation 633 Island Dr. Alice Biays Key Largo, FL 33037 Environmental Coalition of Broward 521 S. Andrew Ave. -- Ste 3 Dianne Petitjean Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 Florida Audubon Society 460 Highway 436 -- Ste 200 - Bernard J. Yokel. Ph.D Casselberry, FL 32707 Florida Defenders of the Environment P.O. Box 8 Robin Hart Sarasota, FL 34230 Florida Environmental Alliance P.O. Box 254 Linda Young Tallahassee, FL 32302 Florida Keys Audubon Society P.O. Box 633 Curtis Kruer Big Pine Key, FL 33043 Florida Keys Campaign -- Clean Water Action P.O. Box 137 Joyce Newman Big Pine Key, FL 33043 Florida Keys Environmental Fund P.O. Box 448 Marabeth Causey Islamorada, FL 33036 Florida Keys Initiative -- The Nature Conservancy 201 Front St. Mark L. Robertson Key West, FL 33040 Florida Keys Project -- The Wilderness Society 8065 Overseas Highway Debbie Harrison Marathon, FL 33050 Florida League of Anglers P.O. Box 1 109 Norma Stoppelbein Sanibel, FL 33957 Florida Wildlife Federation P.O. Box 687 Manley Fuller Tallahassee, FL 32314 HML Ecology Club 930 W. 80th PI. Lucy Cifuentes Hialeah, FL 33014 lnnerspace Visions Divers Box 557095 Doug Perrine Miami, FL 33255 lzaac Walton League of the Florida Keys P.O. Box 112 Svenn Lindskold Islamorada, FL 33036 KSC Barracudas 1840 Crawford Ave. Grace Hampton Merritt Isle, FL 32303 Last Stand 1330 Atlantic Blvd Jim McLernan Key West, FL 33040 Manasota-88 5314 Bay State Rd. Gloria C. Rains Palmetto, FL 34221 Ocean Expo Associates 2233 Keystone Blvd Susan M. Payette N. Miami, FL 33181 Ocean Trust International P.O. BOX 52-0573 - - - Sharon Kegeles Miami, FL 33152 Ormond Anchor Chasers 2609 N. Peninsula Dr. John Lane Daytona Bch, FL 321 18 Palm Beach Diving Association 180 East 13th St. Rodney Lee, Sr. Riviera, Beach, FL 33404 People Organized to Prevent Pollution 18748 Drayton St. Betty Tillis Spring Hill, FL 34610 Project Environmentally Safe Shores 1511 Hudson Rd Doug Driscoll Venice, FL 34293 Reef Relief P.O. Box 430 DeeVon Quirolo Key West, FL 33040 Save the Wildlife 351 East Fourth St. Cindy Westra Chuluota, FL 32766 Sierra Club Florida Chapter 18311 SW 89 Ct. Sandy Jensen Miami, FL 33157 South Florida Underwater Photography Society 19101 Mystic Pte. Dr. #609 Cynthia Prettyman N. Miami Bch, FL 33180 Suncoast Reef Rowdies P.O. Box 41 1 Robert Bourke Pinellas Park, FL 34664 University of Miami Marine Science Ass'n Marine Science Program U.M. Michael P. Connell Coral Gables, FL 33124 Upper Keys Citizens Association P.O. Box 141 Dagny Johnson Tavernier, FL 33070 Volusia-Flagler Sierra Club Group P.O. Box 1853 Jack Kleinberg Ormond Bch, FL 32175 Watercolor Divers P.O. Box 9131 Charlene R Johnson Ocala, FL 32670 The Wildlife Connection 351 E. 4th Street Heidi Higdon Chuluota, FL 32766 Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center P.O. Box 1418 Michael Conley Anna Maria, FL 34216-1418 Other State and Local Organizations in the Continental U.S. Aqua Venture Divers (SC) 426 Coleman Blvd - Mike Hegel Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 Aquatic Engineers of Georgia (GA) 38536 Lawrenceville Hwy. Peter Vicars Tucker, GA 30084 Aquatic Resource Center (IL) P.O. Box 414 Tim Early Dolton, lL 60419 Atlanta Divers (GA) 3853G Lawrenceville Hwy. Peter Vicars Tucker, GA 30084 Atlanta Oceans (GA) P.O. Box 12198 Joe Jordan Atlanta. GA 30355 Atlanta Scuba Club (GA) 38536 Lawrenceville Hwy. Peter Vicars Tucker, GA 30084 Beneath the Sea (NY) 10 Redfield St. Rick D'Amico Rye, NY 10580 Charbon Sports Club (GA) 575 Hawthorne Ave. W. Mack Martin Athens, GA 30606 Charlotte Divers (NC) 601K S. Kings Dr. James Seay Charlotte, NC 28204 Clairemont Divers (NC) P.O. Box 877 Gene Monday Clairemont, NC 28610 Dive South Scuba Club (GA) 836 South Main Tom Larnbie Statesboro, GA 30458 Explorers Club of Pittsburgh (PA) 12985 Perry Highway Sue Smiley Wexford, PA 15090 Gypsy Divers (NC) 1019 E. Whitaker Mill Rd Dave Farrar Raleigh, NC 27608 Hatteras Divers (NC) P.O. Box 213 Donny Lang Hatteras, NC 27943 Island Divers (GA) 107 Marina Dr. Judy Wright St. Simons Island, GA 31522 Island Hoppers Dive Club (NC) 2827 Spring Garden St. Mary K. M. Nesbit Greensboro, NC 27403 Kitsap Diving Association (WA) P.O. Box 1302 Donald L. Larson. Bremerton, WA 98310-0511 Lakewood Divers (AR) 2925 Lakewood Village Dr. Doug Lewter N. Little Rock,A 721 16 - R - Little Rock Divers (AR) 1222 Westpark Mike McCrory Little Rock, AR 72204 Long Island Diver's Association (NY) 11 Potomac Ct. Steven L. Puleo Coram, NY 11727 Maine Marine Explorers Scuba Club (ME) 784 Turner Rd. Donald J. Bernard Auburn, ME 04210 Marietta Divers (GA) 950 S. Cobb Parkway -- Ste 160 Mike Van Hosen Marietta, GA 30062 Memphis Divers (TN) 999 S. Yates Doug McNeese Memphis, TN 381 19 Mudhole Divers (MO) 124 Merryfield Circle Mary Bowles St. Charles, MO 63303-6540 Nag's Head Divers (NC) 3941 S. Croatan Hwy.-- Ste 114 Ginny Nutter P.O. Box 665 Nag's Head, NC 27959 New Dive Crew (NC) 333 Jonestown Rd. Bryan E. Holder Winston-Salem, NC 27104 Ocean Treasures (MI) 1819 Fletcher St. Gregory R. Mann Lansing, MI 48910 Oxford Divers (MS) Doug Mc Neese Oxford, MS Sea Knights (CA) 6558 N. Callisch Marlene Forbes Fresno, CA 93710 Washington Scuba Alliance (WA) 120 State Avenue Donald L. Larson A Olympia, W 98501 Wet Set Divers (SC) 5121 Rivers Ave. Jack Williamson Charleston, SC 29418 State and Local Organizations U.S. Caribbean Laurie Dunton PO Box 588 Anchor Divers St Croix, USVl 00823 Jose Rodriguez PO Box 40893 Antilles Divers San Juan, PR 00940 Bob Kreisel 6501 Red Hook Plaza #15 Aqua Action Divers St. Thomas, USVl 00802 ' - Jose Rafols Sallaberry Rte 110, Km 10, Gate 5, Aquatica Underwater Adventurers Aguadilla, PR 00604 Jose Guillermo Rodrigues Apdo 7186 Assoc De Estudiantes De Ecologia Ponce, PR 00732 Fernando Gomez Gomez PO Box 364424 Assoc Puertorriquena de Recursos de Agua San Juan, PR 00905 Peter Zerzigon Calle Colmei # 119, Apt 3b Blue Water Scuba San Turce, PR 00907 Mario Caruso PO Box 902 Calypso Divers Lajas, PR 00667 Bill Moore HC-01, BOX4181 Captain Bill's Divers Rincon, PR 00677 Dave Fredebeugh PO Box 93, Red Hook Caribbean Divers St Thomas, USVl 00801 Gene Thomas P.O. Box 467 Caribbean Marine Services Culebra, PR 00775 Caribbean Research Institute Environmental Resource Center Norman J. Quinn University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas, USVl 00830 Michael Newell La Concha Box 4195 Caribbean School of Aquatics San Juan, PR 00902 Karen Vega P.O. Box 2470 Caribe Aquatic Adventurers San Juan, PR 00902 Jorge Pereira HC-Box 13339 Bo Pajuil C.E.D.D.A. Hatillo, PR 00659 Fernando Rodriguez Calle Tulipan #BA-16, Centro de Buceo Carolina, PR 00983 Christie Swingen 4 -6-1 Frydenhoj 1 Chris Sawyer Divers St Thomas, USVl 00802 Peter Jackson PO Box 5279 Coki Beach Dive Club St Thomas, USVl 00803 Ellezer Colon Rivera Apdo 123 Comite Despertar Cidreno Cidra, PR 00639 Comite Junqueno Pro Rescate del Medio Ambiente P.O. Box 633 Edwin Hernandez Juncos, PR 00777 - - - Jose Bangochea Rodriguez Calle 9 #G-11 Comite Pro Buen Ambiente de Guayanilla Guayanilla, PR 00858 Richard Metcalfe 10-1 Estate Carolina 9 Coral Bay Watersports Ass'n St John, USVl 00830 Jim Abbott Box CUHF Coral Head Divers Humacao, PR 00661 Serafin Labrador PO Box 4194 Coral Reef Divers Puerto Real, PR 00740 Marcus Johnston PO Box 252 Cruz Bay Watersports Ass'n St John, USVl 00830 Tom Long 12 Strand St/Frederiksted Cruzan Divers St Croix, USVl 00840 David Martinez Lepanto #16, Alamein Dive Company of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras, PR 00926 Sam Halverson PO 4254 1 Christiansted Dive Experience St. Croix, USVl 00822 Jorge Pereira HC-Box 13339 Bo Pajuil Diving Adventurers Hatillo, PR 00659 Victor Torres Marginal Brasilla # C30 Fantasy Scuba Club Vega Baja, PR 00693 Myrna Pagan De Connely Calle Flamboyan 138 Fidecomiso de Conservation de Vieques Vieques, PR 00765 Richard Scott PO Box 2 80 1 Hi-Tec Watersports Ass'n St Thomas, USVl 00803 Hans Peter PO Box 170 Humacao Divers Humacao, PR 00791 Jose Rafols P.O. Box 350 Liga Ecologica del Oeste Ramey, PR 00604 Cindy Gines Sanchez Apdo 503 Liga Ecologica de Rincon Rincon, PR 00743 Ann Marie Estes PO Box 431/ Cruz Bay Low Key Watersports Ass'n St. John, USVl 00831 Jaime Brauleo PO Box 3660 Mayaguez Divers Mayaguez, PR 00708 - - Luis Torres Laguna Gardens Center Mundo Submarino Divers lsla Verde, PR 00929 Susan M. Skewes Mongoose Junction Mongoose Junction Merchants Ass'n. St. John, USVl 00830 Ben Schwartz Vets Dr Stat, Box 3030 Ocean Fantasies St Thomas, USVl 00803 Leslie Cook Avenida lsla Verde #77 Ocean Sports lsla Verde, PR 00913 Edwin Hernandez Delgado PO Box 598 Org de Comunidades Ambientales del Este Fajardo, PR 00738 Kurt Grossem Santa lsidra Ill, E6 Puerto Rico Divers Fajardo, PR 00738 Carlos Guzman Rd #1 A25 Villa Del Rey Scuba Connection Divers Caguas, PR 00725 Felix Rivera Box 4 78 1 Sea Venture Divers Puerto Real, PR 00740 Hector Quintero InterAm Univ Box 5100 Sociedad de Historia Natural San German, PR 00753 Kurt Serik 59 Kings WharfICrstetd St. Croix Diving Ass'n St. Croix, USVI 00820 David Skewes PO Box 70 / Cruz Bay St. John Watersports Ass'n St. John, USVl00830 William G Letts 7147 Bolongo Bay St Thomas Diving Ass'n St. Thomas, USVI 00802 Jose Garcia 6300 Estate Frydenhoj St Thomas Yacht Ass'n St Thomas, USVI 00802 State and Local Organizations Hawaii & Western Pacific Atla Pac Weighmasters Tournament 3352 Ala Akulikuli St. Roland Galacgag, Sr. Honolulu, HI 96818 Molokai Visitor's Association P.O. Box 960 Barbara Schonely Kaunakakai, HI 96748 Outrigger Canoe Club 2909 Kalakaua Ave. Raymond Ludwig Honolulu, HI 96815 - * - Pride Charters Association 208 Kenolio Rd. Antoinette M. Davis Kihei, HI 96753 Sierra Club Maui Conservation Committee SR Box 190 Lisa Hamilton Hana, HI 96713 The Ocean Recreation Council of Hawaii P.O. Box 5306 Terry Lischer Kailua-Kona, HI 96745 NO A hvate Non-Profir Conrenxltron Organrtanm deduced to "Preserve and h t e a the Lavmng Coral Reef of the FLada Kqvs" ~ecember17, 1993 GULF FISI-lEHd-'. Terrance R. Leary Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council 5401 West Kennedy Blvd., Lincoln Center, Suite 331 Tampa, Florida 33609-2486 Re: Draft Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Dear Mr. Leary: The Board of Directo1.s of REEF RELIEF supports alternative C.2. Prohibit Harvest of Live Rock. Live rock is part of the living coral reef. Harvesting coral is illegal in Florida and should not be condoned by the state of Florida or the Federal government. We therefore urge the banning of all live rock collection in Federal waters. - - Jennifer L. Wheaton, in her study entitled "The ~arine-Life Fishery for 'Live Rock': Biological and Ecological Assessment of the Product and ~mplementations for Harvest" (April 1989), reports that "The most obvious implication of live rock harvest is outright loss of habitat, biomass and associated production. Unlike removal of individual specimen, live rock collection entails loss of actual micro-comm~nities.~ We normally encourage aquaculture as an option to avoid economic displacement. However, we do not support the aquaculture option in this case as a tradeoff for allowing continued harvest of live rock. The aquaculture proposed has not been proven to produce quality live rock nor quantities of live rock adequate to replace the habitats that would be harvested. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Draft Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. REEF RELIEF is a local, action-oriented conservation organization dedicated to "Preserving and Protecting the Living Coral Reef of the Florida Keys". We do not believe that complete removal of a limited, otherwise stressed con~ponentof an internationally recognized a > & marine resource can be justified in conservation ethics. Michelle Rice, Project Assistant iYaihg .Address: Post OfficeBox 430, Key Wat, Florida 33041 Education Center:201 WilliamStreet, Key West, Florida 33040 En~lironmental Telephone: (305)294-3100 / FAX: (305)293-9515 Printed on Recycled Paper Mr, &Mrs. Larry Jackson S. Jackson San A-. TX 7 ~ i q n l December 20, 1993 Terrance L e a r y G u l f o f Mexico F i s h e r y Management C o u n c i l L i n c o l n C e n t e r , S u i t e 331 5401 West Kennedy B l v d . Tampa, F l o r i d a 33609 Dear M r . L e a r y ; I a w r i t i n g you t o encourage you t o speed t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h m p e r m i t s w i l l be g r a n t e d f o r t h e c u l t u r i n g o f l i v e r o c k m a t e r i a l . As a d i v e r and a q u a r i s t , I a p p r e c i a t e t h e underwater environment as much o r more t h a n most. I keep a p i e c e o f t h i s environment i n my home aquar lums . My purchases o f l i v e r o c k m a t e r i a l s have c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e economy o f F l o r i d a . L i v e r o c k i s c o l l e c t e d by d i v e r s , c a r e d f o r by employees o f many s m a l l companies, shipped by d e l i v e r y companies, handled by a i r l i n e employees and f l o w n by a i r c r a f t . I believe t h a t i t ' s continued a v a i l a b i l i t y i s impprtant t o y o u r s t a t e s economy as w e l l as t h e hobby o f m a r i n e aquarium keeping. I do n o t w i s h t o see t h e e n v i r o n m e n t h u r t b y i m p r o p e r c o l l e c t i n g t e c h n i q u e s o r o v e r - c o l l e c t i n g s i n c e I spend many o f my v a c a t i o n o p p o r t u n i t i e s scuba d i v i n g . I b e l i e v e t h a t t h e c u l t u r i n g o f l i v e r o c k o f f e r s t h e b e s t s o l u t i o n f o r a q u a r i s t s and e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n c e r n s . The c u l t u r i n g o f l i v e r o c k w i l l p r o b a b l y c r e a t e a f e w e x t r a j o b s f o r t h e economy s i n c e t h e r a w m a t e r i a l s w i l l have t o be g a t h e r e d , p r e p a r e d and p l a c e d i n t h e a q u a t i c environment. L i v e r o c k w i l l be a v a i l a b l e a t some c o s t from some source. I f permits a r e not granted i n a t i m e l y f a s h i o n t o i n s u r e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e businesses t h a t a r e c u r r e n t l y i n t h e l i v e r o c k t r a d e , jobs and revenue w i l l be l o s t t o F l o r i d a . A q u a c u l t u r e of l i v e r o c k w i l l c r e a t e bottom h a b i t a t f o r d i v e r s e l i f e forms w h i l e p r o v i d i n g j o b s and a d e s i r a b l e p r o d u c t . I r e a l i z e t h a t t h e i s s u e i s i m p o r t a n t e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y ; b u t s t e p s have a l r e a d y been t a k e n t o eliminate h a r v e s t i n g of w i l d l i v e rock without adequate c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o t h e a l t e r n a t i v e means o f p r o d u c t i o n , hence t h e p o t e n t i a l i n t e r r u p t i o n of s u p p l y and l o s s o f jobs, revenue and p r o d u c t . P l e a s e do what you can t o speed t h e p r o c e s s . Thank You, 7-; r Larry Jac Aquarist 12/28/1993 17:12 7035384568 CLIFF P~ICCREED'V' PAGE 22 December 27, 1993 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council 5401 W. Kennedy Blvd. #33 1 L Tampa, F 33609 I (ljffmc(,@dy er D a Council Members: I wish to express my support for a total and immediate ban on live rock collection in 6204 N. Smn fisheries under your jurisdiction. Please consider this letter during the hearings to be vA Min@onl 22205 held in January on this matter. Ph.:703.538.4568 I As a scuba diver, I support preserving coral reefs to the maximum extent possible. Coral reefs provide the richest habitat anywhere in the marine environment. Apart horn their stunning natural beauty and vibrant displays of marine life, reefs offer high biological value, species diversity, and productivity. Many important species rely on reefs for habitat and food, including fisheries of great economic importance to the United States. Unfortunately, coral reefs are suffering from the effects of pollution, overdevelopment of coastal areas, and overfishing. -- Of all the available uses for this resource, wild coral coIlection is the most destructive and unsustainable. At any level or rate, coral harvesting damages the resource. Coral organisms take decades to produce live rock and hundreds of years to create reefs, and it takes too long for the reefs to recover from damage. The taking of corals also weakens the remaining coral organisms and makes them more susceptible to disease. Moreover, the damage causes a ripple effect on other species that rely on the reef for habitat. In the end, live rock and coral harvesting is like committing environmental genocide. It pulls the rug out f o under thousands of species and attacks the health of rm the ecosystem. The minimal economic value of harvesting coral is cancelled ten times over by the damage done to the resource itself. I ask the Council to take a stand against this harmful practice. Plew ban coral and live rock collection, not in three years, but immediately. I implore you to weigh the long- term consequences for our natural resources and to forgo any short-term economic gain. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns. Sincerely, Cliff McCreedy CC; Representative Jim Moran Senator Charles Robb Senator John Warner Project ReefKeepe' r..- + - .- :: t ! ? i 1' .'! !, 4 (31i-i . 1 b:. [ i] [ !-\ fi k: 4 t i c l [ I-\r~1 , :>' .a !:j I( I j : I-.! 1 '5 'f.-! ::; i > .. + f Q r 3t + g . I 1 1 f i: ,! i.1) '' l*f;]f:k." li) f'~-~?r)r\?r1 I-) -3 K)i-i:!f?55!(]frdl p35t ,311 +rvij~-;!-+,,j F ; ,r:-!; ,;,f ,;! 1 , 1 I t ! s a ()lie !:har~fle t~ rrdve a f31rlV i!?-!pdrt:.al;-i!-?f' ~:c?r?c?r'l?lr~~fe Cock." rnanaclement. However. i t ~ 3 ~5 i t.,.:) see t1-1~ I!v " a f :;,t.3tcl o f F!oriila',s dt-l~mm?d state~nents up were used aaairr 5.ut:h 35 - t r,e i:;~.;, Derwnt. !sf 1 lve rock. examlned at the request o f ~nfon:enient. aclentc, of SOnt3lneil \/lslble ci~lorrles prohibi t.ed coral." The tr-utrr 1 5t.t73[ t.rle detalnecl r K k whlch was a few pleces out of hundreds o f po~~nfls r:r)nt.31nel:l (:Oral. How the State came up w l t h 90 percent 1s s t i l l a mvs[er.v "TI.'!'. . - - ? . estimated amount of 3 tons of' live rock leavlnq thru rqlarnl d a i l y . " .=,tatell bv the Florida marine Patrol i s completelv out of line; orders are wolghed toqether. bv alr carqo. Therefore this statement of estimated am!:~~~nt:s 3r.e untrue Bott-r of these statements as w e l l as manv other5 a r e rrl!sieac3int:! 'and cloud the entlre r9ck issue. there are rf~ajor- A 5 (:rjl!e!::T;!fc, differences between t . 0 ~ wec_;t;3i!cj t h e E:3:frt i;oast. rnarirle 11fe. 'Ne feel ~t i s verv Important to cr!n[inue t.0 have different rei~ulatlfig councils! Separate views allow t o r area ~ e i ~ ! j i ~ [ ~ ! j i ~ lIev?lr?pr~ient that w i l l provide a f a i r rnanaqemrnt f - 1 ~ 1t ~o protect, ~ T T - 1 3 1 I UuSIneSs and the environment alike. TO combine this tvpe or cjecisiorl q would be llke ( ~ l v i n your monev t u a gambler and askirr(3 them ti, ! r ! v e ~ tl t for vour future R e d e f l n ~ t ~ o n Allowable Octocorals needs to have dlmenslons ~f of -3ubstrate holdfast, such as not to exceed 2 inches. Depenrlln~ or1 k eollectlon areas some Octocorals can be collected w i t h l i t t ~ to no '5ubstrate. while other areas need t o allow a small amount o f subc;trat.e to achieve the harvest of a heal thier product. First. consideration for manaqement of "live rock" should be the ~mplementation f limited access This should carry over t o an" o aquaculture slte i n State or Federal waters. This would allow f o r a control!ed amount of collectors u n t ~ the rules tak:e effect. l - i I-: + ; I .; 7. ( - , ., r-i ;-1 , r-i r- , - . -. -., . -. - . - , I - r , - f - r- --... J, , t- r- r i-. -.- t- i-i .2 i -r : .- - i - 1 .- I ; - .- . .:4r . ,- !-.,j-; t i . . i-, i -. .- . . . , l-i. .1 .- ; -, - -.- i-: ., ,. & :. .- - : . :. . ! : . 1 1 VI ! t !1 3nr'l t (): pr-.!:b I ae 1 1 v+ rY(~i: k, t' sr~er-fll 1 !!-I?rr-!e;31]5 ti:, (1(:[-I; ~.r - . . (11 : I ! Sa~rand T ~ I ! s . j r ~e.!amp!e 1.3 of i ; irnocjr-tlal v i e w ot tr,? - 1 i"t+ Y-. ; i, k:. *. T1 - I t$ 3 5 a :i;r)ar~le rE;3iJ [/7? 5 ~ 1 r ~ A h l ~ r ~ ~ [ ; i ~ :~' ~ f ~ f - ~ ~
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C 1 , w ! l l r e s u l t i n a s i q n ~ f l c a n economic Impact on a substantla; nurr-it~er
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~f ~ t n d l DuSifieS e n t i t i e s . East coast c o l l e c t o r s sald thev would not t e
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[]lven a chance to stav I n buslness and now the 5.A. mav prove them
(:or-rect

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3 S!'r-i:3) 1 ci~Slr'ie.f;S                                       l[ij     ?.'W!-jO'Sly!Caflle IS     aased     fin [ h e ,)!:I! Ie(1.t l2r-1 ~:!t 1 i , . , ; ~
r-r!cC.           the W e s t f : : ~ a ~ ; t , i s very ~ m p o r t a n t o W O I ' ~ w i [Q [ h e (:(~I-J?(:I is
fr-l:rr.r!                it
SO that pr'ovlSlOnS are (]ranted t o harvest w I I d rock. u n t i 1 aquar!.~l                       tl-~r-.?  C3I-I
t7e Ohtair7ed E.k:emption f o r the removal of c o r a l that w i 1 l attact-1 [Re
i q u a i u 1 tur-.e pr-oduct must be provided, such as the exemption used In the -                              -
I
!       t fshoro yetro!eurn e x t r a c t iorl.

P e r v ! tt!rt!J w 1 ! ! r-oyl~!re t lonal paperwork and fundlny f o r tt7e
requ 1 at i n q aqency personnel. Because of the paperwork; reduct iorr a c t .3!7(7
.                 d

the f a c t that funds are close t o non-existent, how do w e over rorne t h ~ s
grob l ern 7

C 4 . 4 One opt ion !s t o have one p e r m i t under 1 imi ted access management
I f a person does n o t a t t e m p t t o obtain a aquaculture perm1t before closur-e
(3f w i l d harvest, then they f o r f e i t t h e i r place on the l i m i t e d access l l s t
which ~ 1 1 then l i m i t harvest t o persons w i t h authorized aquaculture
1
operations. Additionally, c o l l e c t o r s should continue t o h o l d a c u r r e n t
S a l t w a t e r product license(SPL) w i t h the ML(Marine L i f e ? and
RS(Restr1cted Species) endorsements and be reauired t o report &                                      l
catches f r o m s t a t e and federal w a t e r s by u s i n g the i d e n t i f y i n g area code
number i A r e a code IS already p o s s i b l e , w i t h t h e t r i p t i c k e t r e p o r t i n g )
'Separate information could then be compiled by the t r i p t ~ c k e aqencv                t
i.lt'lt I 1 closure period IS i n e f f e c t or continue t h e report l n q r-equirer'i~er!ts ,3c~
more i n f o r m a t i o n can be gathered on marine l i f e and t h e i r c o l l r c t ! n ~ ~
3reas

J                                               copy, whi!e In possessi(?ts i:!f
0 P ~ ? S ? ? S S !of ~3~ n c i t a r ~ z e d
Q                                                                                                                                  - -         i
t ~ ~ ( - ,. lT       I ~ th?
au tt~or-ized  ayuac.ul t u r e operat!on along w It h current 1 i m i teQ a(:(:esr
pernll t , V L , ML and RS endorsements should separate aquacult~.~ralt ?           is
from i 1 legal harvesters. The l i m i t e d access permit could include and
specify the a1 lowance of prohibited coral on aquacul tured 1 ive rock.

C.4.c. I'm not sure how to overcome t h i s additional perm lt unless ~t can be
worded t o include " 1 ive rock" to the current permitting system for.
scientific, educational, and restorat ion purposes.

Concerning the 1 ive rock fishery value of about $628,000.00-this f iqure seems t o be incorrect. We are currently gather1ng information f r o m rock collectors t o provide a more accurate value figure. We hope to have t h i s information for you by the f i r s t meeting's date. To completely close the l l v e rock industry as the SA prefers w i l l adversely affect practically a l l participants: loss of revenue, increase in operating cost, loss of employment, and less competttlve f o r the domestic industry I n the International market. We have l o s t so many jobs and -- income t o other countries i n the past and now NAFTA. Don't allow the additional pressure of a complete 1 ive rock closure. IT WOULD BE WRONG! To regulate live rock harvest w i t h the allowance of aquaculture w i l l not create overlapping regulatlons w i t h state or other federal laws. A r t i f i c i a l reefs have proven t o be very effective by providing surface for the growth of marine l l f e and habitat f o r troplcal fishes and inverts. Base rocks of a r t i f i c i a l reefs w l l l quickly become attached to each other by the bui l d up of calcium carbonate. B l l l y Causey has proven t h i s t o be true by presenting slides t o council members o f rubble rock created by a boat grounding. He attested t o the adherence o f the rubble rock. Mitigation has been u t i l i z e d and successful i n many ways, such as wet lands and the replacement o f hard bottom removed by beach renourishment or dredging. There i s no reason why the above mentioned could not be applied towards "1 ive rock"? Don't add t o the current economic impacts that face small business entitles dally by closlng rock harvest completely. Many businesses w l l l be affected, not just the collectors. The health o f marine l l f e and marlne fish depend heavily on the presence of l l v e rock i n an aquarium. I f I can be of further assistance, please contact me. Most sincerely, I /7 - ~ ' d ? 5 LqpL KENT MQRINE J a n 06,94 12:07 N s . Z C 1 ?.:: - January 6,1994 REcBVED ,!.ri y 0 6 1994 GULF FISHERIES COUNCIL Mr. Terry Leary The Gulf of Mexlco Fishery Management Councll Llncoln Center, Suite 331 5401 West Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33600 Dear Mr. Leary: Kent Marine Is a manufacturer of water filtration equlpment and chemical supplements for aquarium use. We are aware that you are taking public comments on the Issue of THE COLLECTION OF Li-VE ROCK In federal waters. We would llke to state our S u ~ ~ o r tthe wntlnued collection of Live Rock. If properly for managed, Llve Rock collecting would be no more damaging to the ebvlronment than sport flshlng, boating or other activities that the government manages. It Is much much less damaging than sewage fmm cities, large shlpplng, oil drilling end many other activities. Marine aquariums promote public understanding of the fragile nature of marlne Ilfe. Many are in schools, restaurants and other public places. Unfortunately, our industry Is not e large one, and It is difficult for us to defend ourselves against the ravings and radical and often dishonest methods of envlronmentallsts. We do however employ a number of people, and Indeed the pet shops of this cauntry have w m e to depend on live rock collected in U.S. waters. We also would llke to see a sustainable yleld of live rock, and some controls are In order. As our economy tries to come out of recession, President Cllnton has sald that he Is dependant on Small Business to provlde the jobs to build a strong economy. Small Buslness Is already pushed to the maximum wlth environmental and safety laws, new upcoming taxes for healthcare etc. You are asking us to save our economy, couldn't the federal government try to cooperato somewhere? Please manage the collectlng of live rock but do not outlaw It! < -A, Slncereiy, . :+-! ,h -+ Owner RQUQRIUM PRODUCTS TEL N o . 4 1 0 - 7 6 1 - 6 4 5 8 Jan 7,94 1 0 : 4 1 N c . O G 5 " . 2 ; _- TAB 8 ~~.s/q) AQUARIUM PRODUCTS &p .: . ., r -; . : :- 0 <\ 180-LPENROD COURT .A S . ' . .-. . : , r:> .. r- J . . GLEN BURNIE, MD 21061 (410) 761-2100 January 7,1994 The Gulf of Lincoln Center, Suite 331 5401 West Kennedy Blvd. . ; Tampa, FL 33609 i j$
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.

i\i
Attn: Mr. Terry Leafy
Re: Collection of "live rock''

Members of the Council:
-   -

I have just entered into my 50th year in the'aquarium business; and, in all this
time, I haven't seen such a significantly tiny segment of the harvesting from
natural resources to be blown entirely out of proportion and given so much
attention!!

In one storm, I have watched more "live rock" thrown up on one beach by waves
than the aquarium industry would use by the year 2020!! So, depriving 35
collectors their well earned livelihood, the livelihood of the dealers to whom they
ship and the rest of the businesses that earn a living from this "rock" would really
only hurt the very economy that needs bolstering. This would just send another

Nothing is lost even to the misinformed ecologists, as these same individuals
that collect are even willing to put rock back into the ocean as a form of
aquaculture if the State of Florida would make it easier!

As a pioneer in this hobby and industry, I appeal to the "common sense" of the
members of the Council. Look to the positive effect of allowing the collection of
this necessary "living rock":

1. It teaches ecology, marine science, the beauty and fascination of
nature and utilizes what is wasted in natural storms.

2. It helps the economy and the taxes that come into the effected states.

3. Through aquaculture, it could even develop further.
~ UU I I
H U ~ H K ~ K~ ~ U L 2         ILL   N O . 4IU-(01-0430

Please look at this situation in an unbiased, sensible light and you will see that
there is really no harm being done! The collection and growing of "living rock"
will be an advantage to the States involved. It's not like mining or pumping oil --
nothing will be harmed and many will be helped.

Keep the United States strong by not destroying the initiatives of the few who are
trying to do something right!! Small businesses helped "build this nation"!

Sincerely,

AQUARIUM PRODUCTS

Merrill Cohen, President
(Former Mayor of Baltimore's Committee member for the founding of the              -
National Aquarium in Baltimore; farmer first board member of the National
Aquarium in Baltimore; member of former U. S. Senator "Mac" Mathias
committee on the Environment and preserving the Chesapeake Bay.)
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IT MAY HAVE COME AS A BIG SURPRISE TO MANY OF YOU WHEN T P % ~ $A / ~$ @ ~ ~ ~
PATROL ARRESTED 4 DIVERS I N WALTON COUNTY ON NOVEMBER 9TH FOR HARVES
"LIVE ROCK", BUT DID YOU KNOW THATTHIS KIND OF "HARVESTING" OCCURS DAILY. I N
'4
FACT, WITH A PERMIT, IT'S LEGAL I N FEDERAL WATERS. THE PROBLEM IS THAT MOST OF
OUR NATURAL REEFS ARE I N FEDERAL WATERS AND THESE PERMITS ALLOW THE
UNSCRUPULOUS DIVER TO TAKE THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF THlS PRECIOUS ROCK AT A
TIME!! ANY INTELLIGENT PERSON CAN REASON THAT I F THlS KIND OF STRIP MINING IS
ALLOWED TO CONTINUE THERE WON'T BE ANYTHING LEFT. DESTINNS ENTIRE C O M M U N I N
DEPEND UPON OUR REEF SYSTEM. WITHOUT IT WE MIGHT AS HELL CLOSE DOWN EVERY
COMMERCIAL CHARTER BOAT, THE FISHING RODEO, THE SEAFOOD INDUSTRY, EVERY DIVE
SHOP, REAL ESTATE OFFICES, AND MOST ALL TOURIST ORIENTED INDUSTRY. LETS FACE
IT, DESTIN WILL N O LONGER BE THE "WORLDS LUCKIEST FISHING VILLIAGE" ANYMORE.

WHAT CAN 1 DO? YOU CAN START BY SIGNING THlS PETITION WHICH W l l L BE SENT TO
THE FEDERAL DEPT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
AGENCY, CONGRESSMAN EARL HUTTO, AS WELL AS ALL OTHER PERTINENT AGENCIES.
THlS IS BE A BIG STEP I N STARTING LEGISLATION THAT W l l L PROTECT OUR REEFS I N
FEDERAL WATERS.

I SUPPORT LEGISLATION THAT WILL MAKE THE TAKING OF LIVE ROCK I N FEDERAL WATERS
ILLEGAL.
803 &--/   /Lr.   B       L I-     F w/c          SL3 - xi..&
.   s

23 ? A R r ~?rb            ,    &A    ~tmflR   FL       b51-4834
Dear Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council:

The Destin Charter Boat Association, representing more than 90 members of the Destin
fishing community, vigorously opposes the taking or harvesting of marine live rock and coral.
We are aware that our reefs are being destroyed at an alarming rate. They are taken up by the
tons from the Gulf floor and are sold to aquarium suppliers throughout the world.

Living rock, in its natural habitat, supports an ecosystem which took eons to evolve. The reefs
are literally the life support system for gulf marine wildlife and entire communities whose
livings depend on fishing and marine recreation. The livelihoods of these communities is
being sacrificed to appease aquarium hobbyists.
-
Destin is blessed with many natural limestone reefs lying only miles from our home port.
Although in years past we have attempted to supplement our natural resources by building
artificial reefs, w< believe it i s the natural bottom that ultimately produces the fish that are
then attracted to our artificial structures. However, at present, Destin is labeled a "closed
harbor" which prohibits the departure of new artificial reef material. In other words, w'e a r e
forbidden from building artificial reefs. We must rely solely on the reefs & wrecks that are
already established. Therefore, it is vital that we protect this valuable, necessary natural
resource.

The reefs of Destin are composed of limestone, When this live rock is pulled from the waters,
it is gone forever. As the reefs disappear, the wildlife they are so vital to disappears along
with the fishing, recreational, and tourist industries which are the basis of making a living for
so many people in the Destin community.

If the reefs are left in their natural habitat, they are a source of livelihood and enjoyment for
everyone indefinitely. Stripmining these reefs sacrifices the balance of nature & the long
term needs of many just to benefit a few shortsighted harvesters & their customers.

The Destin Charter Boat Association supports banning harvesting o r taking the live rock
which composes our reef system.

Sincerely,

Tommy Klosterman
President - DCBA
---   .--.   "

CURTIS R. KRUER
Consulting and Research Biologist
p.0. Box 420334
Summerland Key,FL 33042-0334
(305) 745-1699
FAX (305) 745-8848

Mr. Terrance Leary                                                        ,   .-   I   .:<   0   1';C't
Gulf of ~ e x i c oFishery Management Council
Lincoln Center, Suite 331                                                                  c.-.i.,-ii:L
c,r;!,2r,~,z;-,.:
5401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, F1 33609
January 5, 1994
Re: Live rock harvesting in federal waters
Dear Mr. Leary:
I 've reviewed Draft Coral Amendment #2 regarding proposed live
rock management in the Gulf and South Atlantic. I recommend that
the Gulf and South Atlantic Councils implement a quick -phase-out
of all commercial live rock harvesting in federal waters. I believe
rock aquaculture on public lands may be a can of worms to implement
and a waste of valuable time for resource agencies.
My experience in the commercial aspect of the marine life
industry several years ago in Florida (C & C Marine Life, ~upiter,
F1) taught me that most live rock harvested and sold ended up
tossed into a back yard or flower bed in a relatively short t h e .
It was a minor part of the marine life collecting business in South
Florida 15-20 years ago.
It may be that marine life harvesters have depleted many of
the valuable, easy to collect species in recent years and have now
turned to an "inexhaustiblew supply of live rock. These are non-
renewable public resources important to the diversity and abundance
of marine life we value and enjoy. Please see that they are
protected from harvest         .
Sincerely,

Curtis Kruer            -,   ,P=%

Conservation Biology - Aquatic, Wetland and Terrestrial Habitats
h   J   ' s   P E T P>.LA!:E
2 1 4 0 W. BUSCH BLVD.
TAMPA. F L O R I D A 33612

s : ; ; n i ~ z r y9 , 1 4 9 4

T o Whom I t          Mas        Co              ern;,
c,   i$4 .. 9. -\$
Re: Amendment o t t h n C o r a l Ynnagcment
Y \iw
s p * 3                                             Plan

A s a P e t S h o p o w n e r f o r t h e p a s t t e n y e a r s i n t h e Bay a r e a ,
I c a n n o t b e g i q t o e x n r e s s my c o n c e r n o v e r t h e p ~ s s i b i l i t yo f a
bar, o n l i v e r o c k .

Wtien e s t a b l i s h i n g a s a l t w a t e r a q u a r i a , b a s e r o c k i s t h e ~ a e a l .        -
media t o u s e .         Not o n l y d o e s i t a c t . a s a f i l t e r , h u t bec.?use o f
t h e p o r o u s t e x t u r e o f t h e r o c k i t e s t a b l i s h e s t h e p c r f s c t bed t o
g r o w g o o d b a c t e r i a , w h i c h i s e s s e n t i a l f o r c y c l i n g -3 s a l t w a t e r
tank.       A f t e r a week y o u s t a r t a d d i n g l i v e r o c k a n d y c u r t a n k
s h u u l d be c y c l e d w i t h i n 2 - 3 w e e k s .         A t t h i s pC~inb,when yau s t a r t
~clclirig f i s h , t h e l i v e r o c k s t a r t s t o p l a y a n e v e n b i . g g e r role-,
s i n c e many r e e . f c r e a t u r e s d e p e n d o n t h e l i v e r o c k ' f c r t h e i r e x i . s t a n c e .

Most p e t s h o p p e r s o n n e l t h a t d e a l i n s a l t w a t e r f i s h a n d o u r
c u s t o m e r s a s w e l l , a l l work t o w a r d s t h e o p t i m u m n a t u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t
lor o u r r e e f a q u a r i a .       I f you t a k e away t h e l i v e rock from s a l t
w a t e r a q u a r i a t h e r e s u l t s w i l l be d i s a s t e r o u s . The t w o go h a n d i n
hand.

I have t a l k e d w i t h a few hands on c o l l e c t o r s vver t h e y e a r s
a n d a l l o f t h e m s e e m t o f o l l o w t h e same g u i d e l i n e s .      Most r o c k
c o l l e c t i n g d i v e s a r e d o n e 10 m i l e s o r more f r o m t h e s h o r e l i n e a n d
i n 40 - 60 f e e t o f watgr i n n u m e r o u s l o c a t i o n s .           How c a n you h o n e s t l y
s3y t h a t t h e h a r v e s t i n g of l i v e rock i s r u i n i n g t h e m a r i n e ecologj-7
The e a r t h i s c o v e r e d b y 2 1 3 water a n d t h e s m a l l a m o u n t o f r o c k t h a t
i s c o l l e c t e d f o r t h e p e t i n d u s t r y c o u l d h a r d l y make a d e n t I n t h e
v a s t amount o f r o c k t h a t i s . a v a i l a b l e .

A s a b u s i n e s s o w n e r I know t h a t i f t h i s a m e n d m e n t i s p a s s e d ,
I w i l l s t a n d t o l o s e 50% o f my b u s i n e s s .            e
W cannot. let t h i s h a p p e n !
T h i s w i l l n o t o n l y e f f e c t myself but t h e m i l l i o n s of o t h e r pecple
a l l o v e r t h e c o u n t r y from n a n u f a c t u r e r s , w h o l e s a l e r s , r e t a i l e r s ,
c o l l e c t o r s , h o b b y i s t s e t c . who w i l l b e a f f e c t e d by t.h? p a s s a g e o f
a
t h ~ s mendment.

Z s t r o n g l y s u g g e s t t h a t y o u r e s e a r c h t h i s amendment more
c a r e f u l l y a n d s t a : - t g e ~ t i n gt!le o p i n i o r l s o f more q u a . l % Z i ( - \ d p e o p i ?
sl.:ch a s m a r i n e b i o i o : ; % s t s a n d h a r v e s t e r s a n d s t o p ! . i . a r e n i n , q t o t h e
P r ; v i r o n m e n t a l . i s t s who n a v e 1 i t t l . e o r n o k n o w l e d g e o n C,lj.s L s s u e .

T l ~ a n k You.

\
B e v e r l y J . ? e " k t s , Owner
H J ' s Pet Palace
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Lincoln Center, Suite 331 5401 West Kennedv Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33609
Attn: Terry Leary

Dear Terry,
I am writing this letter to protest the restrictions being considered on the
harvesting of live rock. I have been involved in the marine hobby for only five
years. In that short period of time, I have learned a great deal about the biology
of marine organisms and the ecology of marine environments. My knowledge
was gleaned simply as a matter of maintaining a marine aquarium and reading
associated literature. As a marine aquarium hobbyist, I was disappointed to
learn of the banning of live rock collection in State waters. Now, with the advent
of further restrictions, I am compelled to voice my strong opposition.
As you may know, live rock is used in types of marine aquaria referred to as
"reef tanks." According to surveys in the hobbyist literature there are
approximately 200,000-250,000 reef tanks worldwide. Relative to other-         --
pastimes such as scuba diving, we are a small lot indeed. We are also not very
organized and, consequently, are unable to defend ourselves against those
who criticize us. I hope to give you more information in order to allow you to
make a decision based on fact instead of one based on the emotional
statements of others.
I would like to begin by stating that live rock is a renewable natural resource.
Live rock is essentially the dead skeletons of reef-building corals "cemented"
together by means of calcareous algae where it becomes a substrate for new
coral growth and a home for a variety of marine fauna. Often, the skeletons fall
to the bottom of the reef where again they become live rock and act as shelter
for various marine fauna. Here, because of sediment and lack of light, coral
growth cannot occur on the rock. It is this rock that has fallen away and is.
devoid of coral growth that is used as substrate material in the aquarium trade.
Had this material been allowed to stay on the ocean bottom it would have
eventually become part of the marine sediment (i.e. sand) due to the effects of
wave action and boring organisms. This is a continual process as corals grow
and collapse due to wave action, storms, fish, boring organisms, etc. Corals
incorporate free calcium from the water into calcium carbonate as part of their
skeleton. It is estimated that literally tens of thousands of tons of calcium
carbonate is deposited by corals each year! My point here is that live rock is not
a "fossil resource," and although I do not have supporting scientific evidence at
this time, I have little doubt that the rate of calcium carbonate deposition is
orders of magnitude greater than that harvested as live rock for the aquarium
If I have not convinced you that the impact on the environment is negligible, let
me discuss the educational aspects of this wonderful hobby1 Those of us
maintaining marine reef aquaria do not take our responsibilities lightly. The
financial costs alone dictate that these aquaria are not simply "floral
arrangements" where specimens are allowed to die only to be replaced by new
arrivals. There is a genuine concern for all organisms kept such that success is
determined by specimens thriving and reproducing not just "staying alive." Of
course, this concern for our miniature ecosystems naturally includes the wild
ecosystems as well. 1 have become keenly aware of issues affecting natural
coral reefs. In fact, the more I learn the more I am convinced of the importance
of the aquarium as an educational tool. Of the 100+ people who have viewed
my tank, the vast majority will never see a natural coral reef. Before viewing my
tank, corals were nothing more than interesting "rock formations" growing on the
ocean bottom. People who view my tank listen to what I say and walk away with
a new awareness of the importance and beauty of coral animals. For it is only
after becoming aware of something can you begin to care and ultimately act.
I'm not saying that after viewing my tank people go out and petition oil
companies to use multi-hulled ships. However, they will at least be moved
when they hear of a tanker running upon a reef, or of clear-cutting causing
siltation and smothering reefs in tropical island communities, or destructive
fishing methods such as the Mexican shrimp trawlers, or even French nuclea~       _
bomb testing on reefs! Perhaps some will be inspired into direct action;
perhaps others indirectly. The point is that a level of awareness and all the
potential for action has been attained.
It appears to me that the issue of live rock harvesting has divided "hobbyists"
and "conservationalists." Nothing can be further from the truth. Aquarium
hobbyists are very sensitive of the natural effects of their hobby. If it was
demonstrated that the hobby was truly negatively affecting natural ecosystems,
the vast majority, myself included, would stop today. But I am convinced this is
not the case. The negligible environmental impact that might exist is by far
outweighed by the education the hobby provides. Based on this, I believe in the
context of this issue a "hobbyistn is a person who bases their arguments on
direct observation and fact, whereas a "conservationist" is someone who bases
their arguments on emotion and scare tactics. It is my sincerest hope that cooler
heads will prevail and the controlled harvesting of live rock be allowed to
continue.

Sincerely,

Gregory E. Cook
213 Horizon Avenue
Mountain View, CA 94043
41 51 965-4248
; Q   t&u   --            THE SEA FUTURE O R G A N I Z A T I O N .        i n ~ .

419 E v e r g r e e n D r i v e .   Destin.    Florida        32541

TO :                THE GULF O F MEXICO.               FISHERIES MANAGEYENT C O U N C I L

RM
FO :                THE SEA FUTURE O R G A N I Z A T I O N .        INC.

DATE :              JANUARY 5 .        1994

SUBJECT:            D E > l O L I T I O N OF NATURAL REEF

Thank vou f o r a l l o w i n g o u r o r g a n i z a t i o n t h e o ~ ~ o ~ t u n i t v
t o i m ~ r o v ev o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f o u r v i e w s . r e g a r d i n g t h e
c o l l e c t i o n o f l i v e r o c k from t h e m a r i n e environment.

I t i s o u r d e s i r e t o see t h i s a c t i v i t v s t o ~ D e d . . . ~ e r i o d .

Our o r g a n i z a t i o n i s d e d i c a t e d t o t h e c r e a t i o n o f m a r i n e
environment.           Our g o a l i s t o e n h a n c e t h e s e m a r i n e e c o s v s t e m
s o t h e v m i g h t b e more ~ r o d u c t i v e . W e u n d e r s t a n d t h a t we have
u n d e r t a k e n a monumental t a s k .            The r e e f we c r e a t e t o d a v w i l l
n o t b e t o t a l l v ~ r o d u c t i v e f o r d e c a d e s t o come.

I n b u s i n e s s . t h e smart businessman i n v e s t s i n h i s
b u s i n e s s . s e a r c h i n n f o r wavs t o e n h a n c e h i s ~ r o d u c t . Lookine:
f o r wavs h i s o ~ e r a t i o nc o u l d become more e f f e c t i v e a n d
efficient.            T h o s e b u s i n e s s e s t h a t a r e c o n s t a n t l v d r a i n e d of
w
t h e i r ~ r o f i t s i l l eventuallv f a i l .

F a r m e r s u n d e r s t a n d . t h a t t o make t h e i r f i e l d s h a v e t h e
l a r g e s t v i e l d s t h e v must r o t a t e c r o D s and c a r e f o r t h e e a r t h .
I f t h e v d o n ' t g u a r d a g a i n s t wind a n d w a t e r e r o s i o n . i f t h e v
P l a n t t h e same c r o p v e a r a f t e r v e a r . t h e i r v i e l d s w i l l
decrease.

I a s k vou.         ...
i s our undersea world anv d i f f e r e n t ?
...Can                                                                                    e d
n o t t h e s e s a m e s t r a t e g i e s f o r s u c c e s s b e a ~ ~ l i u nd e r
w a t e r ? W i l l n o t t h e same e x p l o i t a t i o n and i g n o r a n c e s u r e l v
I

I n t h i s w o r l d o f b u s i n e s s . i t i s n o t r e a l i s t i c t o have
c o n t r o l o v e r a l l a s ~ e c t s f t h e environment.
o                                 But w h a t
b u s i n e s s do w e want.          F o r e v e r v d o l l a r made f r o m t h i s
d e m o l i t i o n . t h e s t a t e of F l o r i d a s t a n d s t o l o o s e t e n .  The
f i s h i n g industrv. t h e scuba diving industrv. t h e t o u r i s t
industrv w i l l all suffer.              T h e i m ~ a c tw i l l b e f e l t b v manv.
The ~ r o f i t sf r o m t h i s i n d u s t r v we d i s c u s s h e r e . w i l l b e
s h a r e d bv f e w .  And o u r c h i l d r e n w i l l a s k u s whv we l e t i t
hau~en.

v
Thank vou a g a i n f o r t h e o ~ ~ o r t u n i t o b e h e a r d .           And
lease r e m e m b e r . t h e smart b u s i n e s s m a n i n v e s t s i n h i s
assets.

S i n c e r e l v s u b m i t t e d bv.

S a n d v An r e w sa?hh-r e s i d e n t
. P
The Sea Future O r a a n i z a t i o n .     inc.
F I- c, :
rn        H e n r y A . F e d d e r n , PhG
:55 Dove Ave.
T a v e r n i e r , F l , 33073

To :           .-
!.-~l-llf ?f M e x i c o F i s h e r y M,3n,3ga171ent i J . ~ > ~ j i i c ;ii
S (2 t h A t L 3 n t i c F i s h e r y M a n a g e m e n t c ~ ~ : n c i
i-I                                                                   l
? l s t i o n a . i Mar l n e F i s h e l - i e s S e r v i c e , S E K e g . G f f i , ; ~

Subject:        L i v e Rock

Dear S i r :

O v e r t h e y e a r s o f t h e L i v e R o c k c o n t r o v e r s y , many s t a t e m e n t - s
h a v e b e e n made f o r a n d a g a i n s t . t h e h a r v e s t o f L i v e R o c k .
T h e s t a t e m e n t s . d a q a i n s t L i v e R o c k h a r v e s t h a v e b e e n ba.:sed on
ernat i o n , a n e c d o t a l i n f o r m a t i o n , o r p h i 113sophy.            The mr3jt3r
c 3 b j e c t i o n t o h a r v e s t i s t h a t l i v e r o c k i s p a r t of t h e
environment and t h a t any harvest at a l l i s detrimental to
that habitat.               T h i s b e l i e f i g n o r e s t h e f a c t t h a t t h e amount
o f h a r v e s t c o m p a r e d t o t h e a m o u n t of r o c k p r e s e n t i s so smal-1
t h a t any e f f e c t s are i n s i g n i f i c a n t .          T h i s b e l i e f , to b e f a i r ,
should he applied to other ocean a c t i v i t i e s where detrimental
e f f e c t s are l a r g e a n d proven.

Almost every scientist writing at t h e request of
e n v i r o n m e n t a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s h a s made s t a t e m e n t s b o t h a g a i n s t
h a r v e s t a n d f o r h a r v e s t , e v e n w i t h i n t h e same l e t t e r s .

S t a t e m e n t s s u p p o r t i n q h a r v e s t h a v e m a i n l y b e e n based o n
s c i e n t i f i c d a t a and logic.             T h e r e is d i s p u t e o v e r t h e
amount o f r o c k r e c r u i t i n g to t h e r e e f i n F l o r i d a , b u t t h e r e
is n o d i s p u t e o v e r w h a t is c u r r e n t l y o u t t h e r e .

T h e r e is n o i r r e v e r s i b l e c a t a s t r o p h i c problem t h a t would
j u s t i f y a b a n o n h a r v e s t i m m e d i a t e l y or i n t h e n e a r f u t u r e .
I ' d l i k e to i l l u s t r a t e t h i s with a rough approximation.                     Ms.
J e n n i f e r Wheaton, c h i e f s c i e n t i s t a t t h e F l o r i d a Marine
R e s e a r c h I n s t i t u t e (FMRI), h a s said t h a t m o s t o f t h e L i v e
Rock is c o l l e c t e d a l o n g a 40-mile s t r e t c h o f t h e F l o r i d a
Keys.         FMRI d a t a s h o w s t h a t t h e t o t a l c a t c h f r o m a l l a r e a s i n
1 9 9 2 ( t h e l a s t f u l l y e a r o f d a t a ) w a s a b o u t 400 t o n s .       The
d a t a s h o w s t h a t 3 9 % of t h i s w a s c o l l e c t e d f r o m t h e a r e a i n
question.           T h i s m e a n s t h a t 156 t o n s w e r e c o l l e c t e d i n t h e 4 0 -
mile stretch.               One t o n o f L i v e Rock ( a c u b i c y a r d i n s i z e )
s p r e a d o u t i n t o a layer 4 i n c h e s t h i c k would c o v e r a s q u a r e
a r e a a b o u t 112 f e e t o n a s i d e .          If these squares were strung
a l o n g t h e 4 0 - m i l e l e n g t h , t h e r e w o u l d be w e l l o v e r 2 t h o u s a n d
o f them.         I f h a r v e s t were k e p t t o c u r r e n t l e v e l s , i t would
take over 2 thousand years to harvest that s t r i p .                              Within 5
y e a r s , r o c k e x p o s e d by t h e h a r v e s t w o u l d become more L i v e
Rock   .
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~-
-,-n e  Glilf t l j f Mexico :_-urai  advisory panel that ificL1jde~2?!I-.
Ei ! i;/ Ca.u5ey, manager of the d e : igna t-ed Flor idd. K e y s ;\t'ati12na
~                                 ;
Msrine SinctlJary, ca.me t o a compromise consensus that : f e e l
.
is fair t c all parties, and that will allow all parties t.1) be
~ i n n e r s . This c!znsenl;us requires that both Coun,;i ;:-;   ji:pr~.,~;e
simi lor n-~dnagement          plans far Live Rock. The main p c i n t : ~ of
t.h i :s conl;en:~r~s    3 re:
1 . A wild harvest limited by a daily trip limit a n d
e
.:m~ted e~itry to the fishery. B e c s ~ ~ sthe Gulf and At ; a n t i s
8   .   '

are different, a 3-year harvest and 1000 lb. daily !imit was
approved for the Gulf, and a 2-year harvest and 50C l h . daily
1 imi t was approved for the Atlantic.
2.    The prohibition of harvest is to be tied t.o t h e
ac tl~al success and product ion of 1 ive rock from aqua.cu1           t-ure.
Government is thus induced to make rapid progress in                        --
developing fair and practical aquaculture lease regulations.
The simpler, cheaper, and more feasible the regulations are,
the quicker businesses will invest money into this very
speculative venture and hopefully prove i t out.
3. Periodic reviews of the progress of aquaculture
permitting procedures, aquaculture permit applications, an3
aquaculture itself.

Aquaculture, if feasible, would increase the amount of
shelter habitat for many organisms, since i t would b e d o n e in
areas lacking such habitat. The feasibility depends entirely
on the type of governmental regulations and restrictions
placed on the activity.

The amendment states in its summary on page 25: " I t has been
concluded that an a1 location a1 lowing both consumptive and
non-consumptive users of the live rock resource to remain in
the fishery may be accompanied by a relatively higher net-
benefit to society than any of the other proposed
allocation(s) including the no action alternative."

I urge you t o pass a fair, reasonable and feasible Live Rock
plan that allows every group to win. This type of plan will
reach its goal with the minimum of time, controversy, and
oppos i t- ion.
From. Donald Ahee TO: TERRY LEARY                                Dale. 1110194 Erne. 15.44:45
-               Page 1 ol 1

F. Donald Ahee, Jr.
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$J Tucson, Arizona 857 1 1 &&-du< -s-5;p. : ' .. i3d a 1 : e% r. 3. January 11: 1994 klr. 'l'crry Lcary Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Via Facsimile Mr. Lcary: 1 understand that your organization is currently rcvicwing thc collcction practiccs and regulations concerning live ocean rock. I'd like to register my views. I feel there are forces acting against our ocean resources that need active attention. Forces such as siltation, pcsticidcs, fcrtilizcrs, boating and anchor damagc, food fishing abuscs, curios collcction, and gcncral pollution are challenging our oceans. I do not however, see collecting for the aquarium hobby as-a- ovcrwhclming factor in rclation to thcsc othcr sourccs of occan rcsourcc degradation. 1 bclicvc livc rock can bc, and should bc managcd and rcgulatcd as a rcncwablc rcsourcc. I favor thc licensing of collectors beyond basic fishing licenses and phasing out wild collection while phasing in of the aquaculturc of rock ovcr a 5 ycar pcriod. I'm a dcvotcd aquarist successfully kccping livc corals for scvcral ycars. 1 cannot cxprcss how valuablc this hobby is to the education of myself and others on these fantastic animals. My peers and I are developing propagation tcchmqucs that wc fccl will lcad to complctc aquaculturc of all thcsc animals in thc futurc. Live rock is the basis for these advances by which critical biological and zoological seeds s o w into scientific discovery as wcll as cducational display. I'lcasc considcr thcsc points in your dccisions. 'Ihank you, Don Ahcc, Jr. 5-7065 SOFTCQRE TECH. INC. Softcare Technologies, Inc. Christopher A. f ippins Prssident I"sOkMI0tl Consultant Cert~fied January 12, 1994 Terry Leary The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Lincoln Center, Suite 331 5401 West Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL - 33609 1-813-228-2815 1-813-225-7015 (Fax) Dear Mr. Leary, - - My name is Christopher A. Tippins. I live in Miami, Florida. I currently maintain a 135 gallon marine ''living reef' aquarium using live rock to provide essential biological functions as well as aesthetic natural appearances. I also have two 55 gallon aquariums that I will be converting over to use live rock in the near future, as this provides, in my experience, a much sounder method of biological filtration then standard undergravel filters. In my immediate area I know of approximately 3 dozen other hobbyists who also employ live rock in the marine aquariums. I believe that live rock is an essential component to a successful marine tank. the purpose of this kUer is to petition you to continue to allow a managed harvest of live rock in federal waters, and to go on public record favoring such a position. I would also like to request a copy of your findings and rewmmendations when they are ready. 1 support those businesses which collect this rock in compliance with applicable State and Federal regulations. Additionally, I support the continuing efforts to scientifically study the impact live rock collection has on the marine environment as well as Marts to educate the public on other environmental factors that may impact our seas. - 1650 NE 115th Street Suite 111 - Miami, FL 33181 - V o i d a x (305) 895-7065 CIS 72530.215 SOFTCRRE TECH. INC. It is my personal opinion that other factors (such as dredging, -. deforestation, pollution, gas and oil drilling or exploration) constitute a \ ; much more serious threat to the life in our oceans and waterways than does the harvest of live rock. A simple and recent case in point is the recent rupture of the hull of an oil tanker off the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rim, which has caused untold loss of sea life, and probably has destroyed for many, many years, the ecosystem of that region. I would like to see the efforts of your organization directed towards these vitally important issues, as I believe they will cause both a short and long term detrimental effect to our marine environment. The keeping of a "living reef' marine aquarium has brought to me (and many others as well) countless hours of enjoyment, as well as (and more importantly) a greater understanding and concern for the delicate relationship we have with the marine environment. I am a member of the Marine Aquarium Society of North America. - - _ I am also a member and Vice President of the Florida Marine Aquarium Society. The opinions expressed in this letter are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of either M.A.S.N.A. or F.M.A.S. I appreciate this opponunity to bring these matters to your attention. Sincerely, Christopher A. Tippins TAB - .. /f='-JbUPi l&?ycme/v Statement on Enacting a Ban on Live Rock Collection Project Reef Keeper presented to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council at Pensacola, FL on January 11 OPERATIONS CENTER Suite 162 2809 Bird Ave Miarn~. Flor~da 33133 bY Project ReefKeeper 1800 SW First Street -- Suite 306 - - Miami, FL 33135 CARIBBEAN REGION Suite 1271 Castillo Del Mar lsla Verde. Puerto Rim 00913 Good afternoon. My name is Wayne Ashmore and I am here as an official representative of Project ReefKeeper, the national conservation organization exclusively dedicated to the protection of coral reefs and their marine life. PACIFIC REGION Suite 106-542 Now that the Council is about to decide what to take to 350 Ward Avenue Honolulu, Hawaii 96814 public hearing as its preferred option for dealing with live rock collection, Project ReefKeeper again urges you to stand fast on enacting a ban on live rock collection. LATIN AMERICAN REGION Calle 60 No. 387-C Merida, Yucatan Mexico 97000 We are joined in that request by 143 organizations representing millions of people. By endorsing the letter which we have provided to all Council members, these 143 groups are all asking that a ban on live rock collection be adopted as an amendment to the joint Corals and Coral Reefs Fishery Management Plan for the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic. It is simply not good enough to write into the Fishery Management Plan a mere intention to ban live rock collection three years from now. Only you and your fellow South Atlantic ~'uncil members can see to it that real reduction or prohibition of live rock collection actually becomes a reality. -- Project ReefKeeper and 143 other groups strongly support the immediate prohibition of live rock collection. But if there must be a phase- out of live rock collection, then we must insist on a three-year tiered phase-out, with gradual evenly diminishing collection quotas over the 3 years. Starting with the best estimate of landings for 1993, a tiered phase-out should reduce that amount by 33 percent each year until the landings quota reaches zero. Such a three-year tiered phase-out of collection will ensure immediate and increasing relief to the habitat upon amendment ratification by the Secretary of Commerce. It will prevent the escalation of live rock collection over the next 3 years that would otherwise come in response to closed collection in the U.S. Caribbean and increased market demand. It will discourage the entry of new collectors into the field . it will remove any incentive for present collectors to go into debt to expand their collection capabilities. And it will cause an immediate incentive for those same collectors to aggressively pursue aquaculture now in order to make up for the tiered quota reductions for wild live rock. That scenario is the only one that makes sense in order to protect the habitat and still provide for a rational and orderly transition to live rock aquaculture. The exact opposite will happen if you go along with just - setting a date three years from amendment ratification for cessation of live rock collection. Think about it, please, and factor in human nature. During those 3 years, market demand will cause wild live rock collection to increase instead of decrease. For at least the first 2 of those 3 years, there will be no pressure to move towards aquaculture. But there will be plenty of market demand to bring new collectors into the field, and to push present collectors to increase their collecting capacity. Finally, when the closure date begins to loom on the horizon, the drive will be to collect even more and more in order to build up inventories as a hedge against the closure. There will no longer be enough time to make aquaculture work before the closure of wild live rock collection. And then the other shoe will fall. Live rock collectors will come to you and demand that the collection closure date be postponed into the future, so they can do what they would have done in the first place had there been a tiered collection phase-out schedule in place. We hope that is not what you will allow. We would find such a scenario -- and its devastation of coral habitat -- to be utterly unacceptable and unconscionable. And so would the millions of people represented by the 144 groups on record requesting a stop to live rock collection in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Please don't let them -- and our coral habitats -- down. BRIEFING BOOK iciDD National Alliance to Protect Liue Rock January 3, 1994 To: Council Members Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Dear Council Members: The 144 undersigned organizations -- representing millions of concern-ed citizens -- are opposed to any collection of coral or live rock within state or federal waters. It takes decades for countless generations of fragile, dime-sized coral polyps to build a single coral head -- and centuries to build coral reefs. Yet coral reefs and hard- bottoms in the South Atlantic are in trouble and literally being chiseled away at an alarming rate due to live rock collection. Live rock is coral reef substrate or rubble with attached marine life such as sponges, anemones and soft corals. Collected live rock cannot be replenished on a biological time scale, as can all other fishery resources. It follows that each time a piece of live rock is removed from the reef, it is unlikely that it will be renewed in our children's -- or our grandchildren's -- lifetime. Finally, live rock formations provide essential habitat to countless marine creatures. Continued collection of live rock seriously disrupts -- or even destroys -- entire reef microcommunities. We therefore respectfully request that the South Atlantic Fishery ~anagement Council move without delay to ban the collection of live rock within federal waters of the South Atlantic because live rock collection is mining rather than harvesting of a renewable fishery resource, and because the microhabitat value of live rock justifies a complete prohibition on its collection. Respectfully submitted, National Organizations American Littoral Society Sandy Hook Dery Bennett Highlands, NJ 07732 Center for Marine Conservation One Beach Dr. SE -- Ste 304 Paul G. Johnson St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Compuserve Scuba Forum 334 Portico Ct. Frank Howard Chesterfield, MO 63017 Environmental Defense Fund Rockridge Market Hall Rodney M. Fujita, Ph.D 5655 College Ave. Oakland, CA 94618 Greenpeace P.O. Box 384 Bruce Jaildagian New Smyrna Bch, FL 32170 International Marine Alliance 201 West Stassney -- Ste 408 Vaughn R. Pratt Austin, T X 78745-3156 Island Conservation Effort 90 Edgewater Dr. #901 Martha Walsh-McGehee Coral Gables, FL 33133 National Audubon Society Scully Science Center Carl Safina 306 South Bay Avenue Islip, NY 11751 - - National Coalition for Marine Conservation 5113 Bissonet Drive Bethlyn McCloskey Metaire, LA 70003 Natural Resources Defense Council 40 West 20th St. Lisa Speer New York, NY 10011-4211 Project ReefKeeper - 2809 Bird Ave Ste 162 Alexander Stone Miami, FL 33160 Sierra Club National Marine Committee 1414 Hilltop Dr. Shirley Taylor Tallahassee, FL 32303 Underwater Society of America (NY) 10 Redfield St. Rick D'Amico Rye, NY 10580 World Wildlife Fund 1250 24th St, N.W. Tundi Agardy Washington, DC 20037 State and Local Organizations Florida 1000 Friends of Florida 524 E College Ave. James Murley Tallahassee, FL 32301 Alachua Audubon Society P.O. Box 140464 John C. Winn Gainesville, FL 32614-0464 Audubon Society of the Everglades P.O. Box 6762 Elwood Bracey W. Palm Bch, FL 33405 Audubon Society, Panhandle Chapter 4330 Maywood Drive Ed Hebb Marianna, FL 32446 Byrne-Rinehart Associates 5830 SW 73 St. Thomas E. Byrne Miami, FL 33143 Central Florida Pleasure Divers 3022 Hidalgo Dr. Dee Parkes Orlando, FL 32812 Citizens for Wekiva Springs 1800 Wekiwa Circle Dean E. Mair Apopka, FL 32712 The Conservancy 1450 Merrihue Drive Christina Ramsey Naples, FL 33942 Coral Reef Community Foundation 633 Island Dr. Alice Biays Key Largo, FL 33037 Environmental Coalition of Broward 521 S. Andrew Ave. -- Ste 3 Dianne Petitjean Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 Florida Audubon Society 460 Highway 436 -- Ste 200- - Bernard J. Yokel, Ph.D Casselberry, FL 32707 Florida Defenders of the Environment P.O. Box 8 Robin Hart Sarasota, FL 34230 Florida Environmental Alliance P.O. Box 254 Linda Young Tallahassee, FL 32302 Florida Keys Audubon Society P.O. Box 633 Curtis Kruer Big Pine Key, FL 33043 Florida Keys Campaign -- Clean Water Action P.O. Box 137 Joyce Newman Big Pine Key, FL 33043 Florida Keys Environmental Fund P.O. Box 448 Marabeth Causey Islamorada, FL 33036 Florida Keys Initiative -- The Nature Conservancy 201 Front St. Mark L. Robertson Key West, FL 33040 Florida Keys Project - The Wilderness Society 8065 Overseas Highway Debbie Harrison Marathon, FL 33050 Florida League of Anglers P.O. Box 1109 Norma Stoppelbein Sanibel, FL 33957 Florida Wildlife Federation P.O. Box 687 Manley Fuller Tallahassee, FL 32314 HML Ecology Club 930 W. 80th PI. Lucy Cifuentes Hialeah, FL 33014 Innerspace Visions Divers Box 557095 Doug Perrine Miami, FL 33255 lzaac Walton League of the Florida Keys P.O. Box 112 Svenn Lindskold Islamorada, FL 33036 KSC Barracudas 1840 Crawford Ave. Grace Hampton Merritt Isle, FL 32303 Last Stand 1330 Atlantic Blvd Jim McLernan Key West, FL 33040 Manasota-88 5314 Bay State Rd. Gloria C. Rains Palmetto, FL 34221 Ocean Expo Associates 2233 Keystone Blvd Susan M. Payette N. Miami, FL 33181 Ocean Trust International P.O. BOX 52-0573 - - Sharon Kegeles Miami, FL 33152 Ormond Anchor Chasers 2609 N. Peninsula Dr. John Lane Daytona Bch, FL 321 18 Palm Beach Diving Association 180 East 13th St. Rodney Lee, Sr. Riviera, Beach, FL 33404 People Organized to Prevent Pollution 18748 Drayton St. Betty Tillis Spring Hill, FL 34610 Project Environmentally Safe Shores 1511 Hudson Rd Doug Driscoll Venice, FL 34293 Reef Relief P.O. Box 430 DeeVon Quirolo Key West, FL 33040 Save the Wildlife 351 East Fourth St. Cindy Westra Chuluota, FL 32766 Sierra Club Florida Chapter 18311 SW 89 Ct. Sandy Jensen Miami, FL 33157 South Florida Underwater Photography Society 19101 Mystic Pte. Dr. #609 Cynthia Prettyman N. Miami Bch, FL 33180 Suncoast Reef Rowdies P.O. Box 41 1 Robert BOurke Pinellas Park, FL 34664 University of Miami Marine Science Ass'n Marine Science Program U.M Michael P. Connell Coral .Gables, FL 33124 Upper Keys Citizens Association P.O. BOX 141 Dagny Johnson Tavernier, FL 33070 Volusia-Flagler Sierra Club Group P.O. Box 1853 Jack Kleinberg Ormond Bch, FL 32175 Watercolor Divers P.O. BOX9131 Charlene R Johnson Ocala, FL 32670 The Wildlife Connection 351 E. 4th Street Heidi Higdon Chuluota, FL 32766 Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center P.O. Box 1418 Michael Conley Anna Maria, FL 34216-1418 S t a t e and L o c a l Organizations O t h e r S o u t h A t l a n t i c States - . Aqua Venture Divers (SC) 426 Coleman Blvd Mike Hegel Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 Atlanta Divers (GA) 3853G Lawrenceville Hwy. Peter Vicars Tucker, GA 30084 Atlanta Oceans P.O. Box 12198 Joe Jordan Atlanta, GA 30355 Atlanta Scuba Club (GA) 3853G Lawrenceville Hwy. Peter Vicars Tucker, GA 30084 Aquatic Engineers of Georgia (GA) 38536 Lawrenceville Hwy. Peter Vicars Tucker, GA 30084 Charbon Sports Club (GA) 575 Hawthorne Ave. W. Mack Martin Athens, GA 30606 Charlotte Divers (NC) 601K S. Kings Dr. James Seay Charlotte, NC 28204 Clairemont Divers (NC) P.O. Box 877 Gene Monday Clairemont, NC 28610 Dive South Scuba Club (GA) 836 South Main Tom Lambie Statesboro. GA 30458 Gypsy Divers (NC) 1019 E. Whitaker Mill Rd Dave Farrar Raleigh, NC 27608 Hatteras Divers (NC) P.O. BOX 213 Donny Lang Hatteras, NC 27943 lsland Divers (GA) 107 Marina Dr. Judy Wright St. Simons Island, GA 31522 lsland Hoppers Dive Club (NC) 2827 Spring Garden St. Mary K. M. Nesbit Greensboro, NC 27403 Lakewood Divers (AR) 2925 Lakewood Village Dr. Doug Lewter N. Little Rock, AR 721 16 Little Rock Divers (AR) 1222 Westpark Mike McCrory Little Rock, AR 72204 Marietta Divers (GA) 950 S. Cobb Parkway -- Ste 160 Mike Van Hosen Marietta, GA 30062 Memphis Divers (TN) 999 S. Yates Doug McNeese - Memphis, TN 381 19 Nag's Head Divers (NC) 3941 S. Croatan Hwy,-- Ste 114 Ginny Nutter P.O. Box 665 Nag's Head, NC 27959 New Dive Crew (NC) 333 Jonestown Rd. Bryan E. Holder Winston-Salem, NC 27104 Wet Set Divers (SC) 5121 Rivers Ave. Jack Williamson Charleston, SC 29418 State and L o c a l Organizations U.S. Caribbean Laurie Dunton PO Box 588 Anchor Divers St Croix, USVl 00823 Jose Rodriguez PO Box 40893 Antilles Divers San Juan, PR 00940 Bob Kreisel 6501 Red Hook Plaza #I5 Aqua Action Divers St. Thomas, USVl 00802 Jose Rafols Sallaberry Rte 110, Krn 10, Gate 5, Aquatica Underwater Adventurers Aguadilla, PR 00604 Jose Guillermo Rodrigues Apdo 7186 Assoc De Estudiantes De Ecologia Ponce, PR 00732 Fernando Gornez Gornez PO Box 364424 Assoc Puertorriquena de Recursos de Agua San Juan, PR 00905 Peter Zerzigon Calle Colmei # 119, Apt 3b Blue Water Scuba San Turce, PR 00907 Mario Caruso PO Box 902 Calypso Divers Lajas, PR 00667 Bill Moore HC-01, BOX4181 Captain Bill's Divers Rincon, PR 00677 Dave Fredebeugh PO Box 93, Red Hook Caribbean Divers St Thomas, USVl 00801 Gene Thomas P.O. Box 467 Caribbean Marine Services Culebra, PR 00775 Caribbean Research Institute Environmental Resource Center Norman J. Quinn University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas, USVl 00830 Michael Newell La Concha Box 4195 Caribbean School of Aquatics San Juan, PR 00902 Karen Vega P.O. Box 2470 Caribe Aquatic Adventurers San Juan, PR 00902 Jorge Pereira HC-Box 13339 Bo Pajuil C.E.D. D.A. Hatillo. PR 00659 Fernando Rodriguez Calle Tulipan #BA-16, Centro de Buceo Carolina, PR 00983 Christie Swingen 41-6-1 Frydenhoj Chris Sawyer Divers St Thomas, USVl 00802 Peter Jackson PO Box 5279 Coki Beach Dive Club St Thomas, USVl 00803 Ellezer Colon Rivera Apdo 123 Comite Despertar Cireno Cidra, PR 00639 Comite Junqueno Pro Rescate del Medio Ambiente P.O. Box 633 Edwin Hernandez Juncos, PR 00777 Jose Bangochea Rodriguez Calle 9 #G-11 Comite Pro Buen Arnbiente de Guayanilla Guayanilla, PR 00858 Richard Metcalfe 10-19 Estate Carolina Coral Bay Watersports Ass'n St John, USVl 00830 Jim Abbott Box CUHF Coral Head Divers Humacao, PR 00661 Serafin Labrador P o Box 4 194 Coral Reef Divers Puerto Real, PR 00740 Marcus Johnston PO Box 252 Cruz Bay Watersports Ass'n St John, USVl 00830 Tom Long 12 Strand StIFrederiksted Cruzan Divers St Croix, USVl 00840 David Martinez Lepanto #I 6, Alamein Dive Company of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras, PR 00926 Sam Halverson PO 4254 / Christiansted Dive Experience St. Croix, USVl 00822 Jorge Pereira HC-Box 13339 Bo Pajuil Diving Adventurers Hatillo, PR 00659 Victor Torres Marginal Brasilla # C30 Fantasy Scuba club Vega Baja, PR 00693 Myrna Pagan De Connely Calle Flamboyan 138 _ - - de F i d e c o m i ~ Conservacion de Vieques Vieques, PR 00765 Richard Scott PO Box 2180 Hi-Tec Watersports Ass'n St Thomas, USVl 00803 Hans Peter PO Box 170 Humacao Divers Humacao, PR 00791 Jose Rafols P.O. Box 350 Liga Ecologica del Oeste Ramey, PR 00604 Cindy Gines Sanchez Apdo 503 Liga Ecologica de Rincon Rincon, PR 00743 Ann Marie Estes PO Box 43 1/ Cruz Bay Low Key Watersports Ass'n St. John, USVl00831 Jaime Brauleo PO Box 3660 Mayaguez Divers Mayaguez, PR 00708 Luis Torres Laguna Gardens Center Mundo Submarino Divers lsla Verde. PR 00929 Susan M. Skewes Mongoose Junction Mongoose Junction Merchants Ass'n. St. John, USVl 00830 Ben Schwartz Vets Dr Stat, Box 3030 Ocean Fantasies St Thomas, USVl00803 Leslie Cook Avenida lsla Verde #77 Ocean Sports lsla Verde, PR 00913 Edwin Hernandez Delgado PO Box 598 Org de Comunidades Ambientales del Este Fajardo, PR 00738 Kurt Grossem Santa lsidra Ill, E6 Puerto Rico Divers Fajardo, PR 00738 Carlos Guzman Rd #1 A25 Villa Del Rey Scuba Connection Divers Caguas, PR 00725 Felix Rivera Box 4178 Sea Venture Divers Puerto Real, PR 00740 Hector Quintero InterAm Univ Box 5100 Sociedad de Historia Natural San German, PR 00753 Kurt Serik 59 Kings WharfICrstetd St. Croix Diving Ass'n St. Croix, USVl 00820 David Skewes PO Box 70 / Cruz Bay - . St. John Watersports Ass'n St. John, USVl 00830 William G Letts 7147 Bolongo Bay St Thomas Diving Ass'n St. Thomas,USVI 00802 Jose Garcia 6300 Estate Frydenhoj St Thomas Yacht Ass'n St Thomas, USVl00802 S t a t e and Local Organizations Hawaii & Western Pacific Atla Pac Weighmasters Tournament 3352 Ala Akulikuli St. Roland Galacgag, Sr. Honolulu, HI 96818 Molokai Visitor's Association P.O. Box 960 Barbara Schonely Kaunakakai, HI 96748 Outrigger Canoe Club 2909 Kalakaua Ave. Raymond Ludwig Honolulu, HI 96815 Pride Charters Association 208 Kenolio Rd. Antoinette M. Davis Kihei, HI 96753 Sierra Club Maui Conservation Committee SR Box 190 Lisa Hamilton Hana, HI 96713 The Ocean Recreation Council of Hawaii P.O. Box 5306 Terry Lischer Kailua-Kona, HI 96745 State and L o c a l Organizations Other States Aquatic Resource Center (IL) P.O. Box 414 Tim Early Dolton, lL 60419 Beneath the Sea (NY) 10 Redfield St. Rick D'Arnico Rye, NY 10580 Explorers Club of Pittsburgh (PA) 12985 Perry Highway Sue Srniley Wexford, PA 15090 Kitsap Diving Association (WA) P.O. Box 1302 - Donald L. Larson Bremerton, WA 983 10-051 1 Long Island Diver's Association (NY) 11 Potomac Ct. Steven L. Puleo Coram, NY 11727 Maine Marine Explorers Scuba Club (ME) 784 Turner Rd. Donald J. Bernard Auburn, ME 04210 Mudhole Divers (MO) 124 Merryfield Circle - -- Mary Bowles St. Charles, MO 63303-6540 Ocean Treasures (MI) 1819 Fletcher St. Gregory R. Mann Lansing, MI 48910 Oxford Divers (MS) Doug Mc Neese Oxford, MS Sea Knights (CA) 6558 N. Callisch Marlene Forbes Fresno, CA 93710 Washington Scuba Alliance (WA) 120 State Avenue Donald L. Larson Olympia, WA 98501 ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND Culifvrrria Office Rockridge Market Hall 5655 College Ave. Oakland. CA 946 15 (5 10) 658-8008 May 25, 1993 Fax: 310-6%-0630 TO: FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL MEMBERS I write to fully support Project ReefKeeper's initiative to ban the collection of liverock from all American coral habitats. I have often observed the importance of liverock as a nursery ground for young corals, anemones, and many other organisms during my research as a marine ecologist in the Florida Keys and as a recreational diver. The scientific basis for a ban on collection is sound: (1) liverock is an essential component of intact, healthy coral reefs; (2) coral reefs are indeed subject to powerful sources of erosion - - - constantly, and therefore can ill afford to lose material to collectors; and ( 3 ) coral reefs cope with erosion with growth, and growth is threatened by a number of factors at present, and is likely to be reduced even further by global warming and perhaps ozone depletion. Liverock provides a calm, sheltered, and complex nursery zone for juvenile animals. It is a product of calcium carbonate fixation by corals and calcareous algae, which is dependent upon photosynthesis and growth. Calcium carbonate makes up the structural framework upon which all life on the reef depends. This ca.lcium carbonate is under constant attack by the forces of erosion, including waves, tidal flow, parrotfishes, boring sponges and clams, and endolithic algae. In healthy reefs growing under optimal climatic and water quality conditions, there is net accumulation of calcium carbonate (in periods of modest sea level rise) as the reefs grow vertically and horizontally. However, many reefs are growing in suboptimal conditions, including all American reefs. Reefs in Hawaii, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands are near the northern limit of coral distribution. In these areas, calcium carbonate production would be about equal to losses to erosion, in the absence of pollution or other forms of stress. However, these reefs are also subject to anthropogenic activity (such as pollution resulting in degraded water quality) and phenomena which cannot yet be classified (such as mass mortality events in the Caribbean) which slow the rate of calcium carbonate production. Unfortunately, we can expect growth-limiting stresses,to become worse on a global and regional basis due to .Vtiriortal Heudqlrnrrrrs 257 Piirk .Avenue South 1873 Connecticur Avc.. N.W. 1403 Arapahoe Avr. 128 East Hargerr St. IXOO Guadnlupc Yew York. .SY 10010 Washington. DC '00OY Boulder. CO 80102 Ralcigh. SC 27601 Xubrin. TX 7 3 7 0 1 (212) ~ O j - 2 I O O 1203) 5X7-3lM) (.i03) 440-4Y0 I ( 9 IY) Y21-7793 (j12)47X-51hl IOODb PcsI.Ccnsumer Recyclea Paoer e x p e c t e d i n c r e a s e s i n temperature r e s u l t i n g from g l o b a l warming ( c o r a l s s t o p producing calcium c a r b o n a t e when t h e y b l e a c h i n response t o s m a l l i n c r e a s e s i n temperature and a v a r i e t y of o t h e r f a c t o r s such a s s i l t a t i o n ) and perhaps a l s o t o i n c r e a s e d f l u x of u l t r a v i o l e t r a d i a t i o n , o r t o changes i n r a t i o s of UV-A, B , and C which have been demonstrated t o d e c r e a s e d primary p r o d u c t i v i t y (which d r i v e s calcium c a r b o n a t e production i n c o r a l s ) i n algae. The most prudent p o l i c y , t a k i n g i n t o account t h e n a t u r a l b a l a n c e between calcium carbonate production and e r o s i o n , t h e slow growth of c o r a l s a t t h e extremes of t h e i r range, and t h e f a c t t h a t p o l l u t i o n and g l o b a l environmental problems a l s o slow o r h a l t growth, i s c l e a r l y t o ban t h e removal of l i v e r o c k from c o r a l h a b i t a t s . I urge you t o a d o p t t h i s p o l i c y as soon as possible - c o r a l r e e f s need a l l t h e i r working p a r t s i f t h e y a r e t o s u r v i v e t h e numerous t h r e a t s t o t h e i r i n t e g r i t y t h a t t h e y p r e s e n t l y f a c e , and c o n t i n u e t o b e p l a c e s o f u n p a r a l l e l e d b e a u t y , high b i o d i v e r s i t y , and r i c h economic r e s o u r c e s . Sincerely, - - Rodney M. F u j i t a , P ~ . D ' Senior S c i e n t i s t st^ K N I G H T S 6 5 5 8 N. caiiisch A- TB N0.5b Fresno. C A Y 3 7 1 U Aprii 13. 1 9 9 3 HESOLUTION: To ban c o l l e c t i o n o f r e e f - b u i l a i n q c o r a i s ana l i v e r o c k WHEREAS. 1t t a k e s decades f o r c o u n t i e s s g e n e r a t i o n s o f f r a g i i e . aime- sized coral p o l y p s t o b u i i d a s i n g l e c o r a l head -- and c e n t u r i e s t o b u i i a c o r a i r e e f s . and WHEREAS. l i v e rock i s c o r a l r e e f S u b s t r a t e o r r u b b l e w l t n a t t a c h e d marine 1 i f e sucn as sponges. anemones and s o f t c o r a i s ; and whereas. collected l i v e rock cannot be r e p l e n i s h e d on a b i o l o g i a l time s c a l e , as -can a i i o t h e r f isnery resources, and wHkREAS. each t i m e a p i e c e o f c o r a l o r l i v e r o c k i s removed f r o m the reef. it i s u n i i k e i y t n a t i t w i l l be renewed i n our c h i l a r e n ' s -- or o u r g r a n d c n i l a r e n ' s -- l i f e t i m e , and WHEHkAS. c o r a i and 1 i v e rocK f o r m a t i o n s p r o v i d e e s s e n t i a l h a b i t a t t o c o u n t l e s s marine c r e a t u r e s . and wnereas c o n t i n u e d c o l l e c t i o n s e r i o u s l y d i s r u p t s -- o r even d e s t r o y s --e n t i r e r e e f microcommunitles. and WHEREAS. American c o r a l r e e f s and hardbottoms a r e i n t r o u b l e and being i i t e r a i i y c h i s e i e d away a t ih a i a r m i n g r a t e due t o c o r a i ana i i v e r O C K collection, NOW THEREFORE, I T I S RESOLVED by v o t e o f our g o v e r n i n g body: ( 1 '1 t h a t . c o r a l ana li v e r o c k c o l l e c t i o n i s m i n i n g rather than n a r v e s t i n g o f a renewable f i s h e r y r e s o u r c e , ( 2 ' ) t n a t t h e m i c r o h a b i t a t v a l u e o f c o r a l and 1i v e r o c k j u s t i f i e s a complete p r o h i b i t i o n on i t s c o l l e c t i o n , i3 I t h a t w e a r e opposea t o any c o l l e c t i o n o f c o r a i o r li v e rock w i t h i n s t a t e o r f e d e r a l waters, and i 4 ' ) t n a t Uovenor-appointed members of r e g i o n a l F i s h e r y Management C o u n c i l s and t h e N a t i o n a l M a r i n e F i s h e r i e s S e r v i c e s h o u l d move w i t n o u t d e l a y t o ban t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f r e e f - b u i l d i n g c o r a i s and l i v e r o c k w i t h i n f e d e r a l w a t e r s o f t h e U.S. Caribbean, West P a c i f i c . Soutn A t l a n t i c and G u l f o f -.Mexico. , Sea K n i g n t s 6 5 5 8 N. Cal l i s c h A r l e n wei b e r t , P r e s i d e n t Fresno. CA 9 3 7 1 ~ A p r i l 13. 1993 BRIEFING BOOK ADDITION Petif j on T o t a l number of signatures: 187 to ban live rock collection in coral habitats We, t h e u n d e r s i g n e d , r e q u e s t t h a t OUR c o r a l reefs and c o r a l h a b i t a t s b e p r o t e c t e d NOW from d e s t r u c t i v e l i v e r o c k c o l l e c t i o n . L i v e r o c k c o l l e c t i o n i s mining of r e e f h a r d b o t t o m b u i l t b y c o r a l s o v e r hundreds of y e a r s . I t removes a t t a c h e d m a r i n e l i f e , INCLUDING PROTECTED CORALS. I t d e s t r o y s o r d e g r a d e s t h e v a l u a b l e h a b i t a t o f a h o s t o f r e e f c r e a t u r e s . L i v e rock c o l l e c t i o n is t o o damaging and c a n n o t b e a d a p t e d t o s t a n d a r d f i s h e r i e s management. e W ask t h e Governor o f o u r S t a t e and h i s a p p o i n t e e s t o t h e S o u t h A t l a n t i c F i s h e r y Management c o u n c i l t o move w i t h o u t d e l a y t o ban l i v e r o c k c e l l e c t i o n from a l l South A t l a n t i c c o r a l h a b i t a t s . S.4YE ADDRESS C I T Y I f IP COCE- Project ReefKeeper 16345 West Dixie Highway, Suite 1 121 1 Miami. FL 33160 / (305) 945-4645 - an affiliate of the Amer~canL~RoralSociety - Total number of signatures :12 Resolution TAWB N3.5(2 - . ban collection of to . reef-butdmg corals WHEREAS, it takes decades for countless generations of fragile, dime-sized - coral polyps to build a single coral head and centuries to build coral reefs, and WHEREAS, live rock is coral reef substrate or rubble with attached marine life such as sponges, anemones and soft corals; and whereas, collected live rock cannot be replenished on a biological time scale, as can all other fishery resources, and WHEREAS, each time a piece of coral or live rock is removed from the reef, it is - - unlikely that it will b renewed in our children's or our grandchildren's lifetime, and e WHEREAS, coral and live rodc formations provide essential habitat to countless - marine creatures, and whereas continued collection seriously disrupts or even - destroys entire reef microcommunities, and - - WHEREAS, American coral reefs and hardbottoms are in trouble and being literally being chiseled away at an alarming rate due to coral and live rock collection, NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED by Mte of our governing body: ,d i (i)thzt = i zd live red< cc!lection is mining m s r tk!hzwesting of 2 renewable fishery resource, (2) that the microhabitat value of coral and liw rock justifies a complete prohibition on its collection, (3) that we are opposed to any or federal waters, and (4) that Governor-appointed Councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service should move without delay to ban the corals and live rock within federal waters of the U.S. Padfic South Atimtic and Guli of Mexico. (\L i)urf3 JeJ Ehu; f a * . \ ~ - 4 . & A \ \\La.- d &%,cd &A,$a-         fid&m&        )

Organization Name                                              Authorized signatud
SL\ s,,k           kchLd3             kc Slk.3
Total number of signatures: 3
Resolution                                                            ~3.5-
to protect corals and live rock
from collection
WHEREAS, it takes decades for countless .generations of fragile, dime-sized
coral polyps to build a single coral head -- and centuries to build coral rhefs, and

WHEREAS, live rock is coral reef substrate or rubble with attached marine life
such as sponges, anemones and soft corals; and whereas, collected live rock cannot be
replenished on a biological time scale, as can all other fishery resources, and

l
WHEREAS, each time a piece of c ~ r aor live rock is removed from ihe reef, it is
unlikely that it will be renewed in our children's -- or our grandchildren's -- lifetime, and

WHEREAS, coral and live rock formations provide essential habitat to countless
marine creatures, and whereas continued collection seriously disrupts -- or even
destroys -- entire reef microcommunities, and
-   -

WHEREAS. American coral reefs and hardbottoms are in trouble and being
literally being chiseled away at an alarming rate due to coral and live rock collection,

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED by vote of our governing body:
(1) that coral and live rock collection is mining rather than harvesting of a
renewable fishery resource,
(2) that the microhabitat value of coral and live rock justifies a complete
prohibition on its collection,
(3) that we are opposed to any collection of coral or live rock within state
or federal waters, and
(4) that Governor-appointed members of regional Fishery Management
Councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service should move
without delay to ban the collection of reef-building corals and live rock
within federal waters of the U.S. Caribbean, West Pacific, South
Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Florida League o f Anglers, Inc.
Organization Name                                          Authorized signature
P.0.Box 1109                                              M.T.Stoppelbein, Sec./Treas.
Sanibel, FL 33957                                           May 23, 1993
City/State/Zip                                             Date Approved
Total number of signatures: 1 1             Resolution TAB L-
N8.5&.
t o ban live rock collection
in coral habitats of the South Rtlantic
PiXEREAS, l i v e rock i s coral reef substrate or rubble w i t h
attached marine life such as sponges, anemones and soft corals, and
which shelters organisms such a s crabs and shrimps, and
WHEREAS, each time a piece of live rock is removed from the
c o r a l ecosystem, it is unlikely that it will be renewed on anything
other than a geological time s c a l e , and
WHEREAS, removal of l i v e rock reduces the q u a l i t y and quantity
o f habitat f o r j u v e n i l e crabs, shrimp, s t a r f i s h , sea u r c h i n s and
mollusks by reducing the number and complexity of c r e v i c e s and
a p e r t u r e s which serve a s s h e l t e r , refuge from predators, and
spawning grounds, and
WHEREAS,removing fossilized fragments of a coral reef
compromises the i n t e g r i t y o f the reef's physical structure, and
WHEREAS, collection of live c o r a l
--
--
hard corals, fire corals,
is emphatically p r o h i b i t e d under gtate and federal
and s e a f a n s
laws, yet occurs w i t h great frequency during l i v e rock c o l l e c t i o n ,
NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED by vote of our governing
body:
(1) that l i v e rock collection is mining rather than
h a r v e s t i n g o f a renewable resource,
(2) that        the microhabitat value of l i v e rock justifies
a complete prohibition on its c o l l e c t i o n ,
( 3 ) t h a t we are opposed t o any commercial c o l l e c t i o n of
l i v e rock w i t h i n state or federal waters, and
( 4 ) t h a t t h e Governor of our S t a t e and h i s appointees to
federal Fishery Management Councils should move
without d e l a y t o ban l i v e rock c o l l e c t i o n from a l l
coral h a b i t a t s within U.S. federal waters, and t o
p r o h i b i t t h e landing i n o u r state of live rock
collected anywhere within U.S. jurisdiction.

/91/7/2//b&d/r/3?ER/n7/ddETFdfl
o r g a n i z a t i o n Name                         ~ u ' t h o r i z e dSignature
m?iYA ~&$L#I//~//~G&EHE PRUIDFZJr Address printed Name and T i t l e d/8/93 Date Total number of s i g n a t u r e s : 336 BRIEFING BOO19 mDITIO!i: i - i ~ Petition Total number of signatures: 507 to ban collection of TAB3 N - ,§k reef-building corals and live rock in American coral habitats American coral reefs and coral hardbottoms are literally being chiseled away at an alarming rate due to coral and live rock collection. We, the undersigned, request that OUR coral reefs and habitats be protected NOW from this destructive abuse. Reef-building corals take decades to produce l i e rock and hundreds of years to create reefs. It is very unlikely that coral or live rock removed from the reef system will - - be replenished in our children's or even our grandchildren's lifetime. This makes coral and live rock collection a meP,miStrable "fishery" that is far too damaging to reefs and that destroys valuable habitat for many other reef creatures. - Therefore, we ask the Governor of our State and his appoint- to regional Fishery Management Councils to move without delay to ban coral and live rock l collection from d American coral h- a please return completed petition to: Project ReefKeeper - 2809 Bird Avenue S u b 162 Miami, FL 33133 TAB L . NC I . 5 3 E3lEFING BOOK ADDITION Keith Black 5208 Glen Vista Garland, TX 75044 (214) 4954270 The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councit .+* ., .4:% . 4 % id Q e. > ., ; .- . . c:; .. . ., .., % . ..;: , Atm: Terry Leary 5401 West Kennedy Blvd. Lincoln Center, Suite 33 1 .!;- i . <: 1 3 1954 Tampa, FL 33609 GLTF FiStiERi~s O ~ ~ ; Z ~ L C January 1 1, 1994 Dear Fishery Management Council, I am writing this letter in sup- o f the cdlectr'on o Live Ruck from the coastal waters f of the United States. - - I am not associated with the aquarium industry so I am not bias due to any financial benefit. I like many others have been enlightened to the importance of the life under the sea by having the opportunity to see beautilid aquarium displays. All of the aquarium keepers that I know have a love for animal life and are very concerned about the preservation of our aquatic environments. I advocate limitations and regulations of collection of sea life, but think that a complete ban is inappropriate. What most people don't realize is how insigtllficant an effect live rock collection has on our oceans when compared to boating, dumping, and the pollution and damage that is caused by fishing for food sources. My sincere thanks for your consideration, Keith Blae)r CHAMPION LIGHTING CO. - 21 5-836-1 470 - Created: Thursday, January 13, 1994 1.09 PM - Page 1 o f i - ------ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - - - - - -- - - - - _ - _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - _ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - EFONG BOOM ADD1 3 TAB - 3 CHAMPION LIGHTING & SUPPLY CO. Ice Cap Electronic Ballast 1407 BETLEHLEM PIKE VHO Lamps German End Caps FLOURTOWX, PA. 19031 ZWAKZ Little Giant Ocean Clear 215-233-1630 Reef-Filler Neo-Lite Ultra-Lux 800-673-7822 215-836- 1470 fax FLORIDA LIVE ROCK -ALLI.\NCE Dear Sir or Madame, Please allow me to add my name to those that are protesting the ban on live rock collection in Florida. Live rock is a renewable resource, in abundant supply. A ban of live rock would serve no purpose, other than putting U.S. collectors out of business, and increasing the import of "foreign" live rock. As a business that services the Marine Hobby, I can safely say that we are responsible for the ongoing employment of over 20 people. Many of those people would be without jobs if the ban o n live rock were to be implemented. I fully support the efforts to implement the culturing of live rock, in combination with the - - continued harvesling by licensed colleclors. Sincerely, Perry Tishgart Champion Lighting & Supply Co. - BRIEFING BOOK ADDITIC - - Comments to SAFMC on 'live rock' harvest. TAR^ NC').5(32) January 5, 1994, Savannah, GA I have been a diver since 1972. 1 have been diving off the Georgia coast since 1980 in part to conduct federally funded research on artificial and natural reefs including Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Since 1989 when the marine biology building at SSC was completed, I have collected small quantities of 'Georgia variety' live rock from 18-40 nmi offshore for instruction and display two 1!%-gal aquaria. Though this live rock is not identical to that form Florida, it is biologically diverse, visually interesting, and can be maintained and studied for up to several years. I recognize the potentially destructive nature of collecting natural reefs or live bottom. I know what happens to the biological diversrty and character of places at Gray's reef National Marine Sanctuary, for example,. that are heavily dived. They look barren in comparison with lesser known and dives sites within the Sanctuary. Though it is prohibited at the Sanctuary, it is evident that diving has an impact. Divers explore, probe, pull, step on, and even collect as souvenirs sea fans and sea whips, c clumps of live D - coral and live rock not realizing that in this environment it may take years of decades to replace a large colonies. I am not aware of extensive commercial live rock collecting from the natural live bottoms or reefs of this area but as traditional sources of live rock become unavailable, Georgia live rock could become commercially attractive; I do not believe that the supply of existing natural live bottom habitat of the inner- and mid-shelf of the South Atlantic Bight (SAB, South Carolina to northeast Florida) is extensive enough in to support a commercial harvest, even on a limited access basis, without severely threatening the quality of the habitat. On a more optimistic note, however, though natural live rock is a limited resource, live rock in general is, in a very real sense, a renewable resource which lends itself to low technology aquaculture and ocean farming. Reef communities, be they coral, or rock. or artificial develop by a constant colonization process. Virtually all of the sessile benthos (the encrusting the seaweeds and animals that inhabit reefs) arrive as tiny larvae in the ocean currents and are not very selective about the hard material on which they choose to settle, grow, and reproduce. Just look at ship hulls. This is one reason why artificial reefs made out of almost any solid material. In Georgia in the summer an fall it takes only a matter of months for the process to produce a turf of animal and plant growth and only a few years to develop the appearance of a natural live rock reef. Low technology maricutture or ocean farming of small artificial reefs could supply a demand for live rock and provide a new, non-destructive, environmentally friendly industry in the area. I suspect that the biological differences between SAB and south Florida live rock might be appealing or eminently marketable to the aquarium trade. I would even go as far as propose a cooperative research project in this area to investigate its potential. The Coastal Resources Division, GA DNR , the Sea Grant College Program, the Southeast Fisheries Center, NOAA, and of course - Savannah State College. To summarize: I think that I would speak for a majority of divers in this area if I said that we've got natural live rock here and we would like it to stay here. However, like little artificial reefs, rock can be make 'live' through mariculture and ocean farming wrth no negative impact on marine resources or the environment and with potentially significant economic benefds. Matthew R. Gilligan, Ph.D. Professor Department of Biology and Life Sciences School of Sciences and Technology Savannah, Georgia 31404 P.0. Box 20325 (912)356-2809 (91 356-2996F A X 2) 165 N E 130 St., North Miami, F1 33161 January 14, 1996 Terry Leary The Gulf O f Mexico Fisheries Management Council ~incoln Center - .. . . .. . . : . *'.. "'-' ',- , Suite 331 > -,:, :-.,; i 4 5401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33609 1 : . 1 4 I*:! . . d ? Dear M r . Leary, I am writing you i n reference to t h e Liverock issue. Having been a marine aquarium hobbyist for the past six years, and a member of t h e Florida Marine Aquarium Society for f i v e years, i a concerned about the r e g u l a t k n s that are m forthcoming and t h e f a c t t h a t t h e interest o the commercial harvesters are being f - - inclcrded w i t h that of thr hobbyists. As a hobbyist, I would like to see t h a t our interectc are been conaidered. I have no problomo w i t h roguloting L i v e r o c k as long as hobbyist are given equal access tio the resource. I hope that t h e decisions that the council makes w i l l be based on f a c t f and not on t h e interest of a few, and that they are pragmatic and fair. Your consideration w i l l be greatly appreciated. - - Sincerely yours, /g/-&?/-/y-.- Bryan A. Williams -- - BRIEFING BOOK ADDITIG:?? Q Q U ~ T I CRE.:EiiRCH TECH TEL NO.54: 7966 AA ) Council Members AQUATIC RESEARCH TECHNOLOGIES, INC South Atlantic Fishcry Management Council FAX January 5 , 1994 One Page Regarding: Proposed management of Live Rock Members, Dcar Coc~ncil Our company niariitfactures acrylic aquariums for a worldwide market. Many ot our dquarlums and filtration systems are designed exfrrcssly for reef kccpinq applications. Many of our cusronleri dcwnd on the avililbility of affordable l rock to maintain existing systems, and k tne creatton of rrew cxhibits. Due to ttic growth and development of filtration and ligtiting rcchnologles. rr\any nlore spcvics of m n n e life can now be successfully kcpt in captivity. WJI, ttlrough our experiences. wc have found that to keep trlort of these spcctes, a certan amottnt of livc rock nccds to bc infroduccd into Mcrr cmwronmmt. Many species of marine fish now kcpt in captivity, which naturally 'graze- on live rock supplements, will not be successfully kept If the n x k is clirninatcd from thcir closed environment. Tnro~~gh llurncrous cwcrsafims with collectors, and actualty joining scvcrsl dlves myself, the rubble rock which they are colkcting IS not even part ot the reef. ..Thepieces which thy are collcaing are fragments which, through tidal and storm actions, tme bmkc away from the permanent rock stri~htrczs.A piecc of W b b k rock may bc there orw day, and gonc the next due to storms and ctlrmlts., Thc NIIWII~ of rock Collected is not endangering the existance of thc reef or it's eco.systcm. Ifyou arc truly C O f K C t ? M with m g the reef, stop the pollution of t17~ f. wdtcr systcms which feed the ms Thc! threat ot cnemkal conramlnation and death at a reef Is a t ~ greater danger to tha environment man all of the rock cdlecting combined. r AqUartumS are e d u ~ ; r O ~Tncy inform and teach people, people who might never be ~l. s cxposed to the underwater world, about the complexity and diwrslty of the ~ . f and oceans. Thcy brlng up close and in person, cpatures which inspirr, curiosity and exploration in the m~nds our young people. They teach rcspcct and rcrponlbiky tor the lifeforms whkh Inhabit of our reefs and means. By takbg away live a t k as a component for creating the closed envirorlmtnt of an aquarium. you damage thc ability of the aquarium to be an effrtcrivc lcirrnlng tool of the K T yo11pmtcss to savc. ~ The decisiori you nlakc now, will ccruinly impact our busiricss in a negative manner. It will rnost certainty destroy the livlihmcl d thousands of mall businesses w h i c h make thcir living from the trading in marine species. It will most ccnainly diminate a vakri~blc awarerless and cducatioml tool for milliom of people. espccmlly llie y w n g and Inquisitive. The knefifs of halting live rock collection arc vague and ~~nwbstanciated. b n The certain damages of at c . halting live rock collection are clearly cvident. Todd F! Beal, ~wsidcnt AquatK Resewn Tectwwloglcs, Inc. 200 PEA(.( Z i 'K 1:IRIVE rn W A L V A Y I 1')l.RlRIAL I"V?K N I-(JLTCJN. MO (!:r)%!) 1 TELI.tVK>NE ( 314) 642-7777 FAX i.314) 642-7066 JAt4-E-1394 3 RON GQUGF! I UM GOURMET LIFE SUPPORT LIFELINE 1841 North GI&y St. #P San Pedro, CA .go731 Phone: 310 832-9981 1 900 28&CURE Far: 310 832-9982 MEMO TO: South Alantic Fishery Managment Council Jan 5, 1994 RE: Florida Live Rock collection . - - The proposed regulations Ms the managanent d i v e rock collection wiil be sure to have a negative impact on nrlr b~~lsinesa. c providc hclp and advisc to aquatic hobbyicste thru our "900" phonc scrvicc. O r callers an W u lnrgcly {over 50%) hnhhyicm with rcdnquariums, n very lnrgc n~~rnber these tire Florid. live mck. These of hobbylcnr an u 8 q domatic rock due to it8 nuonrble pnec and avlihbiliry. Any closure or regulation that wol~id impact the s~apply this renewable z#K)Wta will have a ncgitivt impact thousands of hobbyists all over of the United States and CannAa Without the reef hobbyle~ts service will lose a large portion of our voiume. our We hope that you will take these points under consideration. Lifb Support Lifeline Marion Wolf BRIEFlb!G BOOK ADDITI?i$,                                                                            ,
,5        (34
JRN-05-1994 20: 0':      FROM   AQURRIUII GOURMET               TO              17i8Si45r781    P .a1

TO: South Alantic Fishery Managment Council                                           Jan 5 , 1994

RE: Florida Live Rock collection .

We arr: in the Livc Rock Tranship Business 80% of thc mck we h d l c comes &om thr state bf ~lohda!Any
regulation that would bavc e ncgitivc impact on the supply of this valuablc rcncwabie resource will have a
nnjor ndveme          on ow bus-.      Wc shrp to reailnu all over the United State any interruption in the
.upply of re(~son~b1y domwtic rook will have a naghive @ad on theu sales volume. Please take into
priced
account the k n p a ~down the linc that a shut down of live rock collection will cause.
t

Best Regards

Carl C. Crawford
From: Dondd Aha* To: Florida l i n rock .Ili.ncw       D.c.: 1
-   Tim: 09:2337

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Page 1 of   1

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F. Donald Ahee, Jr.
3 90 1 East Broadway Blvd.
Tucson. Anzona 8 5 7 1 1
(60212 3 - 5 122
Fax 323-3156

Florida Li1.e Rock .illiance
P.O. Bos 202
Summerland Key. FL 55042

I-ia facsimile

Dear Rockers:

-I wish to support eiforts to insure the live rock harvesting rights of collectors in Fedenl waters. I
understand these issues are under consideration 'by several fishen management organizations. and that
these organizations are under hen?/ pressure tiom radical groups to totally ban marine collection.

Please fas me information t h t I can use to lobby in favor of managed hanesting and aquaculture. I would
appreciate info on:

1. \lThich of these organizations to contact by fax
2. \ I h t to say that would be most effective
7. !\%ether or not I should contact my Congressional reps
4. . b y other actions I should take.

Thank you.

Don .ihee. Jr.

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Januazy 6, 1994 Page 2 One o the main prohhm with this pertinrhr fssuc is that many o the penanr, f f tnv~withthe~~~havemir-~~Prrtrerttbe~BockUliana is- livcrock&inWa-breaaruce"aod-Dr.JamerkBahnracS Marine Biologist fix the N a t b d Ocu& axd AfkUtsadan,mW point. ( S a a h . ~ s c m a p m & m ~ ~ 1 9 9 0 t o N b c r t C J a n e s ) The. M e r o c k c o m ~ w v s r v a r t ~ d ~ b r n r t r d t b C ~ q f l i P e ~ is a wry selective p e a s . We have sta!ed previously tbat m e could d . a rubble '-jintosev#al~~dCdaeCtOmly~~ofthacarearandft~ b c ~ i m p o s s i b l e f o r ~ t o ~ a n Tnrenrbhlerodwhkh y ~ w ~ . i s w h a i t h e ~ R o c k ~ i s ~ t h t ~ ~ rcsmce. I t i r ~ ~ t u n r c d o v c r , b u r i c d , r m r x r v e r a d , a n d ~ b y t b a actiaaoftbeelcmma J n A r r u l . i f ~ g t l b C a ~ ~ ~ r ~ t d ~ r n ~ d w h c n t h e rrctibnofs&mmand~araattheitpeekandthtNbWcrma.heuinro~d r c m m m i t k Ib D . Feddem bar painted ou& rubble IocL ramavrrl can 8ctwQ be- ~tocaral.Irtm;.attn~thehrru!~wfdCbareEhlllMlarcmb)ectmtbiL a m s t a n t ~ a n d , ~ n o t m i t a b l e d P P a u a l ~ ~ a ~ r O c L tPrfacserrporsdmIightcmd~(drtetormrovald~rocft)dbcamus a p . m p r i 4 t e h a b i n u f i c a c a r d ~ ~ t h c r e m ~ ~ a n d ~ ~ p . T co~byotherorgsnimg h s ~ t h a t t b e ~ a d l i v e r o d r d e p a e t a s ~ ~ t b b b O t t ~ m a f t h e f o a d ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ a n d ~ o b n l p a e ! i n t Inaline- Thereis~lbtaa~~fn~atthis~wbtdrwoufdallawtbiam b e a c \ a r e s t m Thmghthemambanobthe~RocL~wiacoopcraeewith t h e ~ i n a n y w a y t o p c o v i Q ~ ~ 0 0 ~ r P c l r ~ a n d t h e v i a b i l i t y d a ~ ~ i n t b a f r r t u t e , q p r ~ ~ ~ t i a a d t b c t i v r : d tiohery~takcintoacoMmttba#droftbepec@e~cnpnolcdinthtfinhery. We6#1httheecanos3icmqbammMbeeneluut.+rutimnt&bytbt ~ ~ a a d ~ c a n ~ ~ t h n t t b e ~ m c m h c r r d ~ m t ~ t h e l O I O lidhod, A s N O A A ' r o w n M a r i n e B h & k t , D r . J ~ A ~ h r r r ~ " I ~ agee that live rock is a mwabk nmtmx and that u#ne levlel ofharvest is pmbdy 8ccept&k9 A n o b ~ ~ o b t h e i r r u e w i n k a d y o u t o ~ d n o t probibftioaand~imnknr.tbit~mcmbtn~to~~beredan~ ~ b a t m h i n f ; b r a P e d p u b t i c r e n t i m e n tThemcmacrsoftheLjveRocLAltiana~ . ~ ~ W r a t L b o e d u c a t e t h e p u b l i c s b o r r t o u r ~ ~ a r a d ~ w i t h t b ~ t o t b a t t oT h c ~ a r e ~ w i t h y e t ~ d opport\llliryto~nkwithascgmcnt~tbc~d~irrstcadof~an &rsaridft-,*mrrtatr.web-hWmatttr. -9 L 4klS . ARD W HORAN For the Firm Dear Council Members, P l e a s e allow m e t o e x p l a i n how our f a m i l y and business rely on the collection of Live Rock. Our company (SEA-LECTIVE COLLECTIVE)has been collecting Live Rock for ovar 6 years in a manner, which we feel, is in good rotation. We do not c o l l e c t i n t h e same area week a f t e r week, we collect in over 15 different locations throughout the year. Our collecting schedule consists of one day par week. In that one d a y , we generate enough income to cover 75% our- business aver-head. With out L i v e Rock sales each week, our business w i i l not b6 able to s t a v b b o v e water" financially. .- Xe have just recently bought a new home, which of cou'rse createsmany nor birrs every aonth, insurance, t a x e s , etc... We rely on our Live Rock sales not only to pay our business over-head and expenses, but also t o support our f a m i l y and well being. We have a College Pund for lfmo. old daughter, and with out Live Rock sales, we will never be able to pay a College payment each month. It i s friqhtening to think of ali t.he other bills w e w i l l not be able to pay i f o u r li~elyhood i s taken from us. W e also have 4 full-time empioyees who rely on . our business to pay their salaries each week; with-out Live Rock sales we would not be a b l e t o pay our employees who play a major role in the operation and success of our business. We believe that collecting procedures need to be de- legated t o licensed collectors who will c o i l a c t with-in the regulated guide-lines. Collecting techniques are sometimes mis-interpretated, dynamite, explosives, etc.... are not practiced; what ve collect is LOOSE "rubble rock." Hopefully,we can all come up with laws and regulations that w i l l benefit both t h e pros and cons o f this t o p i c . Thank-you for your time, ive Collecti-ge owner- % e a - ~ e c t cc Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council December 1, 1 9 9 1 A d d i t i o n a l arguments s u p p o r t i n g t h e continued h a r v e s t of l i v e rock: Primary S u b j e c t : Numbers Overview: I n a l l of t h e arguments p r e s e n t e d by r e g u l a t o r s and environmental g r o u p s , t h e r e i s one t h i n g n o t i c e a b l y a b s e n t : numbers. FMLA f e l t t h a t t h e r e had t o be a r e a s o n s o we s t a r t e d g a t h e r i n g t h e numbers o u r s e l v e s . This d a t a a c q u i s i t i o n answered t h e q u e s t i o n a s t o why no one from t h e o p p o s i t i o n e v e r used s t a t i s t i c a l d a t a : I t d i d n ' t s u p p o r t t h e i r condemnation of l i v e rock h a r v e s t . Our a n a l y s i s of t h e d a t a i n d i c a t e s t h a t , / e v e n if a l l of the h a r d bottom and r u b b l e found on t h e w e s t c o a s f i s n o t i n c l u d e d , t h e Keys a l o n e , o n l y from Miami t o Key West, c o n s i d e r i n g o n l y t h e ocean s i d e , l o s i n g 300 t o n s of rock p e r y e a r , would l o s e o n e - p e r c e n t of t h e t o t a l a v a i l a b l e hard bottom t o rock h a r v e s t e v e r y 2090.88 y e a r s . Removal of f i v e p e r c e n t would t a k e 1 0 , 4 5 4 . 4 y e a r s . These numbers do n o t even t a k e i n t o account t h e g e n e r a t i o n of new rock by t h e v a r i o u s calcium f i x i g p r o c e s s e s > a s demonstrated b y 1 t h e samples we've brought today. Too, i t i s known t h a t i n many a r e a s t h e e x i s t i n g l i m e s t o n e s h e f is thousands of f e e t t h i c k . There is n o t even an e s t i m a t e of how d e e p r u b b l e p i l e s can be b u t i t i s known t h a t t r e a s u r e s a l v a g e o p e r a t i o n s have blown holes i n t h e s e a f l o o r e i g h t e e n f e e t d e e p i n some p l a c e s without ever r e a c h i n g t h e bottom of t h e d e p o s i t e d l o o s e r o c k s . Even though i t i s u n r e a l i s t i c t o assume t h a t l i v e r o c k h a r v e s t w i l l be around so f a r i n t h e f u t u r e , I ask you t o c o n s i d e r how d i f f e r e n t t h e world w i l l be two thousand o r t e n thousand y e a r s from now. The g e o l o g i c a l s c i e n c e s community e s t i m a t e s t h a t e l e v e n thousand y e a r s ago t h e s e a l e v e l was between 300 and 600 f e e t lower t h a n i t i s now ( D r . Raymond F. M c A l l i s t e r , FAU, p e r s o n a l communication). What is now t h e s e a f l o o r i n q u e s t i o n was dry upland. I n t e n thousand y e a r s most l i k e l y i t w i l l be a g a i n . P l e a s e remember t h a t t h e s e d e t e r m i n a t i o n s do n o t even c o n s i d e r any of t h e Gulf of Mexico. We p r o v i d e you w i t h t h e s e numbers i n s p i t e of t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y appear r i d i c u l o u s . Upon h e a r i n g them i t ' s hard n o t t o laugh a t how e x a g g e r a t e d t h e y sound. The c o l d r e a l i t y is t h a t t h e y a r e n o t e x a g g e r a t e d ; t h i s i s t h e way i t i s , and t h e o p p o s i t i o n has avoided t h e i s s u e l i k e t h e p l a g u e . Why? Because t h e l i v e rock h a r v e s t e r s have been o f f e r e d up a s a p o l i t i c a l pawn by t h e government of t h i s s t a t e t o appease t h e now powerful, even i f nor w e l l informed, e n v i r o n m e n t a l g r o u p s . There i s an o l d s a y i n g : "There a r e l i e s , damn l i e s and s t a t i s t i c s . " For t h i s r e a s o n w e a r e p r o v i d i n g , f o r t h e s c r u t i n y of a l l , o u r e n t i r e d a t a s e t as w e l l as t h e methodology behind , . harvests what is recognized as a biologically insignificant amount of hard coral. Live rock harvest involves the removal of 1/2088th of a square mile of 3 inches of bottom per year. Each rock specimen is carefully examined by the harvester in an effort to avoid the taking of any hard coral. The live rock fishery is worth several millions of dollars without even considering the side industries that it supports. To say that our efforts present an environmental hazard of any significance is ludicrous. So now, what do we have? We have a valuable fishery that harvests a biologically insignificant amount of hard coral. Just as with scallops and other fisheries, the accidental harvest of tiny amounts of hard corals is not so substantial as to warrant destroying the rock collector's livelihood by killing this industry. Such action would reek of discrimination and would do nothing to "save the reef". Only the industry, the state, and the country would suffer. When our data proves out, and it wili, send the message back upstairs that you're here to manage fisheries responsibly, not use them as political pawns. Data Analysis Assumptions : 1. It is estimated that there are approximately 162 square miles of hard bottom in the Keys from Miami to Key West seaward of the overseas highway out to a line that generally follows the 60 foot isobath. This calculation was derived by Henry Feddern using existing government maps of the hard bottom areas of the Florida Keys. Jennefer Wheaton reviewed the calculations and concurred that the methodology was valid. Information concerning these numbers can be obtained from Jennefer Wheaton, DNR-FMRI. 2. The average thickness of harvested live rock is three inches. All calculations assume that all harvested specimens are mashed into uniform thickness with internal voids similar to the thirty test samples. 3. Calculations by Henry Feddern, acknowledged by Jennefer Wheaton, estimate that of the 162 square miles of hard bottom, 57 square miles represent living coral. reef which is not available for live rock harvest. It is felt that inclusion of this 57 square miles is valid for two reasons: . (1) The time frame versus percentage of stock removed is sufficiently long so as to assume that the areas o f live growth will change over time thus, i n the theoretical but unlikely event that live rock harvest will continue that far into the future, these areas from time to time mqst likely will become available while others become unavailable. (2) . All calculations assume absolutely no recruitment of new material. Coral areas, without question are it's development. FMLA, as a representative of the marine life fishery, has been working with the Fisheries Commission since the / fall of 1989. In that time, through cooperation between our group, the MFC, DNR and other agencies, this fishery has gone from no management whatsoever to one with a detailed comprehensive management plan. Without the aforementioned cooperation this would not have been possible. There is not one person in this room who can honestly say that in that time, FMLX has ever given you false information. Never once have we exaggerated the level of certainty of the information we have provided, be it theoretical or known fact. Every statement has carried with it this qualification. At no time have we sworn something to be taken as absolute certainty that wasn't. This approach to fishery management is why we have come so far so fast, and we are not about to compromise that "prime directive" for the sake of live rock or anything else. Given these FMLX statement qualifications we are telling you now that the current level of live rock harvest will not result in the deleterious side effects for the reef ecosystem that are claimed by the opposition; opposition that has refused to do their homework and carry their research beyond vague generalities and arguments no more or less valuable than if uttered by an Iowa corn farmer. - - We know our claims are correct and we not only suggest, we demand that the government agencies and environmental groups condemning rock harvest run the numbers themselves. The measurement and 1 mathematical determinations took us one afternoon. We don't think it's asking too much to demand that our detractors do the same. They will find that we are telling the truth, and until such time as this data is in, no doubt bastardized by the opposition to the degree that they think they can get away with, we ask that no restrictive decisions be made. To that end we ask you to consider the following points: 1. Without even acknowledging the existence of the vast rock supplies along the Gulf Coast or replacement by calcification., our industry harvests 1/2090th of one percent of the surface standing stock per year. Therefore, reduction of the standing stocks of "Complex organisms and habitat, rubble zones etc." as "issues", as stated by Ms. Cranmore, loses it ' s significance-. 2. Contrary to what Ms. Cranmore's paperwork would lead you to believe, the harvest of a by-catch of hard corals is allowed in the federal fishery'management plan for several fisheries, most notably, scallops. Remember that since the state has already prohibited rock harvest in state waters, we are already talking about federal waters. Consider that scallops are harvested with trawls, dragging over large areas of bottom. The amount of coral caught in the trawls is not known, but considering the large areas covered, it is substantial. The catch is left unsorted until the vessel returns to shore whereupon all non-targeted A items, including hard coral, are thrown away. Why is this allowed? Because scallops represent a valuable fishery that generating new substrate. This generation, added t o calcification by calcareous algae, tube worms and other organisms, present in various amounts throughout the entire hard bottom of the Keys, should adequately offset substrate loss due to biological, chemical and physical erosion. The year to year net gain or loss of substrate due to these processes are hard to determine but, given the minute percentage removed by live rock harvest, can be considered to be unaffected by our activities. 4. The use of 30 live rock samples provided by three different harvesters taken from different areas is adequate for the determination of an average specific weight for live rock in general. 5. Rock samples varied in weight from just over one pound to just over eleven pounds. It is felt that these were sufficient in size to generate accurate density values. Other researchers may wish to carry this further by using still larger samples. Other Points: 1. All calculations consider the standing stock to include only the first three inches of hard bottom/rubble. The total supply, which consists of all available limestone, regardless of buried depth is omitted. 2. No doubt the opposition will try to bring forth arguments that suggest that the standing stocks are smaller than our estimates or that some natural erosion process is more substantial than we believe. In the event such arguments are presented we remind everyone that the remaining hard bottom areas should be added back into the calculations. These area include all hard bottom west of Key West to the Dry Tortugas, a distance of greater than sixty miles, and north to the panhandle. Once this is done, any ' such arguments become insignificant. Procedure: 1. Thirty rock samples were used in the determinations. Each sample was submerged in water to determine exact volume by displacement. 2. Since all calculations of rock harvest have dealt with the wet weight, the samples were also weighed while wet. 3. From these measurements were determined the density, specific weight and specific volume of each sample. Averages were determined for each of the three sample groups, with the highest averages used for analysis. From these statistics, and the State estimate of a 300 ton annual harvest and the 162 square mile estimate of available hard bottom within the stated geographic boundaries, was the attached table of calculations derived. It includes the above mentioned items as well as total volume, area a t three inch depth, conversion units etc. Sarpier vaiuae 100 tonr\cu. ft. l cube airensionlftl cubic yards FeaCern 5arpiel Voiurt~ul Yelght 11bs-or] Yeigntlot~ Cieightig) speclvoiure~rilq) rptcjit(qlri) voiurt j00 coat ~ r i l dern 1 1250 71 2211.22 .57 1.77 153818118.92 i 1110 dl 4296.27 53 1.90 111409301. (0 J 775 57 1615.89 .41 2.09 130518041.39 Averages: .51 1.35 117635606 .:l Barqer 1 .' 1200 1-12 76 2154.52 .56 1.80 151580952.55 2 500 2-6 31 1077 -26 .46 2.15 126317460.38 Averages: -56 1.80 152229451.14 Quarry - Conversions: 1 !b equais 16 st equais 153.59 grars 1 32. equais 2 8 . 3 grars 300 tons equals 600000 pounds equals 21215(000 grarr - 1 foot equais .3048 aeters equals 30.48 :entimeters ; :u. foot eauais .I283 cu. I equals 28316.95 11 -- ?erceataae a f standiag stock in the Florida Xeys harvested: Yotal c s t i r a t e of hard botton areas in Florida Keys: 162 square a i l e s 162 square s i l t s equals 4516300800 square f e e t 300 tons bf l i v e rock equals 100 cubic pards equals 5100 cubic f e e t - - Averzge thicxness si l i v e rock s a l p i e s harvested equals I inches T o t i l i r e a covered a? j00 cons a t 3 inch chichess: 11600 square f e e t 11630 square f e e t per year equals .0007718 square r i l e s .0057748 square ~ i l e sy u a l s 111290th of a square r i l e - 21603 square f e e t equais .0004783 percent of t o t a l hardbattor A current harvest with no recruitrent considered, harvest of one percent t hardcottor in the Keys aione o i l 1 require :f ~ a i i i n l e 7090.i8 pears Sarvest :i f i v e percent :orrent standinq stock will require 10151.40 years - - A [ !ant !c F ~ s t - \ e rrlanaqement Coi~tjcl! LL,i)gtr! ;~ te One Southpark ~ i r c l e , ' ~ u l306 Charleston, South Carolina 29407-4694 DEC 3 0 1993 RE: Amendment to the FMP t o add " l i v e rock" SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL First. I would llke t o thank you for attempting t o handle the Issue or ")l\fe rock:" l n a professional manner. In the past we have endured actions of a thf&?-flnged circus. I t i s a nice change to have a fairly impartial draft concernlrrq "live rock" marraqement However, i t was sad t o see the State ;~ of ~ l o r l d a drummed up statements were used aaaln Such a s ' t h e YO percent of ilve rock examlned at the request of enforcement agents - contained vlsible colonies of prohibited coral." The trtlth i s that the detalned rock whlch was a few pieces out of hundre& o f pounds cr?ntalrlerj coral How the State came up w i t h 90 percent i s s t i l l a mystery. "The estmtatea anclount of 3 tons of live rock leaving thru Miaml daily," S t a t g by the Florlda Marlne Patrol 1s completely out of line; orders are weighed toqether by air carqo Therefore t h l s statement of estimated amounts are untrue. Both of these statements as w e l l as many others are misleading and cloud the entire rock' issue. As collectors there are major differences between the West and the East coast. marine l i f e . We feel i t i s very important t o continue t o have different regulating councils! Separate views allow f o r area regulation development that w i l l provide a f a i r management rule t o protect small business and the environment alike. To combine this type of decision would be like giving your money to a gambler and asking them to invest it for your future. Redefinition of Allowable Octocorals needs t o have dimensions of substrate holdfast, such as not to exceed 2 inches. Depending on collection areas some Octocorals can be collected w i t h l i t t l e t o r70 substrate, while other areas need to allow a small amount of substrate to ach~eve harvest of a healthier product the First consideration for manayement of "live rock" should be the of ~mplementation limited access. This should carry over to any aquaculture site i n State or Federal waters. Thls would allow f o r a control led amount of collectors u n t l l the rules take effect. CQL117Cll~prPr?t-t-ed (?l?t!y The r:.l~lf contlnuea harvesr C.2 t o a1 IOW t) il!r a l~mited time and to provide llve rock fishermen the means to convert t o dquaculture This 1s an example of a f a l r and impartial vlew ot' the "llve rock" fishery I t was a shame to read the South Atlantic's preferred optlonson C 2 a , a n d o n D 1 O p t i m u m Y ~ e l d ( O Y ) s h o u l d b e n o l e s s t h a n outllned under D 2 , which i s compatible w ~ t h Alternative C 2 b Option @ I , W I l l result i n a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small busines entlties East coast collectors sald they would not be given a cnance t o stay i n busmess and now the S A. may prove them correct AS a small buslness ent.ity who's income i s based on the col l e c t ion of 1 ive rock from the West coast, 1 t i s very important t o work w l t h the counclls so that provisions are granted t o harvest w i l d rock unti 1 aquaculture can be obtained. Exemption f o r the removal of coral that w i l l attach t o the aquaculture product m u s t be provided, such as the exemption used ! the - n offshore petroleum extract ion. Permitting w i l l require addltional paperwork and funding for the regulating agency personnel. Because of the paperwork reduction act and the fact that funds are close t o non-existent, how do w e over come this problem'? C.4.a One optlon i s t o have one permit under l i m i t e d access management. I f a person does not attempt t o obtain a aquaculture p e r m i t before closure of w i l d harvest, then they f o r f e i t t h e ~ place on the l i m i t e d access l l s t r whicn w 1 1 1 then l i m i t harvest to persons w i t h authorized aquaculture operations. Additionally, collectors should contlnue t o hold a current Saltwater product license(SPL) w i t h the ML(Marine Life) and RS(Rest r l c t e d Species) endorsements and be reauired t o report & l catches from state and federal waters by using the identifying area code number.(Area code i s already possible w i t h the t r i p t i c k e t reporting.) Separate information could then be compiled by the t r i p ticket aqencv u n t i l closure period i s i n e f f e c t or continue the reporting requl~emerits so more information can be gathered on marine l i f e and t h e i r collecting areas. C.4.b. Possession of a notarlzed copy, while i n possesslon of rock, o f the authorized aquaculture operation along w i t h current 1 im ited access permit, SPL, ML and RS endorsements should separate aquaculturalists from illegal harvesters. The l i m i t e d access permit could include and specify the a1lowance of prohibited coral on aquacul tured live rock. C.4.c. I'm not sure how t o overcome t h l s addi tional permit unless i t can be worded t o include "1 ive rock" t o the current permitting system f o r scientific, educational, and restoration purposes. Concerning the 1 ive rock fishery value of about$628,000.00-this figure
seems t o be incorrect. We are currently gathering tnformat ion f r o m rock'
collectors t o provide a more accurate value figure. We hope to have this
information for you by the f i r s t meeting's date.

To completely close the l i v e rock industry as the SA prefers w i l l
adversely affect practically a11 participants: loss of revenue, increase i n
operating cost, loss of employment, and less competitive for the domestic
industrylntheinternationalmarket. W e h a v e l o s t s o m a n y j o b s a n d - _
income t o other countries i n the past and now NAFTA. Don't allow the
additional pressure of a complete l i v e rock closure. IT WOULD BE WRONG1
To regulate live rock harvest w i t h the allowance of aquaculture w i l l not
create overlapping regulations w i t h state or other federal laws.

A r t i f i c i a l reefs have proven t o be very effective by provldlng surface for
the growth of marine l i f e and habitat f o r tropical fishes and inverts,
Base rocks of a r t i f i c i a l reefs w i l l quickly become attached to each other
by the build up of calcium carbonate. B i l l y Causey has proven t h i s t o be
true by presenting slides t o counci 1 members o f rubble rock created by a
boat grounding. He attested t o the adherence of the rubble rock.
Mi tigation has been u t i lized and successful i n many ways, such as wet
lands and the replacement o f hard bottom removed by beach renourishment
or dredging. There i s no reason why the above mentioned could n o t be
appl led towards " 1 tve rock"?

Don't add t o the current economic impacts that face small business
entities daily by closing rock harvest completely. Many businesses w i l l be
affected, not just the collectors. The health o f marine l i f e and marlne f i s h
depend heavily on the presence of l l v e rock i n an aquarium.

,
,
Most sincerely, A;i . L , 4 -
.-           l ,     .
G ? , ,- /L' &w L-
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6, C'   ,       3300Y'
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r
M. Gary ~ e s n i k
Econocaribe Consolidators
2401 N.W. 6 9 Street
M i a m i , ~ l o r i d a33147

January 4th, 1994

r
M . Roger Puglieae:
South A t l a n t i c Fishery Management Council
One Southpark Circle, Suite 3 0 6
Charleston, S.C. 29407-4699                                           J
JAN 041994
.
SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY
MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
Dear Mr. P u g l i e s e ;                                            .-  2

A t Econocaribe Consolidators, w e have had a living reef
aquarium f o r over two years und i t i s p o s i t i o n e d between m o f f i c e
y
and the main conference room. This living reef has been the focal
point both aesthetically and educationally f o r persons entering t h e
conference room.
-   -

However, I have been n o t i f i e d t h a t the building bass of t h e s e
l i v i n g reefs (LIVE ROCK) w i l l soon be i l l e g a l to collect in the
federal waters o f f t h e Florida Keys. M r . Pugliesv, I believe that
l i v i n g reef nqunriums need good quality l i v e rock ( s p e c i a l l y
intricate l e d g e s and flat shapes) to g i v e the aquariums a
f u n c t i o n a l l y r e a l i s t i c appearance.

1 s i n c e r e l y hope that you w i l l u s e your expertise t o manage
the l i v e rock fishery as a sustainable resource that i s important
to our community both educationally and as a source of income for
many, including those who maintain these living reefs aquariums.
Thank you for your time and consideration and hope you feel the

Sincerely You      S,

JUf,.r   i
f v'P

roo @
Jd-
-

TO: South A t l a n t i c F i s h e r y Management Council
FROM: Reef Systems & Supporting R e t a i l Establishments i n S
Re: ~ i v e
Rock
Date: 12/29/93
lEc&rwx;;:
151                 i/

JAN 041994
Dear M r . Roger P u g l i e s e :
SOUTH A T W T I C FISHERY
W a r e w r i t i n g t h i s l e t t e r w i t h t h e concern on t h e c oslng of
e                                                                                   FEME       CGUNCIL
l i v e rock c o l l e c t i n g .     A s r e t a i l e s t a b l i s h m e n t s i n South F l o r i d a
d e a l i n g with supplying l i v i n g reef systems, w e j o i n t l y oppose t h e
ban on c o l l e c t i n g Live f l r u b b l e l frock.           A s you know, t h i s type of
rock i s t h e foundation of t h e l i v i n g r e e f aquariums.                          e
W support
t h e e f f o r t s of t h e F l o r i d a Live Rock A l l i a n c e , who a r e s t r i v i n g f o r
a c o n t r o l l e d management p l a n .
A s we understand, t h e r e i s no s c i e n t i f i c evidence t o determine
t h a t t h e h a r v e s t i n g of r u b b l e rock, i s o r has a d e t r i m e n t a l a f f e c t
t o t h e reef- areas.                  The environmental parameter of waves and
t u r b u l e n c e c o l l e c t t h e rock and sand i n a s p e c i f i c a r e a , i t h i n d e r s
t h e p r o c e s s of t h e s e t t l i n g of c o r a l l a r v a . T h i s i s because t h i s
zone i s considered a h i g h l y dynamic area, which i s consta-ntly-being
rearranged. Therefore; c o r a l l a r v a c o u l d s e t t l e on t h e rubble r o c k ,
however; t h e y do n o t grow t o a mature r e p r o d u c t i v e l e v e l , due t o
t h i s environmental parameter, t h i s w i l l prevent t h i s a r e a from e v e r
becoming a s t a b l e l i v i n g c o r a l reef h a b i t a t .
By c o l l e c t i n g t h e rock s t r i c t l y i n rubble zone a r e a s , t h e r e i s
no adverse a f f e c t t o t h e c o r e reef a r e a s . The c o l l e c t i n g of r o c k
i s b u i l d i n g an economical s t r u c t u r e n a t i o n wide and t h o s e who a r e
economically dependent on t h i s market w i l l b e i n f a v o r of t h e
c o n s e r v a t i o n of t h i s r e s o u r c e .      T h i s market does n o t have any
d e t r i m e n t a l a f f e c t on t h e l o b s t e r , f i s h o r s h e l l f i s h i n d u s t r i e s .
N e i t h e r , on t h e a e s t h e t i c s of l i v i n g r e e f s which b r i n g m i l l i o n s of
d o l l a r s from t h e t o u r i s m i n d u s t r y .
e
W urge r e t a i l e r s n a t i o n wide t o s u p p o r t t h e management
program of c o l l e c t i n g Rubble Rock, s i n c e t h i s market enhances and
i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o markets of aquarium a c c e s s o r i e s , which a r e
a b i g g e r and more p r o f i t a b l e market t h a n t h e rock.                    Accessories
such as, a c r y l i c t a n k s , pumps, l i g h t s , wet-dry f i l t e r systems,
p r o t e i n s k i m e r s , bio-media, chemical r e s i n s , and t h e l i s t goes on
and on and on; and n o t t o mention f i s h which l i v e l o n g e r i n t a n k s
t h a t a r e s u p p l i e d w i t h l i v e r u b b l e r o c k i n l i v i n g r e e f aquariums.
A s you can imagine t h e s a l t water aquarium i n d u s t r y i s worth
m i l l i o n s of d o l l a r s a y e a r and t h e rock i n d u s t r y , i n South F l o r i d a
a l o n e , i s worth over 1 m i l l i o n a y e a r .           I t is e s t i m a t e d t h a t f o r
every $200.00 s p e n t i n l i v e rock, a n o t h e r$1000.00 i s spent i n
aquarium a c c e s s o r i e s .        This f i g u r e n a t i o n wide is w e l l worth
m i l l i o n s of d o l l a r s i n rock and a c c e s s o r i e s . So a s c o l l e c t o r s and
r e t a i l e r s w e urge you t o p r o t e c t and support t h i s i n d u s t r y ! ! !
As a marine collector and owner of Reef Systems.

V
Lorenzo F. ~     l     v    a     r      e   e

Phone: ( 3 0 5 ) 252-3818 and beeper ( 3 0 5 ) 567-4803

By Appointment
SOME WINOSFISm
6 6 N S 126th STRZn
~ 0 ~ ~ 4 # L 3 3 7 6 f

Pet Boutique

Reef Keeper Marine. Inc.
50Ql Brd Rd. 014. E

fresh and sahvoter fish
aquarium supplies
custom aquariums
tank maintenance
8373 S.W. 40th Street
Miami Florida 33 155
T ~ I .(365) 227-9414
[E,E
I
January 6, 1084                                                 k

JAN 06 1994
Mr. Roger Pugilese                                                  SOUTH ATLANTIC F I S H E ~ Y
MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Southpark Bulldlng, Sulte 306
1 Southpark Circle
Charleston, South Carolina 29407-4889

Dear Mr. Pugliese:

Kent Marine is a manufacturer of water filtration equlpment and chemical supplements for
aquarlum use.

We are aware that you are taklng public comments on the issue of THE COLLECTION OF
LIVE ROCK In federal waers.

We would like to state our y l p ~ o r for the wnfinued_collectlon of Live Ro& tf properly
t
managed, Llve Rock collecting would be no more damaging to the envlronmrnt than
sport flthlng, boating or other activltiet that the government manages. It is much
much less damaglng than sewage from clties, large shipping, oil drilllng and many other
activities.
Marlne aquariums promote public undentendlng of the fragile nature of marlne life. Many
are in schools, restaurants and other publlc places.

Unfortuqately, our Industry is not a large one, and W is difficult for us to defend ourselves
against the ravings and radical and often dishonesl methods of environmentalists. We do
however employ a number of people, end Indeed the pet shops of thls country have came to
depend on live rock collected in U.6. waters. We also would Hke to see 8 sustainable yield
of live rock, and some controls are in order.
As our ewnomy trler to &me out of recession, President Clinton has said that he is
dependant on Small Business to provide the Jobsto build a strong economy. Small Buslness
Is alnady.pushed to the maximum wllh environmental and safety lews, new upcoming taxes
for healthcan etc. You are rsklng us to save our economy, coutdnY the federal government
tly to cooperate somewhere?

Plerra manage the collecting of live rock but do not outlaw it!

'.lack Kent
Owner
RQUARIUM PRODUCTS            TEL N o . 4 1 0 - 7 6 1 - 6 4 5 8
-

AQUARIUM PRODUCTS
180-L PENROD COURT
GLEN BURNIE, MD 21061
(410) 761-2100
January 6,1994        p3~mv~
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
JAN 071994
I
!
Southpark Building, Suite 306
1 Southpark Circle                                            SOUTH ATLANTICFISHERY
Charleston, South Carolina 294074699                           IU\AHAGEMENT COUNG~L

Attn: Mr. Roger Pugliese
Re; Collection o "live rock"
f
Members of the Council;

I have just entered into my 50th year in the aquarium business; and, in all this
time, I haven't seen such a significantly tiny segment of the harvesting from
natural resources to be blown entirely out of proportion and given so much
attentton!!

In one storm, Ihave watched more "live rock" thrown up on m e beach by waves
than the aquarium industry would use by the year 2020!! So, depriving 35
collectors their well earned livelihood, the livelihood of the dealers to whom they
ship and the rest of the businesses that earn a living from this "rock" would really
only hurt the very economy that needs bolstering. This would just send another
.   . business to our overseas competitors.

Nothing is lost even to the misinformed ecologists, as these same individuals
that called are even willing to put rock back into the ocean as a form of
aquaculture ifthe State of Florida would make it easier!

As a pioneer in this hobby and industry, I appeal to the "common sense" of the
members ofthe Council. Look to the positive effect of allowing the collection of
this necessary "living rock":

1. It teaches ecology, marine science, the beauty and fascination of
nature and utilizes what is wasted in natural storms.

2. It helps the economy and the taxes that came into the effected states.

3. Through aquaculture, it could even develop further
RQUQRIUM PRODUCTS          TEL ~ 0 . 4 1 0 - 7 6 1 - 6 4 5 8

Please look at this situation in an unbiased, sensible light and you will see that
there is really no harm being done! The Collection and growing of "living rock"
will be an advantage to the States involved. I ' not like mining or pumping oil -
ts
nothing will be harmed and many will be helped.

Keep the United States strong by not destroying the initiatives of the few who are
trying to do something right!! Small businesses helped "build this nation"!

Sincerely,

AQUARIUM PRODUCTS

-   -
Merrill Cohen, President
(Former Mayor of Baltimore's Committee member for the founding of the
National Aquarium in Baltimore; former first board member of the National
Aquarium in Battimore; member of farmer U. S. Senator 'Mac" Mathias
committee on the Environment and preserving the Chesapeake Bay.)
January 7, 1994

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Southpark Building, Suite 306 1 Southpark Circle
Charleston, SC 29407-4699
Attn: Roger Pugliese

Dear Roger,
I am writing this letter to protest the restrictions being considered on the
harvesting of live rock. I have been involved in the marine hobby for only five
years. In that short period of time, I have learned a great deal about the biology
of marine organisms and the ecology of marine environments. My knowledge
was gleaned simply as a matter of maintaining a marine aquarium and reading
associated literature. As a marine aquarium hobbyist, I was disappointed to
learn of the banning of live rock collection in State waters. Now, with the advent
of further restrictions, I am compelled to voice my strong opposition.
As you may know, live rock is used in types of marine aquaria referred to as
"reef tanks," According to surveys in the hobbyist literature there are -     --
approximately 200,000-250,000 reef tanks worldwide. Relative to other
pastimes such as scuba diving, we are a small lot indeed. We are also not vety
organized and, consequently, are unable to defend ourselves against those
who criticize us. I hope to give you more information in order to allow you to
make a decision based on fact instead of one based on the emotional
statements of others.
I would like to begin by stating that live rock is a renewable natural resource.
Live rock is essentially the dead skeletons of reef-building corals "cemented*
together by means of calcareous algae where it becomes a substrate for new
coral growth and a home for a variety of marine fauna. Often, the skeletons fall
to the bottom of the reef where again they become live rock and act as shelter
for various marine fauna Here, because of sediment and lack of light, coral
growth cannot occur on the rock. It is this rock that has fallen away and is
devoid of coral growth that is used as substrate material in the aquarium trade.
Had this material been allowed to stay on the ocean bottom it would have
eventually become part of the marine sediment (i.8. sand) due to the effects of
wave action and boring organisms. This is a continual process as corals grow
and collapse due to wave action, storms, fish, boring organisms, etc. Corals
incorporate free calcium from the water into calcium carbonate as part of their
skeleton. It is estimated that literally tens of thousands of tons of calcium
carbonate is deposited by corals each year! My point here is that live rock is not
a "fossil resource," and although I do not have supporting scientific evidence at
this time, I have little doubt that the rate of calcium carbonate deposition is
orders of magnitude greater than that harvested as live rock for the aquarium

Z'd
If I have not convinced you that the impact on the environment is negligible, let
me discuss the educational aspects of this wonderful hobby! Those of us
maintaining marine reef aquaria do not take our responsibilities lightly. The
financial costs alone dictate that these aquaria are not simply "floral
arrangements" where specimens are atlowed to die only to be replaced by new
arrivals. There is a genuine concern for all organisms kept such that success is
determined by specimens thriving and reproducing not just "staying alive." Of
course, this concern for our miniature ecosystems naturally includes the wild
ecosystems as well. I have become keenly aware of issues affecting natural
coral reefs. In fact, the more I learn the more 1 am convinced of the importance
of the aquarium as an educational tool. Of the 100+ people who have viewed
my tank, the vast majority will never see a natural coral reef. Before viewing my
tank, corals were nothing more than interesting "rock formations" growing on the
ocean bottom. People who view my tank listen to what Isay and walk away with
a new awareness of the importance and beauty of coral animals. For it is only
after becoming aware of something can you begin to care and ultimately act.
I'm not saying that after viewing my tank people go out and petition oil
companies to use multi-hulled ships. However, they will at least be moved
when they hear of a tanker running upon a reef, or of clear-cutting causing
siltation and smothering reefs in tropical island communities, or destructive
fishing methods such as the Mexican shrimp trawlers, or even French nuclear
bomb testing on reefs! Perhaps some will be inspired into direct action,       --
perhaps others indirectly. The point is that a level of awareness and all the
potential for action has been attained.
It appears to me that the issue of live rock harvesting has divided "hobbyists"
and "conservationalists." Nothing can be further from the twth. Aquarium
hobbyists are very sensitive of the natural effects of their hobby. If it was
demonstrated that the hobby was truly negatively affecting natural ecosystems,
the vast majority, myself included, would stop today. But I am convinced this is
not the case. The negligible environmental impact that might exist is by far
outweighed by the education the hobby provides. Based on this, I believe in the
context of this issue a "hobbyist" is a person who bases their arguments on
direct observation and fact, whereas a "conservationist" is someone who bases
their arguments on emotion and scare tactics. It is my sincerest hope that cooler
heads will prevail and the controlled harvesting of live rock be allowed to
continue.

Sincerely,

Gregory E. Cook
213 Horizon Avenue
Mountain View, CA 94043
415/ 965-4248

E'd
F   . i? 1
EL$g 'Q1EFlNG BOOK ADDITION k 5 5 3 c_-, GREEHBROOH POOLS /3 bo3- 7 6 ? - ~ ~ 3 0 @ %8 - Li'3 6k 'p&EE u - 9j/ JAN 101994 IRA GRABOW *b~~&yi - J r . 1650 MADAUGA AVE.. SUITE 4C8 CORAL GABLES. FL 3 3 ; 4 6 - TEL: (305) 66 1.0707 F A X (305) 86 1-76 10 C?C G566p0 CGL 007215 FING BOOK ADD. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council December 29, 1993 p""QV I', 12i \11. qn jAN 1 0 1994 Attn: Robert Mahood 1 Southpark Circle #306 Charleston, SC 24407 (Iiffm*reedy Dear Council Members: 6204 N- 1t Street 8h I wish to express my support for a total and immediate ban on live rock collection in Arlington, VA 22205 fisheries under your jurisdiction. Please consider this letter during the hearings to be Ph.:703.538.4568 held in January on this matter. I As a scuba diver, I support preserving coral reefs to the maximum extent possible. Coral reefs provide the richest habitat anywhere in the marine environment. Apart from their stunning natural beauty and vibrant displays of marine life, reefs offer high biological value, species diversity, and productivity. Many important species rely on reefs for habitat and food, including fisheries of great economic importance to the United States. Unfortunately, coral reefs are suffering from the effects of pollution, overdevelopment of coastal areas, and overfishing. .- Of all the available uses for this resource, wild coral collection is the most destructive and unsustainable. At any level or rate, coral harvesting damages the resource. Coral organisms take decades to produce live rock and hundreds of years to create reefs, and it takes too long for the reefs to recover from damage. The taking of corals also weakens the remaining coral organisms and makes them more susceptible to disease. Moreover, the damage causes a ripple effect on other species that rely on the reef for habitat. In the end, live rock and coral harvesting is like committing environmental genocide. It pulls the rug out from under thousands of species and attacks the health .of the ecosystem. The minimal economic value of harvesting coral is cancelled ten times over by the damage done to the resource itself. I ask the Ccuncil to take a stand against this harmful practice. Please ban coral and live rock collection, not in three years, but immediately. I implore you to weigh the long- term consequences for our natural resources and to forgo any short-term economic gain. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns. Sincerely, Cliff McCreedy CC: Representative Jim Moran Senator Charles Robb Senator John Warner Project ReefKeeper . . A N D ~ ~ ~ ~ C N L I V E R O EQ Z ( U QI ( N ~ ~ G ~ JAN) 101994 ~ SOUTH A T U N T l i FISHERv As a businessman, d i v e r , snorkler, water lover, b o a t o MANAGEMENT COUNCIL wner, a q u a r i u m k e e p e r , a n d t a x p a y e r , I m o s t s t r o n q l y o b j e c t t o any f o r m of r e q u l a t i o n a g a i n s t t h e h a r v e s t f n g o f l i v e r o c k from t h e ocean f l o o r . T h i s i s j u s t a n o t h e r c o n c e n t r a t e d a t t e m p t by s e v e r - a l e n v i r o n m e n t a l g r o u p s t o e n f o r c e t h e i r b e l i e f s on t h e p e o p l e o f F l o r i d a and t h e U.S.A. without evidence t o substantiate these be1 l e f s . U s i n g t h e Bambi syndrome a s t h e i r a r g u m e n t b a s i s , t h e y t u r n a b a r i c ; l ~ . ~ h a r m l e s s p r o f e s s i o n i n t o t h e r a p e o f t h e Keys and o t h e r off-shore waters. The o n l y s t u d i e s d o n e on r o c k r e m o v a l have shown i t t o be a c o n s t a n t l y r e n e w a b l e r e s o u r c e due t o t h e c o n - s t a n t _ e r o s i o n I and s h i f t i n g o f t h e o c e a n f l o o r . The r i d i c u l o u s r e m a r k s i n t h e H e r a l d made by c e r t a l n a n t i - c o l l e c t i n g i n d i v i d u a l s , " T h e h a r v e s t i n g of l i v i n g t h i n g s I s a priviledge. I t i s n o t a b a s i c human r i g h t . " make me wonder if t h i s i s n o t a p e r s o n a l v e n d e t t a i n s t e a d o f an e c o l o g i c a l c o n c e r n . State- m e n t s s u c h a s " T h e r e m o v a l o f h a r d b o t t o m a r e a s t h a t w o n ' t be r e - t u r n e d e x c e p t on a g e o l o g i c . s c a l e M a n d ' I n some a s p e c t s i t may be t h e b u i l d i n g b l o c k s o f f u t u r e r e e f a r e a s t 1 a r e so b r o a d and m i s - l e a d i n g t h a t t h e e x a c t o p p o s i t e v i e w c o u l d be s t a t e d w i t h as much t r u t h as these remarks contain. ( T h e s e q u o t e s a r e f r o m t h e M i a m i ~ e r a l d1 / 9 / 9 4 . ) When a c o n t r o l l e d s t u d y i s done by q u a l i f i e d , u n - b i a s e d p r o f e s - s i o n a l s a n d a . d e c i s i o n i s made c o n s i d e r i n g a 1 1 t h e a s p e c t s o f t h i s p r o f e s s i o n b o t h e c o n o m i c a l l y and e c o l o g i c a l l y , Iw i l l f u l l y support w h a t e v e r d e c i s i o n i s made, b u t . t o h a v e a d e c i s i o n r e a c h e d on t h e h y s t e r i c a l c r i e s o f u n d e r q u a l i f i e d i n d i v i d u a l s o r n o i s y groups would be an i n s u l t t o e v e r y t h i n k i n g r e s i d e n t o f F l o r i d a a n d t h e U . S . A . . RICK PETTS / PETTS -- . SHIEFING BOOK ADDITIC; . ~ E ~ E G n JAN 10 1994 SOUTH A T M T I C FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL B J ' s PET PALACE 2140w. B U S C H B L V D . TAMPA, FLORIDA 33612 January 9 , 1 9 9 4 To Whom I t May Conccrn: Re: Amendment ot t h e Coral Management Plan A a a Pet Shop owner for the past t e n years in the Bay a r e a , I cannot begin to express my conccrn over the possibility of a ban on live rock. When establishing a salt water aquaria, base rock is the ideal media to use. Not only does it a c t aa a filter, but because of the porous texture of the rock it establishes the perfect bed to grow good bacteria, which is essential for cycling a salt water tank. After a week you start adding live rock and your tank should be cycled within 2 - 3 weeks. At this point, whe-n y o b - s t a r t adding fish, the live rock starts to play an even bigger role, s i n c e many reef creatures depend 011 the live rock for their existance. Most p e t shop personnel that deal in salt water fish and our customers a s well, all work towards the optimum natural environment for our reef aquaria. If you take away the live rock from salt water aquaria the results will be disasterous. The two go hand in hand. I have talked with a few hands on collectors over the years and all o f them stem to follow the same guide lines. Most rock collecting dives are done 10 miles or more from the shoreline and in 40 - 60 feet of water in numerous locations. How can you honcstly say that the harvesting of live rock is ruining the marine ecology? The earth is covered by 2/3 water and the small amount of rock that is collected for the pet industry could hardly make a dent in the vast amount of rock that is available, A s a business owner I know that if this amendment is p a s s e d , I will stand t o lose 50% of my business. We cannot let this happen! This will not only effect myself but the millions of other people all over the country from manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, collectors, hobbyists e t c . who will be affected by the passage of t h i v amendment. I strongly suggest that you research this amendment more carefully and start getting the opinions of more q u a l i f i e d people such as marine biologists and harvesters and stop listening to t h e environmentalists who h a v e little or no knowledge on this issue. Thank You. Beverly J. beHs, Owner ?. J ' s P e t F a l a c e -. . .-- . , .. . ' . ' ' lb 2.' JAN 12 1994 SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL January 1 0 , 1994 South A t l a n t i c F i s h e r y Management Council 1 South Park C i r c l e , S u i t e 306 Charleston, S. C. 29407-4699 Gentlemen 8 The Coral Reef S o c i e t y s t r o n g l y s u p p o r t s a l l e f f o r t s towards p r o h i b i t i n g t h e c o l l e c t i o n of l i v e rock from t h e F l o r i d a seabed f o r the enhancement of a r t i f i c i a l aquarium r e e f environments. S h e l l c o l l e c t o r s and t r o p i c a l f i s h c o l l e c t o r s have a l r e a d y decimated those populations off - - Palm Beach County. C o l l e c t o r s have v i r t u a l l y e l i m i n a t e d o n c e - p l e n t i f u l c o l o r f u l tree s n a i l s from t h e Keys. Before t h e same f a t e befalls l i v i n g rock environments, we urge t h a t a f i r m s t a n d be t a k e n f e d e r a l l y t o supplement t h e S t a t e of F l o r i d a ban on t h i s p r a c t i c e . Yours v e r y t r u l y , hr~& S ~ u d y chrafft Chairman - 3 ~ 1 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ R r ) f l ~ ~ # ~ ~ ! T u a* 1s2pu1 -4. ' 3- -- = - .- - I a#-@ # d u U w 0 r e w e g I W U 4 I JAN 1 2 1994 SOUTH ATW(TIC F~SHER~ EMENT COUNC"- Softcare Certified - 1 ~~~~~l~~~~ Consulting Services Technolo Network Systems lntmration Operating System and ~pplicationSupport Christopher A. Tippins, President Fax Cover Sheet To: Company Name: Phone: Fax: From: Date: Comments: Number of Pages: (Including this one) - 1650 NE 115th Street Suite 111 - Miami, Florida 33181 Voice 1 Fax (305) 895-7065 / CIS 72530,215 Technologies, Inc. - Christopher A. Tippins President Certified Consuttant January 12, 1994 Mr. Roger Pugliese South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Southpark Building, Suite 306 1 Southpark Circle Charleston, SC 29407-4520 (803) 57 1-4366 (803) 7694520 (Fax) - - My name is Christopher A. Tippins. I live in Miami, Florida. I currently maintain a 135 gallon marine "living reef' aquarium using live rock to provide essential biological functions as well as aesthetic natural appearances. I also have two 55 gallon aquariums that I will be converting over to use live rock in the near future, as this provides, in my experience, a much sounder method of biological filtration then standard undergravel filters. In my immediate area I know of approximately 3 dozen other hobbyists who also employ live rock in the marine aquariums. I believe that live rock is an essential component to a successful marine tank. o The purpose of this letter b to petition you t continue to allow a managed harvest of live rock in federal waters, and to go on public record favoring such a position. I would also like to request a copy of your findings and recommendations when they are ready. I support those businesses which Collect this rock in compliance with applicable State and Federal regulations. Additionally, I suppoR the continuing efforts to saentifically study the impact live rock collection has on the. marine environment as well as efforts to educate the public on other environmental factors that may impact our seas. - - 1650 NE 115th Street Suite 111 Miami, FL 33181 - Voice/Fax (305) 895-7065 CIS 72530,215 305-895-7065 SOFTCQRE TECH. I NC. It is my personal opinion that other factors (such as dredging, deforestation, pollution, gas and oil drilling or exploration) constitute a much more serious threat to the life in our oceans and waterways than does the harvest of live rock. A simple and recent case in point is the recent rupture of the hull of an oil tanker off the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, which has caused untold loss of sea life, and probably has destroyed for many, many years, the ecosystem of that region. I would like to see the efforts of your organization directed towards these vitally important issues, as I believe they will cause both a short and long term detrimental effect to our marine environment. The keeping of a "living reeP' marine aquarium has brought to me (and many others as well) countless hours of enjoyment, as well as (and more importantly) a greater understanding and concern for the delicate relationship we have with the marine environment. -- I am a member of the Marine Aquarium Society of North America. I am also a member and Vice President of the Florida Marine Aquarum Society. The opinions expressed in this letter are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of either M.A.S.N.A. or F.M.A.S. I appreciate this opportunity to bring these matters to your attention. Sincerely, Christopher A. Tippins . . - '. \ ^..I ..? R LGI Page 1 01 3 F. Donald Ahee, Jr. 3 90 1 East Broadn-a\.~ 1 1 - d . T Tucson. Arizona 857 1 1 A d?F_ ~05& (602) 323-5 122 Fas 323-5156 Januan 11. 1991 lB,,,vEl Mr. Roger Pugliese JAN 121994 South -4tlanticFishery ?r,lanagementCouncil SOUTH ATLXYTIC FISHERY Southpark Building$306                                                                W E M E N T COUNClL
1 Southpark Circle
Charleston SC 29407-4699

RE:      Live Rock regulation

Mr.Pugliese:
I understand that your organization is currently reviewing the collection practices -and rigidations
conceming live ocean rock. I'd like to register my views.

I feel there are forces acting against our ocean resources that need active attention. Forces such as siltation
pesticides. fertilizers. boating and anchor damage. food fishing abuses. curios collection and _general
pollution are challenging our oceans. I do not however. see collecting for the aquarium hobby as a
overwhelming factor in relation to these other sources of ocean resource degradation.

I believe live rock can be. and should be managed and regulated as a renewable resource. I favor the
licensing of collectors beyond basic fishing licenses and phasing out wild collection while phasing in of the
aquaculture of rock over a 5 year period.

I'm a devoted aquarist successfully keeping live corals for several years. I cannot express how valuable this
hobby is to the education of myself and others on these fantastic animals. My peers and I are developing
propagation techniques that we feel will lead to complete aquaculture of all these animals in the future.
Live rock is the basis for these advances by which critical biolo@cal and zoological seeds grow into
scientific discovery as well as educational display.

Thanl; you.

Don .4hee. Jr.

plafmc
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BRIEFING BOO                                                              ITI 6 ;                             JAN 1 2 1994                        1

,.
SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY

)
B-
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SOPHISTICATED AQUARIUM
7831 Bird Road                 Miami, F\arida 331 55
MANAGEMENT        COUNCIL

1    DATE                       T lME                       A.M.   a P.M.                  NUMBER OF PAGES
(Including Cover Letter):

I    NOTE: If YOU dld not ,OC.IV~ of IhO paga or If YOU M r ~ u Q s ~ M 0.iI the wetHylng number (MIOW).
@I1                     I        p   ~ o I ~

I
ATTENTION

REMARKS:
As a t r o p i c a l f i s h s t o r e owner f o r n e a r l y 3 4 y e a r s , I h a v e seen
many c h a n g e s i n t h e k e e p i n g o f s a l t w a t e r a q u a r i u m s .    One o f t h e m o s t
b e n e f i c f a l o f t h e s e has been t h e i n c r e a s e d u s e of l i v e r o c k and b a s e
rock i n t h e aquarium s e t t i n g .             G r e a t advancements i n a q u a r i u m l i g h t l n g
a n d f i l t r a t i o n h a v e made t h e k e e p i n g of t h e s e r o c k s a l t v e , h e a l t h y , a n d
flourlshlng.             O r g a n i c a l l y dead r o c k can e v e n a c q u i r e l i v e g r o w t h o n I t
a f t e r b e l n g exposed t o t h e 1 i v e r o c k u n d e r p r o p e r a q u a r i u m conditions.
Immense p l e a s u r e and g r e a t l e a r n i n g s t r l d e s a r e b e i n g m a d e by
a q u a r l s t s w o r l d w i d e I n . a l l a s p e c t s o f t h i s hobby,     Many a n a q u a r l s t
c a n t e l l more a b o u t t h e I l f e a b o u n d i n g on a I t v e r o c k i n h l s a q u a r i u m
t h a n i s b e i n g b a n d i e d a b o u t now b y p e o p l e w i t h ho k n o w l e d g e o r e x p e r i e n c e
r e g a r d i n g t h e s u b j e c t . L e t us n o t c o n f u s e t h e t a k i n g of l l v e r o c k t o
c r e a t e a b e a u t f f u l l i v i n g r e e f f a r f r o m t h e ocean f o r t h e e n j o y m e n t and
e d u c a t i o n o f many, many p e o p l e t o t h e t h l e v e r y o r d e s t r u c t i o n o f c o r a l s .
The oceans and t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t s a r e n o t s o l e l y f o r t h e use o f a
s e l e c t g r o u p o f t h e h e a l t h y , w e a l t h y , and c a p a b l e t o e n j o y , n o r a r e t h e y
t h e r e s t r i c t l y f o r b o a t e r s , f i s h e r m e n , l o b s t e r m e n , o i l d r l l l l n g , beach
r e f u r b i s h i n g or treasure hunters.                 Each o f t h e s e a c t l v l t i e s c e r t a i n l y
cause " e n v i r o n m e n t a l damage", b u t t h e y a t s o p r o v i d e b e n e f f t s , w h i c h I s
why t h e y e x i s t .      The b e n e f i t s o f 1 4 v e r o c k and b a s e r o c k I s - t h a t - t h e y
g r e a t l y h e l p t o b r i n g e d u c a t l o n and p l e a s u r e t o m i l l l o n s o f p e o p l e who
w o u l d o t h e r w i s e n e v e r be e x p o s e d t o i t , They have h e l p e d t o c r e a t e a
new dimension i n a q u a r i u m k e e p i n g n e v e r b e f o r e p o s s i b l e .
The b a n n i n g o f c o l l e c t i n g r o c k now, w i t h no s c i e n t i f i c e v i d e n c e t o
s u p p o r t t h e c l a i m s made by m l s - g u t d e d e n v i r o n m e n t a l i s t s w o u l d be c r l m i n a l
To d e p r i v e t h e young, t h e e l d e r l y , o r t h e i n f i r m f r o m e v e r y walk o f l i f e
.
a s o u r c e o f p l e a s u r e , e n t e r t a i n m e n t and e d u c a t i o n w o u l d be very,?hort-
s i g h t e d , L e t t h e o p p o n e n t s o f r o c k c o l l e c t i n g r e n d e r p r o o f that.&      the
g r e a t ocean s t r i p p e r t h e y say I t i s ,           I b e l q e v e t h e y w i l l have much
d i f f i c u l t y I n d o i n g so.       On t h e o t h e r hand, we c a n p r o v e t h e g r e a t s t r i d e s
we a r e m a k i n g i n t h e k e e p i n g , g r o w t h , and c u l t u r e o f t h e l l v e r o c k a n d
other marine environment.
FROM :         SER LIFE INC.           /        KEN NEDIMYER                 PHONE NO.    : 305 E52 3500
.   ,--.   .   --...        - .

P.O. Box 7 12
Tavernier, F1.33070
305-852-4955
Fax 305-852-3500
January 12th, 1994

To:Tl~e
Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils

Dear Council members,                                                                                                   - .

As a harvester of livc; m k ru~d owner and operator or a wholcsalc tropicnl fish
tilo
busiltcss u i thc K c p , I'd likc to mwurrrgc you to roooxwider your preeent positiom on the
fbture of live rock harvest in thc Floridn Keys. The preference of the SAFMC to
inm~edisttly  close the hamest upon passage of this ammendment seems a bit harsh given
the circurnstanccs. I don't see m y reason to pursue this position and it surprises me you
are cvm considering it. Even vow own economiet who wrote the economic sectlon of
the a m g r t s u n e c s t c c l a manaced harvest.instcnd ofimnlediate closure (Panes
23 and 2 9 .

e
I've rd the ammendment sevcrnl times and am umazed that a sovemment apencv

and t seriouslv d
o                        S           s          m           p        i         . If
you continue on this course, dozens of fishcrmcn will be in serious financial trouble, and
hundreds, pcrhap thousands, of pet shops, wholesatere and manutkcturers will fel
significant financial losscv as thc price ot-mck skyrockets and availability goes way down.
Live rock fiom Florida is i many ways the backbone of the marine aquarium trade and
n
m y serious disruption in it's availability will cause serious problems.

Seven4 options a r e available to you and I would suggest you D              one~that d o w s                    U
for a manaped hanest which could sustain the trade until an alternative b found.
You scum to bc: pushing hard for aquaculture as the solution, but how can you expect us to
go this route when the State DER up until now is saying "don't bother to apply for a
dredge and fill permit in the Keys". This fishcry is primarily based in the Keys and that is
where we will need to be able to have our leascs if we it is to survive here. I know that
mme b c h e s of the Fl.Dept. of Environmental Protaction Agency are gung ho about
aquacuhre, but not all have caught the fever &d as a result thcre's dill no likelihood of
getting the needed pzimits in the Keys. Several applications are now going through the
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FROn :       SEn 'L IFE INC.   /   KEN NED INYER   PHONE NO.   : 305 €52 3500

see how you can call it au option and fmit on us. I would like to see yo11hase any
closure o phase out on the success of Lhese individuals getting their permits and also on
r
the marketability of their product. To date there is no reliablc estimate as to how long it
will take to produce a g o d quality, marketable rock on im open water lease sitc i the
n
Keys. I think the amendment's figure of six months to a couple yearn may be a bit wishrui.

M v rec~mmendation the management of Live rock would be along the lines of
7
for
=on C. 1. n or c.1.b aa Ustcrl on p a ~ 8 of the amendment m d explained later in the
c
text. If an annual quote system is adopted I would suggest W the ~ u o t be divided up
a
into inmths or quarten so that thc harvest could be s ~ r e a d ovef the year. I
out
would prefer option h which is w limit acce~sleffoTf.YOU    could limit ;LCCCRCI by requiring
a specid permil and onh. isstte p e d t s to those individuals who have reported Uve
rock ladines in tlie last veer. This would stop and growth in numbers and would
eliminate those individuals who have not been r v i n g . You could also limlt effort by
nstrlcthp the M v harvevt amount, similar to what thc State of Florida did i their  n
propused phase out. In this option you wuld also have o provision to reduce the daily-
take of wild live rock ar quacultured rock began to bc h m d so that those-individuals
who can't afford to get an aquaculture leasc could still harvest a mall amount of live rock
(200 1bs per day) for their custornm. This reduced b e a t would also help provide the
necewuy base rock (rubble rock) for starting and maintaining new systems. I think it is
imperative that you allow somc foxm o f wild harvest until an aquaculture industry is
established and is producing u hndional substitute for natural base rock.

I realize the pressure i going to bc on you to yield t prwure fiom the State of Florida
s                          o
arid vote their way. What and who is driving them to push this issue like they are is
beyond mt;. Do Urcv (or you for that matter) reallv bclleve that the part time efforts
of 40 to SO collectors work in^ out of 20 faat boats are r &  e     no in^ t have an
o
impact on a resource that c c b w e m Inlundds of square.miles and candsts oftrllliuns
of tons of rock? What are they uumplishLig by this charade? Who do they think
they're hiCWi~lg?Tilc1.0arc a lot ofpcoplc depending on you to mnnsge fieheries and
aquatic;resources b a d on sound scientific; &(lr tu~d x~lctt~ods cnaotimdism and
not
l
p l i t i ~ apressure. I' you dmY have sound &tn then look into w i n g some. There is no
f
immediate danger ofrumixig out of live rock so t m i time to a least do some basic
h s            t
studies on lt. llave an indcpcndcnt d y s r look ar ir and w e iChc cia11~ V pSJ U a b c t k
ppdive.         Don't blindlv bclicvc tho " e x ~ e rfindin~s"
t        from the State of
Florida.

Sincerely,

Sea Life Inc.
TQMPQ ERu SQLTWQTER      TEL N o . 1 - 8 1 3 - $7 5 - 8 5 0 1 Jan l d , 9 4 1 2 : 0 2 N o . 3 3 2 ?.;: -1-813875-3574 V MARINE LIFE Fax (813) 875-8501 January 14, 1994 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council 5401 W . Kennedy B l v d . L i n c o l n Center, #331 Tampa, FL 33069 Deat Council Members: - - I would like to comment on the impending regulations which are about to be implemented on live rock. I believe the council is correct in the belief that some sort of management, i.e. t r i p limits and limited entry, needs to be fostered by our industry. A cap on licenses and a 1,000 pound per day trip limit would prohibit the unlimited harvest now going on. Harvesting 1,600 pounds of live rock on the west coast is all two divers and a 24 f o o t b o a t can h a n d l e . nost rock divers, with the exception of the few uith 6 0 foot vessels, operate in this manner. We, as uholesalers, have become dependent on the income derived from live rock. I f a trip limit of less t.han 1,000 pounds per vessel is adopted, i t would put a s e v e r e financial loss at our f e e t and we uould not be able to continue in business. I believe that limited entry and trip limits now are the answer to over fishing. As for a phase out t o allow time for aquaculture, one must realize that it took me 5 years to obtain an 8 month permit for my aquaculture activities. A t this rate, even i f one tried to obtain a permit from the State of Florida, you would be looking at 3-5 y e a r s t o obtain i t now. I know this as I have a second lease in process and it is now over 1 1/2 years in process even though I was assured by t h e S t a t e t h a t i t would take 8 months to 1 year t o process. Gulf of M e x i c o Fishery Hanagement Counci 1 Page Two January 1 4 , 1 9 9 4 . T h u s , a t this p o i n t , aquaculture has no option unless we have a 1,000 pound per day harvest and a s t a b l e period of continued h a r v e s t o f 8-10 years to allow enough time t o obtain a l e a s e and allow proper growth time f o r the seed rock. I hope the council will rely on scientific d a t a and industry realities t o formulate policy! T M ~ ~ A T E R ,d hard Londercr Jan. 13, 1993 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Managemen1 Council Lincoln Center. Suite 33 1 5401 West Kennedy Boulevard Tampa, Florida 33609-2468 Y 13-228-2815 Dear Council Members. 1 auended your Public Heafing held in Pensacola this past Tuesday evening and was SO pleased with the turn out. The issue of Live Rock Harvest is such an importin1 one and both sides needcd the oppor~unityto present heir feelings on this topic. - - I've been a diver since 1985 so the hcalth m d well being of our natural recf syslem i s an issue I hold near and dear. 95'70 of my diving has been done out of Destin so naturnlly I am most concerned with my "back yard". Ar present time there are at least 3 'licensed' rock collec1ors in our comnlunity aggressively harves~ rock, one OF which has s criminal court live c u e pending for illegally harvesting in slate waters.( David L. Smith) Destins "oasis of reef in a desert of sand" cannot withstand this Lype of aggressive collecting. Another of the collectors ( Joe Howell - dealer number WD-5653) has quipped his boat with a hydraulic winch and a collection box which ci~uldaccomrnuda~e8 people! You can't cell me he just collecting !:he little rubble vs he big chiseled oTf c h u k s ! T am 100% for stopping the harvest of live rock. 1 am aiso 100% for letting any of the colleclors pursue aquacullure. but not at the expense of our natural reef. So I m adamantly against this phaseout period of 3 years. They had their phaseoul period and when [he harvest limit was reached it was overturned! Let these harvesters develop their own rock LO see if it can be donc, but no1 ar the sarne time as harvesting the wild rock that's Ief. Tf [he aquaculmre dwsn't work and d l the wild is gone aftcr 3 years, all rhat is ieE1 is sand. 1 am not an alarmist. 1 am a realist. I, and my fellow divers, am on thesc reefs day after day and it's so disheartening when you find a rusty crowbar or hammer on the reef or even a seclion missing or a small out cropping that's completely gone!!! and this can he seen of red in state and federal waters. Please adopt thc policy of the South Allanlic Courrcil and prohibit the harvesting complctcly! Lori Reid PAD1 D'vemaster 8 150 &@ WORDS & GR-iPHICS EMERALD COAST Jan. 13, 19993 SCHOOL SCUBA G l of Mexico Fishcry Management Council uf Lincoln Center. Suitc 331 5401 Wcst Kennedy Buulevard Tampa, Florida 33609-2468 8 13-228-2815 Fax 813-225-7015 Dcar Council Mem hers, The issuc of Live Rock Harvesting as been a very sensitive onc for me for several years. And with the recrni excelleration of h i s harvest uccumng in h e waters off of Desun. 1 feel adamant about expressing my concerns. - - According to FMFC stats there are approximately 35 individuals reporting landings. What this staristic doesn't rcprcscnt are the 'teamsoC divers' rhese individuals take o u harvesting ~ wilh them. This practice if cornmonplacc in our area wilh these 'team divers' beins paid on average$100.00 per day. With a team, instead of an individual, collecting you can see how
rampant destruction can and does occur.

1 applaud any individual who has the foresight LO endeavor into aquaculture. 11 is a
worthwhile enterprise that will hopefully produce posidve resulrs, but at the same time our
natural "wild rock" needs to be protected in the even h i s cultivated rock dtxsn't pan ouc
With this in mind, 1 do not support thc 3 ycar phase-out.

I am unyielding in m y support for h e tolal prohibition of live rock harvesting. In a
community as small as Des~inis, and with so many individuals involved in this practice, 1 can
of
foresee nothing but the eradica~ion our natural rcsource for the ecomonic profit of a few
who care nothing for a fishing community h a t have madc their living in this manner for
generations.

Please adopt the SAFMCs position on thc ban of wild rock harvesting.

Thank you,
Anna Schmitz
-
Owner Emcrald Coast Scuba Schocrl
I

PZ'TUND P I T T S & ~ . J ~ - ~ ~ U CMILE #?39
LE
RT. 22 WILLIAM PENN HW.
MONROEVILLE. PA 15146
JAN-14-94   F R I   14:43   BAY   CAPITAL

I   ,
January 14, 1994                                                        !   4   f?::!:
. ..

To Whom it may concern:
It is appalling that tax payers' money is being    used for s hearing on
harvesting live rock. There are oceans full of     rock. X have to wonder how
many activist6 are actually certified divers, or   how many of those divers have
been in our oceans to see for themselves what      is down there.
I work for a pet store in Tampa. Over a year ago, we set up a reef system
e
and a saltwater fish system in our shop. W have since sold more live rock
than fish. After six months of watching and studying those reefs, I was
hooked. First I began a setup on a small reef tank In my home and within six
months I put together a larger one hundred-twenty-gallon saltwater tank.
Then, I became a certified diver and have been learning more about our oceans
ever since. I believe many people and companies will be extremely hurt b y this
!      ban and not only financially. Live rock has an attraction of its own; it
contains a small world of wonders for anyone interested in the ocean and its
inhabitants.
Note that Uve coral and live rock ere two distinctly different species and
should not be confused. Many divers are aware of what is happening to the
coral and the resulting damage to the coral reefs, The harvesting of live rock
does not endanger the reefs and is a reasonable alternative to live coral. I f
measures must be taken, regulation of the trade may be the solution. M belief
y
is that a complete ban Is not necessary. M hope is that the council's decision
y
will reflect this belief,
Sincerely,

Beth Hollett
BRINE SHRIMP, INC.

I t uas my p 1 ~ W S ~ L ~ to have a t tended t h e pub1 i c
T E                                                     f o r ~ t ~ t r clri DuI:: I t:::t!y
:
J';,r.l~tjry G, 1'3'34.         S i r i c e t h i s was my first o p p a r - t u r ' t i t y to Iravt. a t t e n d e d
Jn
:e
d      ci.f    t h e s e cclunr: i 1 f c ~ r u m s , f wc79 impressed w i t h t h e m c i n r l e r i n uh i c l , ~
.l.ile meet ling was il:lnJ~~~:t;ed and                t h e way         1.n u h i c h a1 1 v i t3u5 were heavcl
u:itt-i genr-tir,le interest.               I t i s my hctpe t h a t these views uj. 1 b e t a k e n      1
a
ir.~t*::i c c o u n t b e f o r e ar,iy h a s t y Cjec i s i i 1 1 1 ~ are mode.

1         1- usb band    and      I p u r c h a s e d a n ~ rist i n g uh01 es"1 I I;CIIIIFIBT.I y a b c t ~ t t ~ C I C I P .
;                        =

yr.at..s a g o .         Neverr h a v i n ~ beef1         i r t h e busiinesc; be ~ ' C I I - i t ha-5- i r.lcfactj
r                                                a,
b s e n a l e a r n i n g e : ~ ; p e v . i e n c e . I n a d d i t i o n t c ~ e a r r , ~ i n p mi.1i.E
m a r i n e s-,~~ecimens5     and t h e i n t r i c a c i e s o f a 1 l f a c e t s lrlf tl.1 is l u s i n e + s s , i-           :l
)       11s beer1 C~I.IT p l C ~ ~ S L I I . OI : I
-,                                   ~       becc~ine acqusi n t e d us t h ~nal-tyo f t h e peclpl s in
tl-1i.j i n c l n s t r y . PI-.
I   , P,avo been i n t h i s b u s i n e s z . f o r t                   i i                   l'hcir
IT^ f atni 1 i e s a n d r r : ~ l o t s a r e h e r e . They a r e rilst: a t ~ v . c ~ uc11' p e l - ~ p l e   p
.~..ll-l:ing f o r a q u i c k r e t u r r ~ , b u t i n m a k i n g a v i a b l e business w i t h l o n g - -
I--.I,    a

.term s m : u r i t y .     T h i s l z a n n s t h e actomplished i f              t h e r e is any d a n g e r trrl
, ,.
L;l.ie r e e f        system f r o m ut~il:h w e a1 1 ei3r.n ckrr 1 i v i n g .                                            ,
l h e r ~ ? . F ~ : l v e please
I;r-il:lw that. w a1 1 a r e st iriving
e                                   tcl see t h a t .t;his systern i s h e a l t h y iclr
Y ~ Z ~s .
T       .Lv curlre.

Nlllrit. o f u s a r e against a rrlanagement p l a n f c ~ rt h i s fishery, Cill t r r a t we
as+:; is t h a t i t b e dune i n t e l l i g e n t l y , w i t h i n p u t f r u r r ~ a1 l i n t e r r ; l s ; t b d
pasties w i t h l s u t p u t t i n g t h i s g r c ~ u pelf h a r d - u c ~ r k i n g i n d i v i d u a l s out o f
~ I L I S I ~ I ~ S ;W~ ~ .a r e
?e          mcare t h a n w i l l i n g           work; w i k h t h e ~ : a i m c i l s . L L ~
I

ii~::~~:~rnpl cli.!r m u t u a l
ish                        gsala.        But, please d o not t'orget Lf~at w e have
Caniil ier; and 1 i v e s b u i l t       a r o u n d t h i s res~:iLlrce ar.tcl a h a s t y bar) o n i t
woccld d e v a s t a t e nitt v n l y t h people i n erris area b~1.t a h u g e t l c l * . ~ ~ r ~ ' ~l i h f
~
2 . 5i s         e t hroughclut       t h e s u n t r y and a b r odd.
;
1                         t'13i.1need I.LI.I I. y read ,317     y
elf t h e t vade magaz iries t o see h : w f a r - r a n g i n g t h i 5 i r ~ d u s t r y/.-la5 b e c a m e .
11

P!: a g r u u p f ue a r e v e r y open t o u t i l iz l n y a q u a c ~ t l - 1 6 . ~ ~ a 3nblrt i t t . . ~ t e
u as
f c ~ r the u i l d    I. i v t ' r ~ c k h a r v e s t .    At this         t imo,    w         t   it
~1:1'kn1:1mical1y ~ t l - , f e a s i b l e due t~ t h e d i f f i c u l t y i n ~:ibt;aicrilry ,the p ) . " p r r .          1-1

p~,!~.~liittiny.   The i s c i u r f:tf     location a t     t h e p e r m i t s i s ant:~tl~tlryt-ce3.tii;,11

'       (305)fS2-5499
%S (%do) g68-077f
3- (305) %S2-63@9
Post Office Drawer 6 18
Tovernier, Florida Ke
USA 33070
.t;tl~:.tua&ncls ol' c f ~ . r l l a r 5and ~ I = I L         ! ~ ' I ~ ~ ~ Is s    ,   ,      1rltl:l 5 ; i t ~ h a t ; w i : l ; l r~~:,tr
&       t
~ . ~ ~ - c ~ d ~ rinc reC.eLt*ble p r o d u c t .
a     d                                           W Rave been t o l d
e                                 ~ ~ e p s a t t e d l y.L;.t~at i e L
bctulr.l tie next ~ C Iirnpl:~s.;iblc. t l : ~ c ~ b t a r n l e a s e s ~;#f . t [ - ~ p e y s .
f        K             'This i r i , t h e '
~:I.i:*!:jc t o
~ ~ ~ r 1 ~ y 1 : a t i o r - u h e r e r l : t r i d i t i c ~ n s a r e v i a b l e tar1 p~ociufi:~? - ~ y t ~ . l i l - t g
il1                 I                                                                           al

uclul J
~r
have
.
~ ~ e . tal. r An1:t-t h e r ~ t r t r . e s 0 1
wxcl usive
ved quest'icln i s ula~et;t.~er r ~ o t a or                 1e a s e hill1 der
r i p h t o t l - I h i f ; lease %a, t e &rld ~ I ; I U t h l ! ; CI:I~..I:L CI b e
i n s c c ~ ~ e d . W L C ~ I I I I C I ~ a-ffctrd t o i n v e s t t h o ~ t a a n d s of dr:~llar.s placlr.lg r a w
e
u1=4ter.  ihl       l l r i  Our        ~ . i t e f we cannot expect t o P.larvest,
i                                                           i t ;:I~A~-SE+~VF~S,
There d r e a1 so n o guide1 i n e s f l:lr t h i s prspcrsed ccndev.taL;fng.                                             N ~ i c hm l r . ~ l r . c
%.tc.rdy and data s h o u l d b e o b t a i n e d b ~ ? f a r e                     for :1 i n g t h i s e l t e r n a t ive.

Tha a l a p u t e          un    rn~tcti u i l d live rock: is a v a i I a t ? l c ; ~
flow                                                shcauld b e r e s o l v e
Pt                               t o b a n ~~~~~~~~~~rg w l t h u u t havir.?g any d a f i ~ on ti..
seems i n l z r u d i b l s                                                                                                                   '

a . r . a i l a b i 1i t y . S t wa.5    br.ought o ~ c t in t h e meet ir~g t h a t mc~ue .kf.tan                                             r:lr.le

5 c i e n t ist b e 1 iave t h a t t 11 is v e s c l u r c e i s n c t i r l a n y irrin~ed
n ~;                     j.ate tjanger.                                      r.li:lu.

i s i t plecr- ir.tg a n y lal;l*t@r.rer;ottrt.;e xn a n y danger.

L..irnitrd e n t r y                           tl:~ i r ~ + u r et h a t
Lit' a   WPY              ~~lnly              W ~                               O ~ ~ . f ~ i' i i ~ ~
.
~ 1 3 ~ 1 l r ; f                                I     :
1
r       e      dependcrlt            on    r es~:l~l?-ce ulrl~llcJ b e harvest i r l g i t
ti-ti5                                                                            Al s c ~ r i p
t
:l ifnits I-br. week1 y 1 i n ~ i t e u l : ~ ~dl b e a1:captabl e ~ i ~ c as. ~ , *%.
t 1 200                                   por.~r.~dr-;
per.
trip.        MI:IS~ o f u s irk ,the business o n 1 y go ~:~citt u a t o f o u r                                               t ima.; p e ?
week and w e on1 y 1 . 1 d r v r 5 t a s much a s wQ have I:I~ d e r s t III f i 1 1                                   .       We are frat
" L a k i n g ever y l t t i r l g i n sight" a s many w c ~ u l d l j . C : ~tct s u g g e s t .

L-JL?       i m p 1 ore y u u LIJ r e s p e c t           us   as hard--ua'ikir~g r ndividual 5 who a r e 13nly
.. ..
t r . y i r ~ y11-1   msintain iluv l i v ~ ? l i h ~ C t d B . Ibis d c ~ e s riclt meart we ar.s.ac,laj.r~st:
air     ir-ltel1 igent , Wel 1 -.pliil~nt.d managernel->l: p l a n .                D u t b a f o ra a n y t h il'ip cart
1       managed             pr oprr 1 y ,        y u u I I I L I S ~ h a v e viable d a t a         arrd knowled:;le.
r5ovarnment does n o t tlave a r c p u t a t i o n f 13r sol i d                     marragernent,    '       5 0 pl caw
u n d e r s t 6 1 t 1 ~ 1 I-ILI~       fears.      B L I ~ as. ~ i h o w n at the nteet irig, t h e r e a r e nlerij!
i
.ir ~Lell g e n t and infclrmwd p e c l p l o wllo can 5131v e ' t h e s e i s s u e s i f Carid o1"ll.y
i f 1) t t t e y a r u uquil~pecl w i t h t h e pvl:tpcr. data an0 t h e                   t ima t13 as:?; cln i t
i ~ . ~ t r n l l i g e n . t l y . . J u s t because      i f       seems       b e p o l i t i c a 1 J . y corl-e;:-t ' t o
tl-I

re.4c.ti         Ija>ty d e c isiq:q-, I              this          issue does nett        rnearr - t h a t i t i c ; .tl-ie

Ottr         hclmes,     1 ives a n d f ~ ~ t c aree i n
~ r                     your hands arid                   w e beseech ytrlLI          't;;:l   a!
r rcrvponsitily.
\                                               My F a x 8.: n a i l
-    4
'Q                                             I             y    1 ,       13'3.4
BRINE SHRIMP, INC.

t
T h e 1.3~1 o f M e s j c c . ~F ' i s h e r y C:c~c.~r.lcil
1 - i n c o l r ~C : e f ' l t e v , S ~ i . 1 ; ~
331
S-Ct:rl W. I.:'~;.nr.~edy ~ v J .    B
'Tampa, F 1.- :35069-24f)6

f3tZ1-I:      Ilr.   T e r r y i...t.e~*ry

My narne is W~?ndy S ~ nt h a n d  i          I arrl emp l clyed a s n t : ~       ic.11: I ~ i 5 1 f ~ t r .
I

F l o r idti B r i n n Shr. i m p , I n c . WE a r e a u k r c l : l o c ~ l c r - if       artemim,
irldigericlcrti       cllaririe specxes arid live r o c k .                                  L i v e r~:.~t.b:
.
~ C C C I L \ ~ I ~ ~
t lrrrapp r CI.r; i rr!at. u l y '50% o 1' I. i I I c ollle
I-lr..r

I i m p l o r e y a u t c ~regulate t h i s 'fishery based W I ~ facts a n d
f i g i ~ r e s , n c ~ t o n ~ ? m a f i o n a l panic.            The                                      -+
c L t r r r = ~ ~ tr ~ ~ ~ m b e ~~::II-I s
availability                o f u i l d live rctck: ~ z l a a r l y.jh~-lw L r ~ a t. t h i s i s ric~k
a~r endangered s p e ~ ies.              r         I r ~ e r e is- I      ~ r ~ i ei n it c
f         dald
E L I P ~ I : I Y ~ a p c 1 - 3 i t j o n t h a t w i l d l i v e rctci:. is n rir:~r.1-...1~-tr1ewab1c
resource. 1 urge                        the   I : C I L ~ I T I : ~ ~~ C p i n p o i r l t
I                    C l ~ t rr s a c t prc.d~.ict
being harvested,                        the  qttantities   avallat71e,                                           ar.~il   the
replenishment r a t e .                 Regulate infell iger~lly.

C : c ~ n s i d e r the ei:onclmic              i m p a c t o n a 1 ive roc,:: ban.       S n ~ a1l
b u s i n a r ; j s e e & ~ r : r u s s t h e ~ z c u n t ~ yi l l b e devastated b y a h a s t y
w
doc iaion.              H l 1l;iw t i r f o r t h e industry
m

d r amat I C rsak i c ~ n w i d e r ise              i n unerrlpl o y i ~ t e ~ r t
involvir.~ga l l level.= cif tlbe tllar-ir~ea q u a r iirm i n d st y .
to I         r e .
immediate hat't 'to w i l d 1 ive rc11:i:: c o l l e t : t i c ~ r l uill r e s c . t l C i.n a
fir)

yauanb:
F I e g ~ r l a t et h e fishery.            L i m i t e d e n t r y p e r 111it.t           il-19 and d a i l y
i:aLt:h        regulataor'r- w ~ t u l d a l l l s w a ~ : t : t n t r o l l e d I-ldrvecit. L i n l : : t h e
r.egu1 at i o n s             t:
1  1    a t i n r e S ~ ~ I w h e r e a PI-ogr-am farr tt1.c.
I
i i q ~ l a ~ : ut u r e C I ~ ' d12rnos.t
I.                       ac   rock       can b e            feasibl y i m p 1 un'bo1'1tk2d.
h e         industry            is. e:lctrcmely r e c e p t i v v Lv t h e s u g g e s t i c ~ r ~                clf
a q ~ l a c utlu r e a an a1 t e r n a t 1 v e tcl u i l d ro~zk: bar v e s t , however. ,
:;
a phase-in per i o d is. r e q u i r e d .                  A q u a c ~ 1I1c i r e
,          p e r m i t t i r t y rrlust;
be a t a n g i b l e thing.                  The industry              will        I I L I ~    be     able                kc1

u I. t h s t aa.\d a 1 ag bet ween u i 1 d 1 i v c r                      k I.~ar.
LII,   vest: and dorrtc%t' c           i
r.0c.k     c u l t ivet 1c.n.
L..   L
:m i t   t h ci p e r m i t .l i rl g    u i 1 cl u. a C:: i 11%1 e c t i o 1.1 1 I.., I. t 1 clz,e w t i c:~
'f o r                :1 I.
#:,an   shl;:lw that ti-ieir ir~~:orne s deponcler~t I
i                             :     tI..~a I.8rarv~{l;'t.
Feg1..11t e c a t i ; : t . i ~ ? ~ .
a                          t  .F i f t earl     t.ic..lnr:Ir, p~:~und.i i.,er vessel per.
ecl
clay.      A l 1 . o ~ a ~:or~t;r.~:~ll.eed t?arvczcst                t~-I c.1:1.lnt1nur;i? I                   a
t r at-lsi t; i o n i:nn Lie made f r o m ui 1 d Y ~ r . I:: LC:! dl::l(rtt'~.t.c r.dc 1;.
7                  l

Wendy S m l t h                                             c-   - __----
B i f i l c ~ g i s t , F'11:lr i d a Er-i t ~ uS h r i m p I r r c .
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JAN 1 3 1994
SOUTH ATWJTIC FISHERY
W E M E N T MUNCIL
M E M O R A N D U M

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451 1 Royal Palm Avenue         JAN 141994
Miami ham, FL 33140.3041
SOUTH A T W T I C FlSHERY
~ E M E NcounclL T

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p          0                 u      January      10, 1994

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
1 Southgark Cir, W0'6
Charleston, SC 29407-4699                             .,

RE: "Liva RockM harvesting                                                                                         w
J N 15 1994
A
Dear Sir/Madam:                                                                           SOUTH A T M T l C FIGHERy
MANAGEMENT COUNCIL

I think that rocks or coral with living organisms
attached, like all marine life, should be left in the
ocean. How even such a seemingly mlnor disturbance -                                                  -   -

would a f f e c t the interconnectedness o f all life camot
be known by humane.
I hope you will ban live rock harvesting.
sincerely,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
OFFICE OF OCEAN AND COASTAL RESOURCE
MANAGEMENT
LOOE KEY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
RT. 1, BOX 782

BRIEFING BOOK
January 14, 1994
n

Roger Pugliese
South ~ t l a n t i cFishery Management Council
TAB^                NQ.SO
Southpark Building, Suite 306
One Southpark Circle
Charleston, SC         29407-4699
Terrance Leary
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Lincoln Center, Suite 331
5401 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL   33609
Gentlemen:
The following comments are in regard to the draft Amendment 2 t o
the Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reefs of-the'Gulf
of Mexico and South Atlantic concerning the management of live
rock. I am the manager of Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary and
the Lower Keys Regional Manager of the Florida Keys National
Marine Sanctuary. I am a biologist by training with a Masters
degree, and have worked on the coral reefs of Florida as a
researcher and manager since 1977. These comments do not reflect
the official position of NOAA or the National Marine Sanctuary
Program regarding the proposed options of the amendment, but are
intended to provide additional background information that may be
of interest in the Councils' deliberations.
The Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Coral and Coral Reefs
prohibits "the destruction of corals and coral reefs1!. The draft
amendment document refers to this, stating "The current Coral FMP
prohibits the damaging, harming, killing, or possession of
prohibited coral or of coral reefs. Thus, the taking of live
rock from these sources is currently prohibitedw (p. 9). This
statement is not accurate and should be clarified or deleted from
the document. Most, if not all, of the current harvest of live
rock in the Florida Keys occurs in areas defined in the FMP as
coral reefs. It must be acknowledged that, at least in the
Florida Keys, live rock harvest is synonymous with coral reef
substrate harvest. Regardless of the intent of the FMP,
regulations are being enforced only if the live rock contains
stony corals and/or sea fans. The industry has implied that no
collection is occurring on coral reefs, but this is not the case.
As you know, there is much more to a coral reef than the corals
alone. Protecting only the stony coral component of the reef is
not providing the intended protection to this valuable ecosystem.
Many of the coral reefs in the Florida Keys have stony coral

RESOURCE PROTECTION THROUGH COOPERATION WITH THZ
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
cover of 30% or less. As it is now being interpreted, the rest
of the substrate area could be harvested as live rock, as long as
no specimens of coral are attached. Thus, in many areas in the
Florida reef tract, much of the coral reef is subject to
collection as live rock. In spite of some of the testimony from
collectors, I can verify from my experience as a sanctuary
manager that live rock harvest on coral reefs is occurring in the
Florida Keys on a daily basis.
It is also stated in the amendment document that live rock
harvest consists of l1divers who selectively pick-up small pieces
from the bottomll (p. 3). This implies that the harvest is
restricted to collection of loose rubble. Again, this is not the
case. Many collectors do concentrate their efforts in the rubble
zone of the reef (note that the rubble zone is still a part of
the coral reef and is therefore covered in the Coral FMP).
However, there is a significant component of the industry that
chisels live rock from coral reef substrates to capture the non-
coral component of the coral reef community. This effort is
significant in terms of impact if not in terms of numbers of
collectors. I have personally been called upon by the Florida
Marine Patrol or the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to
verify coral occurrence on live rock on six occasions. All but
one of these cases involved chiseled coral substrate. I- have-
been told by Florida Marine Patrol officers that they often see
chiseled substrate which contains no stony coral. This type of
live rock harvest is apparently legal and results in the direct
removal of portions of the coral reef habitat which is vital to
the viability and health of the coral reef as a whole.
The document states that there are 11600,000 tons of live rock in
the top one foot of surfacev1per square mile, and there is
"19,691 square miles of live bottom within 55 fathoms in the
Gulfa1(p. 3). These statements are totally misleading and need
to be clarified or deleted from the document. It implies that
there is essentially an unlimited supply of live rock that no
level of conceivable effort could impact. It must be pointed out
that the only rock that is of interest to the collector is at the
surface, so it doesnrt matter how deep the rock deposits are.
This is because the industry is not interested in the rock, it is
interested in whatrs growing on the rock. The misconception that
collectors are going out and picking up any rock that is laying
around is entirely false. Collectors are extremely selective and
harvest only those rocks which have the complement of organisms
which are sought after in the aquarium trade. I would estimate
that only 10% or less of surficial rocks are considered
commercially valuable as live rock, so to base calculations on
the amount of calcium carbonate substrate on the bottom is
irrelevant and suggests a lack of knowledge about the issue. In
addition, I have never observed live rock collection in deeper
than about 3 0 feet (5 fathoms) so the reference to the 55 fathom
depth contour is ridiculous.
Most of the recent debate on the live rock issue has focused on
the rubble zone of the reef. As previously stated, many
collectors imply that this is the only area where harvest is
occurring. This is incorrect; there is substantial harvest
pressure within all types of coral reef habitats (see above).
Therefore, the rubble zone issue should not dominate discussion
and cloud the much more serious issue of direct coral reef
substrate removal from the non-rubble components of the reef
ecosystem. However, a large percentage (up to 40% based on some
estimates) of the harvest does occur in the rubble zone. Again,
it must be pointed out that the rubble zone is an integral
component of the coral reef and is included in the definition of
coral reef in the FMP. Thus there is some question whether such
activity should already be prohibited by the FMP. Regardless,
the industry maintains that the rubble zone is essentially a
barren area of no particular importance to the reef ecosystem and
can sustain appreciable harvest over time. The rubble zone is
certainly less diverse and aesthetically pleasing than the other
coral reef zones, but it is very important to the coral reef
nonetheless. The unconsolidated nature of the rubble zone
provides habitat for a wide variety of small invertebrates and
plants that serve as a food source for fish and larger
invertebrates who reside in other areas of the reef. Anyone who
says that the rubble zone is barren and lifeless has never - -
visited these areas at night. The rubble zone at Looe Key, which
I am very familiar with, literally Itcomes alivew at night as a
host of fish species and invertebrates, predominantly spiny
lobster, come off the main part of the reef to forage and feed in
the rubble zone. Many of the things that they are feeding on are
those targeted by the live rock industry.
Another reason why rubble areas are important is that in times of
rising sea level (as we are in now), coral reefs "step backw on
themselves to keep up with rising water levels, The rubble zone
provides a substrate for the recruitment of coral species and
other reef organisms. This is very obvious at Looe Key where the
most significant recruitment of young corals (especially
branching species) is occurring, not on the reef slope and reef
flat, but in the rubble zone. Studies suggest that coral
preferentially recruits onto substrate that has I1curedw,i.e. has
developed an initial complement of other bacteria, organisms,
etc., and does not readily recruit onto fresh substrate.
Therefore, continual removal of rock which exhibit a level of
growth of various organisms (which is what is targeted for
aquaria) may affect future settlement of coral species.
Geological studies at Looe Key have shown that the original
topographic feature on which Looe Key reef first formed thousands
of years ago is considerably seaward of the present active reef-
The present reef is built upon a layer of rubble, which overlies
unconsolidated sand. Thus, the future Looe Key reef will be
located on the present rubble zone.
The industry maintains that rubble rock collection could never be
substantial enough to have the biological or geological impacts
suggested above. In absence of data, this is very difficult to
quantify and it is admittedly difficult to notice a change in
collected areas on a day to day basis. However, it is the long
term cumulative effect which is of concern. It is also important
to note that live rock collection is concentrated in a relatively
limited area, and a few certain reefs (Sombrero, American Shoal,
Alligator, Tennessee) receive most of the pressure. When
considered in this context, the impact could be significant.
In summary, live rock collection, as it is currently being
practiced, is harmful to the coral reef ecosystem and results in
the direct removal of coral reefs and reef habitat (if not the
coral species themselves) from the Florida reef tract. The
protection of habitat is the single most important thing that a
fishery management entity can do to manage and conserve fish
stocks and ecosystem health. Chiseled live rock from coral reefs
is extremely destructive and is currently legal under the Fishery
Management Plan. If nothing else results from this amendment
exercise, I urge the Councils to prohibit the removal of coral
reef substrate if any part of the substrate must be broken in
order to collect it. No tools of any sort should be allowed. If
coral reefs are to be protected, as suggested in the Fishery- -
Management Plan, then live rock harvest should be prohibited in
coral reef areas. Currently, the best maps of coral reef
and developed by Marszalek, et al. The areas defined in this map
series as coral reef should not be available for live rock
harvest. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in
conjunction with the State of ~lorida,is in the process of
developing new benthic habitat maps which will be very detailed.
The maps will be completed within the next two years and could
supplant the current MMS maps.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this proposal. I can
be reached at (305) 872-4039 or (305) 872-3860 (fax).

Kpm
Georqe P. Schmahl

cc:   Billy Causey, FKNMS
Jennifer Wheaton, FMRI
Danny Riley, DMR
~ ~ 1 ~ - 1 4 -F F I
9 4      1 1 5 5 6      SOUTH             H A T L N T I C            C O U N C *
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
N a t l o W Ocrrnic end Btmorpherio Adminlstretion
OFFICE OF OCEAN AND COASTAL RESOURCE
MANAOEMENT
LOOE KEY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
RT,1, BOX 782
810 PINE KEY. FL 33043

January        14,     1994

Roger Pug liese
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Southpark Building, Suite 306
One Southpark Circle
Charleston, SC   29407-4699

Terrance Leary
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Lincoln Center, Suite 331
5 4 0 1 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL ' 33609
Gentlemen:
-   -

The following comments are in regard to the draft Amendment 2 to
the Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf
of Mexico and South Atlantic concerning the management of live
rock. I am the manager of Loo6 Key National Marine Sanctuary and
the Lower Keys Regional Manager of the Florida Keys National
Marfne Sanctuary. I am a biologist by t r a i n i n g with a Masters
degree, and have worked on the coral reefe of Florida as a
researcher and manager since 1977. These comments do not reflect
the official position of NOAA or the National Marine Sanctuary
Program regarding t h e proposed options of the amendment, but a r e
intended to provide additional background information that may be
of interest in the Councilse deliberations.
The Fishery Management Plan (FMP) f o r Coral'and coral Reefs
prohibits "the destruction o f corals and coral reefsw. The draft
amendment document refers to this, s t a t i n g "The current Coral FMP
prohibits the damaging, harming, killing, or possession of
prohibited coral or o f coral reefs. Thus, the taking of live
rock from these sources is currently prohibitedn (p. 9). This
statement is not accurate and should be clarified or deleted from
the document. Most, if not all, of the current harvest of live
rock in the Florida Keys occurs in areas defined in the FMP as
coral reefs. It must be acknowledged that, at least in the
Florida Keys, live rock harvest is synonymous with ooral reef
substrate harvest. Regardless of the intent of the FMP,
regulations are being enforced only i f the live rock contains
stony corals and/or sea fans. The industry has implied that no
collection is occurring on coral reefe, but this is not the case.
As you know, there I s much more to a coral r e e f than the corals
alone. Protecting only the stony coral component of the reef is
not providing the intended protection to this valuable ecosystem.
Many of the coral reefs in the Florida Keys have stony coral

RESOURCR PROTtiCTION THROUGH COOPERAl'ION WITH THE
mr morn.   nno* brumwr n u U a t r l P A r D n C f W r P P I C
J Q N - 1 4 - 4 4   F R I    15:55       S O U T H   Q T L e N T I C    C O U N C I L

January, 11,
Rear Council:
I n r e a d i n g t h e article r e f e r i n s t o the removing of the
l i v e r o c k s from t h e bottom o f the ocean has me rather
disturbed.            It also makes m wonder about t h e people who
e
feel t h a t t h e y have t h e right to just help themselves to
p a r t s of the ocean. The ocean is not like a c r a b . were upon
it looses one of it's claws, and i n time a new one Grows
b a c k . This is not t h e case w i t h t h e ocean f l o o r . The removal
of l i v e rock is detrimental t o t h e oceans s u r v i v a l . when
something is picked at slowly t h e results a r e not seen r i g h t
away. B u t over time i t is very e v i d e n t that picking away
repeatedly i 3 not the r i g h t t h i n g t o do, but then it is to
late. Our f o r e s t s are case i n point. i n c l u d i n s the rain
forests around t h e world. They say t h a t the raping o f our
land and sea's our done for t h e good of t h e people. Well this
person s a y ' s don't do m any f a v o r s . I 8s well a s a n y o t h e r
e
concerned human b e i n g knows d a r n well t h a t it is done f o r
capital gain f o r a select few. These few do not care t h a t
t h e y make t h e i r living o f f o f death e n d destruction o f our
good e a r t h . And I say our! e a r t h , n o t j u s t theirs. So
enclosing -1 say l e a v e mine and everybody elses e a r t h alone.
S t o p now t h e removal o f the living rock b e f o r e the floor o f
t h e ocean resembles our deserted f o r e s t s .                             --
Thank you,
1360 97th Street
Bar H a r b o r Island, Fla.
33154

JAN 15 1994
SOUTH ATLANTIC F ISWERY
W E M E N T COUtlCIL
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J A N - 1 4 - 9 4
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T A 1' N6:2(76)
F R I
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BRIEFING BOOK A D D I T I O N $m c ~ ~ ~ i J A N 14 1994 SOUTH ATlANTlC FISHERY MANAGEMEHT COUNCIL P.O. Box 712 Tavemier, F1.33070 305-852-4955 Fax 305-85213500 To:The Ouif and South Atlantio Fishory Management Councils Dear Council membtis, - - As a harvostm of live rosk and the owncr and operator or r wholrrJlo tropical i a h business in the Kwyh l'd likc to encourage you to rewnsidsr your p e m t popitions on the hture of live w k harvest in tho Florida K y s Thc ptefaroaao of the SAFMC to imdiaIely olose thc hamest upon paasgo of this amawndment seems a bit h m h given the circumstances. I don't sac any reason to pursue this position ~d it suprise8 me you are even considering iL Even your orrn cconomiat crhovmte %e economic gedon or the ammendment sug&ested a mrrmlted hawest instead of immediate clo8ure (Psner 23 and 2 9 . gve_red the aqpndment nsvervl times and am aumzsd thnt o govarzqnent n ~ e m would ~roduce such a flawed ~ i w of work-and w e ft b d a r n s a ledtj~nnte e &hem end to wrf0ullv d b m t r major bdustn such WI the marine aawduhr trade. If you continue on this course, doztnn of Aahcrmen will be in scrious financial trouble, and hundr* perhap thousands, ofpet hops, w h o l ~ m mculutbauraa will fcel and significant financial louses as the price vlbrwkskyockets and rvaifabiIity gocm way down Live rock hon~ Florida is In many ways the boc.khpao of marina aquarium trade and any scrioua disruption in it's availability will ~ w .dew problems. o Stverpl optlong arc r v ~ b l to vou and I would suggat YOU purauc one that ullow~ e for a m ~ e h d a t which could smtain the tmdt until an dtenutlve L fuwld m You seem to be pushing hard for aquaculture as the wfution, but how ran you cxpud US to go this route when the Statc DER up until now L saying "don't b o k to apply for a dredge m i fill permit i the Keys". Thia fishuy is primarily bwcd in the Koys and thnt is c n what we will need to ba able to have our leases if we it i to survive hero. I know h i t s some lxanchcrc of thc FI. Dept of Environmental Prottction Agency are gung ho h u t aquauultue, but not dl have can@ Ihs fwer and ar a rrrult thcrc's still no t&clhmd of getringthe needed pennits in the Koyr. Savoral applications arc now going ttuuugh the prows for leases in the Keys, but until oric is grated with dl ticcessq pornrib ,idon't J Q H - 1 4 - 9 4 F R I 1 5 : 5 1 S O U T H Q T L Q N T I C C O U N C I L P . 0 4 - see how iou cca call it an aption end fmce i on us. I would like to see you bRae any t closure ( phase out on the success of thesc individuals getting their pmnits and also on I the marketability of thck product To data there k no reliable estirm\to as to how long it will take to produce a good quality, markdtablo rock on an open water lease sito in the Kep. I Qlink the amendments figure of six montllv t a couplo yem may be a bit wishful. o Mv recummendation for the mnn.acemellt of live rock would be along the lines of -- td option C. 1. n or C.1.b aa br on ~ a p %,ofthee amendment andcxplrihed latar in the text. If an annuai quote system is d o p t d I would suggest that tho ouotn be divided UP lnto jnoaths or aaPrtan 80 thnt thc herve~t cauld be rpremd awC over the ycw. 1 would pefw optiun b which is t limit a c d o f f o r t . You wuld limit acccsn by requiring o a special pernrit and only Lssue ~ e d t b those fndivldalals who have reported Uve s p c k lsndln~s the last ye= 'h would aop and growth innumben nrd would in I L eliminate those individuals who have not k e n rcpodinp. yuu could dao ltmn eRolt by restrlctlnnthe d a y harvest amount similar to what tile State of Florida did ia their proposed phase out. In t i uptiorr you could atso havo a provision to reduce the daily hs tako of wild live rock as aquacultured m k began to bs hmcskd so that tho= individuals who can't aord to get an aquacuh~rc lease could still hervost a small amount of livc rock (200 l pa day) ror b i r custo~nenThis d u c c d k c a t would a h help prtrvidu t e b h ntomary base rock (rubblu rock) for starzing and maintaining IICW systems. I think it is imperative that you dlow suma f' of wild h w u t until w lrquacuhurc industry is established a d ie producing a flnctianal substitute for notwd base rock. 1 walizo the pressure C going to tw on you to yield to pressure fiom tbc SW of Florida and vote their way, What and who is driving Ulem to push this iss\te like they arc ir beyond me. Do thcv (or you fvr hi. matter) rtanv bcUevc t b t thc part timt effuda of 40 to SO conu~ium wurldng out of 20 faat b o m b arc redly noinn to hgva m n tmpact on a resource that coven hundmde of rauare db d conaida attrillform oftons ofrock? What are they uwnlplislling by chis chslo? Who do they think they're kidding? There are a lat dpcrople depending on you to w a g e filhcrics and aquatic raourcea based on sound scirnlilic: data and methods not anotionafism m d political pressure, If you don't h v e sound data than look into mttinn some. There i~ na immediate danger of ~ n n i n out 4live rock so there is time to at lcast do wmo basic g w studies on it. Have cm indtytadent analyst I k at it and see if he can givo you a bcttcr p*sprctivc. Don't blindly believe the "ex~ert flndinplw from the State of 0i . . E tda Ken Nedimyer V Sea Lice Inc. .JAN-14-94 FROM :$*
F R I    15:52

$REEF SYSTEMS I I INC, ? V V S O U T H Q T L A N T I C TAB PHONE NO. : 305 252 3618 horn cOEc EG,) Jan. 14 iat; : ~ : J ~ P Y F2: Mr a W a l i d Al-Kahtany 1 5 4 1 Brickell avenue - - - - BRIEFING BOOK ADDlTlO partment 3 2 0 1 i a r n i , F l a r i d e 33131 January 3 r d , 1994 Roger P u g l i e ~ e South Atlantic F i s h e r y Management Council One Southpark Circle, S u i t e 306 Charleston, S I C m 29407-4699 Dear Mr. Puglieset This letter is written in concern and i n .protest of the propoeed c l o s i n g o f Mlive-roct'li n federal waters o f the ~ o u t ha t l a n t i ~ . - I fee1 personally that there I s a great deal o f knowladgo.-bo bo gained from the keeping o f living reef aquariums. he building blocks of those aquariums i s the l i v i n g rock. However, i f l i v e rock collecting i io closed in federal waters i t would t a k e sway the paesibilities of o t h e r persons like myself uho could benefit educationally. ., The first hand lcnowledge gained from r living reef aquarium 18 definitely much more comprehensive than watching one of the " n a t u r e series" on televieion. Mr. Pugliese, as an a g u a r i s t I s i n c e r e l y feel t h a t q u a l i t y w l i ~ e - r ~ c k t lindespensible t o a living reef aquarium is end it is a r e s o u r d , b h a t ehould be managed 8 6 a fisheries. Mr. Puglieee, S l( truly h) that your judgement w i l l be f a i r t o a l l t h e partiee involved. Sincerely, J A N - 1 4 - 9 4 F R I 1 5 : 4 9 S O U T H A T L A N T I C C O U N C I L P.01 - TAB NO,S(-~$
Keith Black
ism
70

The South Atlmtic Pishay Managcmcnt Council
Arm: Roger Puglise
1 South& Circle
Southpdc Building,Suite 306
Charlestog SC 294074699

JAN 1 3 1994
January 1 1, 1994                                                                 SOUTH A W N T I C FISHERY
M E M E N 1 COUNCIL

Dear Fishery Management Council,
#Live R a k fiom the coastal waters
I am writing this letter in support o the cdledrdron
f                                                      - .

of the United States.
I am not associated with the a u r u industry so I am not bias due to any financial
qaim
benefit.
I like many others have been enlightened to the importance of the life under the sea by
having the opportunity to see beauti aquarium displays. All of the aquarium keepers
that I know have a love for animsl life and are very concerned about the presemation of
ow aquatic environments.
1 advocate lii'tations and regulations of collection of =a life,but think that a complete
ban is inappropriate. What m s people don't realize is how insignificant an s e c t live
ot
rock collection bas on our oceans when compared to boating, dumping, and the pollution
and damage that is caused by 6-s     for food sources.

My sincere thanks for your consideration,
K i h Mac$et j , q ~ - 1 4 - 9 4 F R I 1 5 : 5 3 S O U T H A T L G N T I C C O U N C I L P . 0 7 o?yEliti ) , 5 3 I . . a 1, fEllAM0 RT~SBU;~J~-~~RACLE a RT. WILLIAM PENN HWV. MONROEVlLLEI PA I S M W #W JAN 141994 u J R N - 1 4 - 9 4 F R I 15:54 S O U T H A T L A N T I C C O U N C I L P . O C PaCf a2 P T N Pi; :% . . , ,.,.,4.-2E EU D IW RT. 22 WILLIAM PENN HW. MONROEVILLE. PA l i 5U J A N - 1 4 - 9 4 F R I 15:55 S O U T H A T L Q N T I C C O U I ~ C I L OCEAN VOICE INTERNATIONAL 883 Otterson Drive @ wa, Ontario K I V 7B2, CANADA B1) 99p2207 Fax: (613) 521-4205 03 I I 4-" l4 i 4991ruun.J The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Southpark Building, Suite 306 1 Southpark Circle Charleston, South Carolina 29407-4699 U. S.A. Fax: 803-769-4520 ! Dear Coucil: hs federal waters. 1 Proposed Closure of Wild Live Rbck i Florida n -- T i fax commerrts on the propose closure of the collection of Florida wild live rock in US. I Ocean Voice International ( - Voice) is a non-profit environmental o r p i a t i o n registered 0 as a charitable organization with Ryenue Canada. Incorporated in 1987 as International Marinellfe Alliance Canada, it changed its name three years ago to Ocean Voice Lnte~national. isIt dedicated to the conservation of m h h e biodiversity and to ecologically sustainable and equitable ce marine resource harvesting- ~ c e a n l ~ o iachieves is goals through research, education and t training. It has published a quarterly bulletiq Sea Wmd,since 1987. It has worked with other C , international organizations such as N N World Wddlife Fund and the Center for Marine Conservation It is currently rmz&g the-productionof a status report on coral reef fishes of the od w . world and has just published a man&& Save our c r r s Directors of Ocean Voice include, d amongst othaq marine scientists d coastal management biologists who have served in many countries and who have been activ{.in the negotiations for the htemational Convention on Biological Diversity, and one who reviewed drafts of the recently published Global M&ne Eologiud Divdity Strategp. 1 I d Ocean Voice has been iuvolved in ,evelopingkologically sustainable methods of harvesting m r n aquarium fishes for the last seven years. ~ & r m s eof this we are aware of the economic, aie educationJ, conservation and enviionrnental aspects of the m r n aquarium industry, We have aie developed and are cunently carryide out a p r o p for the sustainable hawest of coral reef fishes with the training of aquarium fish collectors, the establishment of marine reserves, and education s .s h of coastal ~ o ~ u n i t i eT i &ledge of the aquarium industry should not be corrtmed as our being spokespersons foi that i *n. It is to my chagrin that I admit that we have received v q little financial or other support fiom the ornamental fish industry. Most of our funding has come fiom governments, members and donors, as well as from the volunteered t m of Ocean Voice ie directors. Ocean Voice's views on wild life r k may be summarized as follows: 9" I 1. Wild live rock can harvested so & to have a very low impact on the marine emironment. 2. Live rock is vital to sustainins viible marine ecosystems in aquaria, creating habitat, supplying microbiota and buffering action. I 3. Although live rock may have sdled larvae of sessile invertebrates including those of soft and hard coral, such micro-larvae should not result in labelling live rock as "coral." Most reef invertebrates nonnally have very nuherous planktonic larval stages. The removal of larvae (as opposed to those adults some of wl$ch are many decades old) is normally of little ecological
consequence as filter feeders remove enormous numbers.
i

4. The use of live rock in m r n abuarium industry produces educational and economic benefits.
aie

5. The volume of live rock harvest# is a tiny taction of that available in the oceans, and is much
less than that used for construction of quays or other coastal structures or destroyed by other
human activities such as sewage disposal, runoff from agriculture, etc.
I
Ocean Voice believes that the hamelst of wild live rock can be environmentallyviable where:
-
i
1. Rocks are collected at sites whe F they are vev numerous and where the hamest rate will
remove only a tiny percentage of the available.rock.
-

2. Where the ecosystem is healthy k d there are no endangered species.

3. Where environmentally wise andl piactid regulations are drawn up with harvesters input. For
consideration are: the number of coFectors i limited commesurate w t the suupply; where a
s                      ih
collector is liscenced to solely collyt at a given site@);the wild rock wllected is identified with

k
the collector's liscence, and a log is ept of the number of rocks harvested fiom each collecting
site. Our view is that the more that e harvesters of marine resources are involved and made
responsible, the more likely it is thd the regulations will be respected rather than evaded.
I

The Australian marine aquarium dsi regulations are quite sensible. One collector is liscenced to
e
collect fishes at a given site. Ifthe p is looked after, not ovehawested or damaged by the
hs
collector, then the liscence is renewabIe. T i avoids the tragedy of the commons, where
everyone tries to maximbe their oatbh ffom r common fisbing ground. T e culture of artificial M
h                      e
rock does represent another method of producing live rock for marine aquaria. We have written
about artificial live rock in Sea wink. -Art  h e rock has its advantages and disadvmges. It
too m s be subject to environmentally w s and practical regulations so it will not impact the
ut                                  ie
environment.

Should you wish fhther input, we y y be reached at the above f number. We would appreciate
k
receiving the draft ammendment to ,the Coral Management Plan.

Don E.McAUister, + h . ~ .
President, Ocean Voice ~atanationk   Co-chair IUCN SSC Coral Reef Fish Specialist Group;
I
28 I d e n t i c a l Letters ~ e c e i v e d

Dear Sir,

It has been brought to my attention that you arc considering the
destruction of your recf system through the heinous harvesting of live
mck. 1 am aga~nst p&ctice on several grounds.l'hc ethical grounds
this
involve thc profiteering of a few heartless souls at the expense of cveryone
else is in this day perhaps the least persuasivc. One must understand that
the living organism that are being destroyed take an enormuus length of
time to regenerate.
From a business sense the loss of habitat to feed the many fish that live
in these area will ultimately cost fisherman thcir bounty as well as the
obvious obliteration of recreational scuba diving. Your corn~l~ul~ityno   will
longer attract the many tourist who visit to sharc these benefits in
controlled and carcfully managed programs. 'l'he charter boats will necd
to find othcr oceans to fish, thc scuba diver o h depths to pondcr, the
motel industry will be as barren as the bottom of your stretch of sea, the
restaurants will no longcr have fish to wrve which is probably just a well s
since there will be 110visitors to feed.
Thc argument that these area c a n be pillaged at no worry of the loss is
patently short sighted as you can see. The consolation that they can
regrow ignores the fact that it takes a year for a coral branch to grow an
inch. If it is so easy to grow thc living rock that is the base of the ecosystem
let us suggest that the few wanton exploiters grow their own in aquariums
desigrlrd L facilitate heir particular brand of capitalism.
o
I hope that i this caw you can see that the benefits of totally
n
protecting thc living organisms which house and feed not only othcr
creatures o the sea but y o u ~ l v c s well is absolutc and that you will
f                         as
take every step necessary to stop the harvesting o live rock.
f

\

/--

04
BRIEFING 5 0 kfl hDDDT18N
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TROPICAL       FISH WORLD,            INC   19198726385                          P,01
I

January, 1 4 ,     1994

The Gu l f o f Mexico F
I I      ent Counci 1 i 1
Attn;    T e r r y Leary
i
L i n c o l n Center, S u i t e 331
5401 West Kennedy 8 1 vkl.
Tampa, FL 33609
FAX ( 8 1 3 )   225-3015
I
To Whom, E v e r I t May Cancer-n:                                                            -    -

I
I   h a v e been i n v o l v e d /in r e e f - k e e p n g b o t h as a hobby and a s a
b u s i n e s s f o r t h e las4 n i n e y e a l s .     B o t h t h e economic and
e d u c a t i o n a l v a l u e s h y e p l a y e d an i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n m y 1 i f e ,
e s p e c i a l l y w i t h my priesent s t a f u s as P r e s i d e n t o f T r o p i c a l
F i s h w o r l d , Inc.             aleigh, N r t
71
P
Over t h e last n i n e y e a r s , I hake e e n t h e s a l e s o f 1 i v e r o c k
i n c r e a s e dramaticall)!.            I n 199?, y b u s i n e s s a l o n e sold o v e r
5 , 0 0 0 pounds of 1 i v e [ r o c k , genera i n g an income o f o v e r
t
$30,000 f o r F i s h Worlld. B u t t j i s i s n o t t h e most i m p o r t a n t s l ~ i l m b e r t o b e c o n s i d e e d . morei i m l o r t a n t l y , t h i s 1 i v e r o c k 3 g e n e r a t e d approximately$ 2 5 0 , 0 0 f t h e $750,000 w o r t h o f d r y goods and s a l t w a t e r Isales F i s W r l d received d u r i n g the 1 9 9 3 f iical y e a r ! Wiithout t h e , r e ulated h a r v e s t o f l i v e r-ock, n o t o n l y would r i y s t o r e e r b u t so w o u l d a 1 a r g e I m a j o r i t y o f t h e aqua i u n ~ . a n d t h e United S t a t e s . I tores located throughout The o t h e r p o i n t w h i c l needs t o be s t r e s s e d is t h e e d u c a t i o n a 1 v a l u e t h a t my stor-e, i t a s reef tank, o f f e r s t o y r e e f t a n k has p r o v i d e d an t h e l o c a l schools and l e l y d e p e n d e n t on 1 i v e r o c k a i d s i n t h e f iltt-at i o n o f s o f life, between t h o ages 1 c o r a l r a n d ns l t x a t e r environment. and s c h o o l s h a v e corn0 t o our s t o r e by about and o b s e r v e this l i v i n g response so i n c r e d i b l y TROPIC9L F I S H WORLD, I N C 19198720385 1 I wastofu1 h a r v e s t , n : g qP 1 t h i s 1 l v e ruck wou i d d e s t r o y t h e ah i l i t y t.o s r ~ c h an educational 1 tool, w i l i c h 1 s necesgar.y i n an a w a k e n i n y f o r t h e env i r o n m c n t a 1 concer'q i n y o u n g and old. to d i s c u s s i s t h e or-ida Keys. T h i s i s an know 1 edge and manabernen.L could t h e o r e t i c a l l y ly, i f used in conjunctio~,, with the ~-e~qulatad Pleaso b o awar-o tl-~nt tt\&rsu a r e a q a u c ~ r l t u r ecan Time it o f doas not be en immediate s o l u t i o n to I s t t - o n g l y feel t h a t l i v e rock i s n o t t h e With regulated l y col lect r o c k any harm o r harvesting, might p r o v i d e issue ! P r e s i d e n t , Tt-opical WETSPORTS 21 Dustin Cove Jackson, TN 38301 901/427-7175 January 14, 1994 uf G l of Mexico Fishery Management Council Lincoln Center Suite 331 Tampa, F'L 3360992468 s Dear Mr or M : I am writing this letter to express my concern over the harvesting of live rock in the G l of uf Mexico. Part of my concern is seen through the eyes of my eight year old son . It is evident to this child that reefs that are seen by me, my wife, and our students will never be seen by him. If this harvesting continues our dream of diving as a f@ in the G l of uf Mexico will only be a dream. T i same child wnfionted the principal of his school in an hs - - effort to get student support for saving the Deatin reef system. If an eight year old can catch a glimpse of the future, what dots that say for us as adults who allow this senseless tragedy to occw? Next, I would like to bring up economics. Has anyone stopped to examine the economic impact that the reefs play to the cities along the Gulf of Mexico? For example, I issued 102 PADI certification8in 1993. The economic impact of those divers, assuming they make one Irip to the Gulf, as follows: is 1. Boat fees paid to dive boat operatois$8,160 assuming 2 days of diving.
2. Hotel and Motel accommodatione            $27, 540 assuming 3 nights at$90 per night
3. Meals                                       $7,650 assuming 3 days @$25.00 per day
$43,350 Total I am assuming an average based on the spending patterns of my students. But thc point remains the same. When-thereefs are gone the divers and fisherman wl go elsewhere. il How can dive boat operators repay their loan at the bank with no divers? How can the charter boat operators borrow money to live through the wintcr without the prospect of businas in the spxing? In conclusion, you have to make the decision as to whether you would rather sell your future for profits now or preserve your future and profit now and later! ark FutreIl PADI MI-50852 Submitted by Julian Sprung, B.Sc. 1988, University of Florida. 1662 Lincoln Ct. # 308 Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: 305-874-8581 Fax: 305-661-0611 I am an internationally recognized biologist, author, consultant, and specialist in the biology, taxonomy, growth and propagation of corals, and in the creation of living ecosystems in captivity. My livelihood depends on the marine aquarium hobby, so naturally I am concerned about the fate of live rock harvest. 1 am not a live rock collector, though I have observed and collected live rock with collectors here in Florida. I am presently setting up an aquaculture facility, a "Coral Farm", where I plan to grow live rock and other reef life for the marine aquarium hobby and for replenishment of live corals in damaged reef sites. My farm would benefit economically by the ban of live rock harvest. Nevertheless, I am opposed to the ban because 1 believe that the harvest of live rock is harmless to the environment. molt h a ~ v o o heo a l'~pu(aliol1 Liv~ t I ~abilat i~~vulvi~ry bi0311U ~ ~ U ILL .ia I 3141 IIVW c e a y tu UIIJUI IU such harvesting from the reef can be perceived as destructive. In the 1970's Jacques Y. Cousteau showed pictures of Maldlves Islandsa residents carrying huge blocks of limestone taken from the reef for use in constructing roads and houses. Cousteau warned that this activity threatened their very livelihood since the reef they were removlng was the only buffer to protect them against the fury of the sea in the event of powerful storms. This image sticks in our minds,- end when the figures of how many hundreds of tons of live rock are taken from fubbla areas surrounding reefs for our hobby are given, then it is easy to imagine ruthless individuals uslng dynamite to blast away huge chunks of reef, thus destroylng what took eons to build, simply to earn a few bucks and please some rich hobbyist in a distant land. This image is a myth in the minds of emotionally charged environmentalists, who simply are unaware of the facts involving live rock collectlon and coral reef ecology. The rocks are not blasted or dredged from the reef. It is far more pradlcal to harvest rock that has already broken loose from the reef during storms, and accumulated in rubble or shingle piles. The constant wave-driven tumbling of the rocks, in combination with the action of boring and grazing organisms, ultimately reduces much of the rock to sand. Rocks are selected for their shape. size and types of growths occurring on them. Only some of the rock in a given area is suitable, so the habitat is not destroyed, and any method other than picking the rocks up one by one would be wunterproductlve, as It would lack selectivity, and would break the rocks. These rocks, by the way, do not take long to grow. Most are chiefly composed of the skeletons'of Acropora and Porites hard corals, which are among the fastest growing types (up to 15 crn (6 in.) per year; Veron. 1986). An average size rock might only represent two to three years of original coral growth, and a year or more subsequent growth after the coral died. Also included in the rocks taken are the large shells of dead Conchs and the aggregates of coralline algae, sand, sponges, and calcifying tube worms, any of which can produce substantial solid mass in a few years. These rocks are not produced on a geologic time scale, as is commonly mis-perceived because of the confusion arising from the name "rock', and confusion over the difference between the slow net growth of a coral reef and a reefs fast gross production of calcium carbonate. Reefs are more akin to giant slow growing trees, and live rocks are like leaves, seeds and twigs that the trees shed on a regular basis. They are a renewable resource. If they were not, reefs could not exist because there are far greater destructive forces (storms and mechanical erosion, bioerosion, and grazing by herbivores) than live rock harvest. In my opinion. the impact of the hawest of live rock falls well within the range of natural destructive effects on coral reefs. What we are talking about is merely "background noise" level of impact, hardly worth making so much of a fuss about. More hardbottom could be saved by legislating parrotfish to quit munching, if that were feasible. It is ~lC!af me as a scientist that no harm is done to reefs or the environment by the harvest of to live rock. It is also clear to me as a resident (and native) of the state of Florida that while the facts about live rock are obvious, it Is politically expedient and just plain simpler to appease the environmental lobby, and avoid the complex and expensive realm of enforcement that would be (politically) necessary if the harvest of live rock were allowed to continue. I believe that justifying the ban on live rock harvest by proclaiming the practice is destructive is a crime. Regulation of the industry, while not easy, is a viable and fair option. For the record, there exists an excellent photographic demonstration of the process (and rate) af live rock formation on a Florida Keys coral reef. Photos taken by Eugene Shinn during a period of 25 years at the same site show rapid growth of corals followed by senescence, death, and live rock accumulation. This graphic on-site demonstration is clear proof of the fact that live rocks form on a biological, not geological time scale. The photos can be seen in the foflowlng publicatlon. Shinn, E.A, 1989. What is reaily killing the corals? Sea Frontiers (Merch- Apr11):72-81. Shinn has also published these photos in other reports. He can be reached st 813-893:3684,-0i at FAX # 813-893-3333. Sincerely, JRN 15 ' 9 4 13:43 SROD EMERALD COAST Jan. 15, 1993 SCHOOL SCUBA G l of Mexico Fishery Management Council uf Lincoln Center, Suite 331 540 1 West Kennedy Boulevard Tampa, Florida 33609-2468 8 13-228-28 15 Fax 8 13-225-7015 Dear Council Members. The issue of Live Rock Harvesting as been a very sensitive one for me for several years. And with the recent excelleration of this harvest occumng in the waters off of Destin, I feel adamant about expressing my concerns. I recently attended your hearing in Pensacola and was first at the podium to express my concerns. I logged over 300 dives in Destin < -1993 n and saw the harvesting effects first hand. According to FMFC stats there are approximately 35 individuals reporting landings. What this statistic doesn't represent are the 'teams of divers' these individuals take out harvesting with them. This practice if commonplace in our area with these 'team divers' being paid on average$100.00 per day. With a team, instead of an individual, collecting you can see h o w
rampant destruction can and does occur. 2 of the 3 local liver rock permit holders have been
charged by the Florida Marine Patrol for violations. One was fined and the other is awaiting
judicial proceedings in Walton County.

The State of Florida had the foresight to ban the harvest of live rock in 1989. If the
continued harvest is harmful up to 9.0 nautical miles, it's equally damaging at 9.01 nautical
miles.

I am unyielding in my support for the total prohibition of live rock harvesting. Ih a
community as small as Destin is, and with so many individuals involved in this practice, 1 can
foresee nothing but the eradication of our natural resource for the economic profit of a few
who care nothing for a fishing cominunity that has made its living in this manner for
generations.

Please adopt the SAFMCs position on the ban of wild rock harvesting.

Thank you, T L .
T L Disler
&&
Owner - Emerald Coast Scuba School
02?'20/"90 OE: 52

SHORES SHOPPING CENTER                       -   825 HIGHWAY 98 C            DESTZN, FLORIDA 32541

To thr         members of the gulf fisheriss miasgement cqunci3,
I would like to address    ? ; concerns and b e l i e f s concerning
n.
LLIL   u p u ~ a b a i . & r
~   lArirAurr   -4.   L l r r   laour;   eE    l i r o   roolr   hrrvrob   &I. &ha
R F ! ~n f +he 1 1 - S - A - 1 represent Myself and c r e w a.4 1 ive rock
nervesters            aperating gut of U e u t i i i r ' l . I elso represent myself
and my Family as operators of s marine Aquarium store also in
destin Fl. I would also like to put in a word far the O t h e r
s t u r e s upt3~aLizsy iu C ~ X CU . 3 .                  L l r a C h a r ~ d l tour liuoatack thicr
owners and Employees. Last but r w t least I waul2 like to put ir.                                                  t
ward for t h e hundreds of thousands of squariest throughout this
couxatry.         i   appeal Ca your 9606 m e n t s e a t o .-1lnw +.ha continuation
of the harvest of Live rock for a ressonbble W u n t of time
u n t i l l t a viable a l t e r n a t i v e can be reachadas the possibility of
aquaculture as a qood means t h a t car, be achieved as long as the
ha,rvesters arn't cut short of being a b l e to meet these g a h l s if
t . h i er I ivings art jerked fronr under t h a n .
1 wae dietreseed at the meeting i n pensacole, Mere the
lraruesters w e r - e outriun~thrcdby individuals t h a t would have you
believe that w e were samehow remving entire reefs and thier
verticle structure with crowbars and hammers. This simply is not
true. Qnlp small portions of reef rubble is selected by hand acd
from areas these p e o p l e never frequent. The reefs i n the EEC are
appx ill'to 120' t h e y are rmt as sparse as they would lead yau t o
belie=-   I a n y s e l f have over 1000 readings - There is w e rubble
on them than I could possibly collect in a l i f e t i m e . If these
people were so concerned at savinq thier reefs why don't they
think at t h e damage caused by thier anchors as they lead
thousands of students down each year? I have seen these anchors
rip up huge sections of reef as I was cremd on the very first
Dive boat in the area 2 0 y r s aqo.                               f ishlny v c ~ o c and
l ~          thier
bottam 16 oz.leads? up to 100 at a tine houricing up and down on
the rock and coral? These people are h i p x r i t e s playing on the
fears and mindom o f people who know rrcthuinq                                        of    h c w liue r o c k is
harvested and hew mch thier really is.
l m it will have dewstating
If t h i s imIust.ry is shut. ca
=ZItcts        un ttruuauras w f =anall L u s u i r r ~ a i r c a a;rrrd                L h c p u p l c r h o work
them and t h i e r f milye. f once auain a ~ ~ e a l vour cpad senses,
to
t h a t you see through the hype and f a l l o u the plan to allaw t h e
continuation of the harvest 3 yrs arzd a phase out shuould give u s
harvesters the time we need to get Aquscclture going provided
restrictions are lifted and we have a mean9 to support Our
Indervors financially hy continutng the harwest. give us the t i r r t e
and support w e need. This will Senifit all as the aquarium trade
may be the salvation of the reefs a f t e r a l l and reef rock p l a y s
such an iarpczrtant r o l e . .                  .....Thank         You

TELEPHONE & FAX (904) 654-3333
11950   N, Bayshore Drive, 9A
Miami, FL 33181
January 13, 1994

Georgia Cranmore
Southeast Regional Off i c e
National Marlne F i s h e ~ f e eService
9 4 5 0 Koger Boulevard
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Dear Ms. Cranmore:
This latter pertains to proposed a c t i o n to be taken
regarding the harvest of liverock as presented in Amendment
2 to the Fishery Management Plan f o r Coral and Coral Reefs
of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic.
I, personally, em a resident.pf Miami and consider myself to
be an environmentally aware person, particularly in - regard
to corals end coral reefs, since 1 am a marine sguarist and,
specifically, a . reef,-keeper. I am also President of t h e
Marine Aquarium 'Sacietiee of Noxth America (MASNA) which
represents hundreds. 'of marine. aqtlariets ranging from Puerto
Rico, throughout the'.:    United States and Canada, The most
recent poll of our membership (spring of '93) indicated t h a t
"reef keepers'' (only ) c o n s . t i t , g ? p 38% of our membership; fish
(only) 13%; and B O t # - - 4 . 9 % : W do not believe t h a t the
e
responsible collectfon of, l i v e organisms for t h e aquarium
trade is, in i t s e l f , injurious. W ere a l s o not aware of
e
any hard data to shop t h a t the harvest of l i v e rock from
rubble zones is, in 'fact, det.rirnenta1 t o coral r e e f s .
The purpose of our hobby is't.0preserve l i f e , not destroy
i t . There is no mors~effsctiveor more educational tool in
raising awarenese end.conscidusnese regarding corals and
coral reefs than ,a mazine agyariuar, and in particular a reef
aquarium. It is d i f . f i c u l t to,'arouse concern for something
if it has never b'sen.seen.
The marine aquarium hobby has contributed a great deal of
information regarding the keeping of corals and t h e i r
environmental requirements,           We   organize a yearly
conference, t h e Matine Aqliarium Conference of North America
(MACNA), a t which ekperts from the academic c o r n u n i t y and
Europe are invited t o lecture i n their area of expertise on
the care and pr0p.a' ation of marine organisms.                 The
contributions we havg eon able to make and the advances in
keeping and propagating corals in reef tanks have been, in
large p a r t , due to the availability of livs rock. In f a c t ,
t h e current trend in "reef keepingN i s t o use only l i v e rock
end a protein skimmer. No other filtration is necessary,
other than occasional use of carbon.
There is no question that the protection of Florida's reef
systems (indeed ALL reef systems) comes before any other
consideration, Hawever, wo do not believe t h a t rohibiting
t h e harvest o f live rock is necessary. A prohibftion would
cause great economic harm not only to Flor~da's collectors,
but to t h e entire aquarium industiy, as well as s e t t i n g back
the ttScience and t.hs A t t 1 I (if I may borrow from s g o t t e ) of
marine aquarium keeping to the dark ages. W therefore urge
e
that more moderate proposals be adopted, such as making live
rock part of a regulated fishery With limited entry. W              s
also very much favor aquaculture of l i v e rock, but would
like to see a viable system of leasing/petnittina put in
place in tandem with any planned phase out of wlld harvest.
Last but not least, it was di8turbing to see Mark Derr's
article, ''Raider'e o f the Reef" listed as a reference in
your bibliography. Mr, Derr su pressed information supplied
R
him which was favorable to the obby in his article. He is
opposed t o any form ,ox!the n~arineaquarium hobby (he is also
opposed to zoos), 'add..\$hat b i a s was very evident in the
information he chose . t .publish. Thank you for your
~
attention.
Sincerely,

Beth Hayden, President
MASNA
TAB 'E;                       NO.^
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS
GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
TAMPA, FLORIDA
JANUARY 5, 1994

Six members of the panel attended.

1.     There was concern that harvest of live rock in the Gulf, west of Apalachicola
where it occurs only in small patches, could be detrimental to reef fish habitat.

2.     Though it would be useful for enforcement to be able to identify cultch material
from material live rock, marking is impractical at this point. Some discussion
concerned the use of cement or similar porous material that might be used.
This substance could be molded into identifiable shapes or configurations.
.   -
3.     There was general agreement that a phase out period of three years for taking
live rock should be allowed which could allow ample time for establishment of
aquaculture tracking.

4.     In the redefinition of octocorals, a 3-inch portion of rock beyond the holdfast
should be allowed in order t o provide a base for presentation in aquaria.

5.     Access to harvesting live rock should be limited to current participants by
permit.

6.     Trip limits should be provided in the interim. 500 to 1,000 pound limits were
discussed (less west of Apalachicola).

7.     A phase out should be tied to aquaculture.

8.     Permits for aquaculture should allow possession of attached prohibited corals.

9.     A consensus recommendation for the South Atlantic Florida reef tract is for a
two-year phase out of wild harvest with access limited to current participants,
and a 500 pound trip limit. Aquaculture permitting should be expedited and
encouraged.
J A N - 1 4 - 9 4   F R I    1 6 : 0 2    S O U T H   A T L A N T I C    C O U N C I L       P - 1
- - -9
-
#
-

Jennifer Wheaton, Chairman                         Dr. Jim Kundeil
Florida Marlne Research Institute                  Vinson Institute of Government
100 Eighth Ave., S.E.                              Unfvershy of Georgia
St. Petersburg, FL 33701                           Athens, GA 30602
813/896-8626 (eXt. 383)                            706/542-2736
(Research)                                         (Rec. Diver)
8/93                                               8/93
Michael McMaster

1         Dr. Walter M. Goldberg, Vice-Chairman
9701 SW 62 COU*
Miami, FL 33156
..
P O Box 1168
Tavemier, FL 33070
305/852-0034
305/348-2201                                       (Comm.)
(Env.)                                             8/93
1/86,2/86; 9/86;8/93
Ken Nedimyer
Captain Ed Davldson                                P.O. Box 712
-
Hurricane Aqua Center, inc.
10,800 Overseas Highway
(212 Silver Palm Ave.)
Tavernier, FL 33070
Marathon, FL 33050                                 305/852-4955
305/247-2400                                       (Comm.)
-
(Env. & Rec. Scuba Diving)                         8/93
8/83,2/85,9/86,8/93
Alexander Stone
Dr. Richard E. Dodge, Assoc. Professor             Project ReefKeeper
Nova University                                    1800 S.W. First St., Sulte 306
Oceanographic Center                               Miami, FL 33135
8000 North Ocean Drive                             305/642-9443, FAX: 642-4996
Danla, FL 33004                                    (Cons.)
305/920- 1909                                      8/93
-
(Env, Scuba)
9/83,2/85, 9/86, 8/93                              Robert Van Doiah
S.C. Wildlife and Marine Resources Dept.
Lisa Furstenwerth                                  Marine Resources Division
P.O. Box 302                                      P.O. Box 12559
Summerland Key, FL 33042                          Charleston, SC 29412
305/745-3686                                      803/762-5048
(Cornm.)                                          (Research)
3          8/93                                              8/93
J A N - - 1 4 - 9 4   F R I      1 6 : 0 3    S O U T H     A T L A N T I C      C O U N C I L
p .   2 0
-

January 6,1994
Duck Key,Florida 1:40PM-     6:OOPM
Ken Nedimyer-
Drop- "non-encrusting species of the subclass Octocorallia" in redefinition of
octocorals.
Florida Marine Life Association supports limited access and Iimited effort.
Daily trip limits 500 pounds phase to 200 pounds.
Limit harvest and ta er down to small harvest with availability of aquaculture.
R
Will not be able to c ange limestone into base rock.
Difference in rubble rock and hard bottom.
Cannot place rock in sand for aquaculture.
Lisa Furstenworth-
1992 Ex vessel value- 1.74 million dollars.
Collection occurring has been occumng in the same area for six years.
1500 pound daily mp limit.
Define amount of substrate that can be taken with octocords.
Collectors agree not to chip rock.
Manage rubble rock cut out other rock landings.                                    -   -
Does not support quotas,
Captain Ed Davidson-
Live rock is pan of a dynamic system which supports the rest of the fisheries and it
should nmam where it is.
Is a shon term fishery on habitat
Harvest of public resources is a privilege.
Ultimately prohibit h m e s t at most phase out
Unlimited harvest would allow expansion and stock piling in unregulated areas.
Leave aquaculture to state waters
Mike McMaster-
Need to differentiate hard bottom from rubble.
Problem with limiting harvest
No daily trip limits.
Limited access without effort limitation
Do not suppm prohibition.
Continue rubble collection stop chip ing of rock.
i
Increase opportunities forfederal an state waters (different forms in state and federal
waters).
Aquaculture developing specialty rock
Alexander Stone-
Live rock is not a renewable resource in biological time unlike soft coraIs (renewable
in geologic time)
Net accretion in South Atlantic is negative loosing rcef bottom
OY should be zero
Support aquaculture if viable
If bare rock under the sand can be used for aquaculture then it can be used.
Support prohibition upon implementation( no incentive to find alternatives
If a phase out m s occur then it must be fixed
ut
J A N - 1 4 - 9 4       F R I   1 6 ' 0 4     S O U T H     A T L A N T I C       C O U N C I L                      P . 2 1

January 6,1994

Richard Dodge-                                                ,
...,. . .... .
,
.
E n on the side of conscrvarion when additiona1information is a+d;b'~e limit h m s t
No harvest/ non renewable in the short term
No biological reason to establish a quota
No biological reason to phase out.
Jennifer Wheaton-
Propose a new defmition for live rock.
Reef track in Florida is not accreting
Support prohibition immediately
Limited effort like a quota will not be enforceable.
Research in Dry Totugas shows if subsaate is right thcn growth occurs
Creative concrete in Adanta Georgia can make any type of substrate needed.
The state is not limiting live rock aquaculture leases to sand areas.
Dr. Walter Goldberg-
Preference to favor limited harvest if enforceable.                                           -   -

Limit amount, time and access.
Rubble rock is being treated same as reef do not feel it is the same.
lmponancc of rubble rock is &pendent on particular habitat.
Not convinced an immediate prohibition is necessary.
Unlimited harvest is biggest problem.
No harvest of any encrusting octocorals.
Did not consider algae which is important to the s s e .
tm
i
New &finition of live rock: "Biogenicrcsk attac ed to or in close association with
hard bottom communities on which live coral is growing
Dr. Robert Van Dolah-
Against collection of live rock which is not renewable.
Data gap needs to be resolved (is then a net gain or loss of rubble).
Support promotion of aquaculture.
Taking a long to colonize is an argument against
No wa to monitor or contzol hwest.
i'                            iea
Possib s illegal activity/ may need a M n r l Manngcmcnt Semice lease.
H r bottom is rimarily octocoral sponge associations and is the oniy habitat
corn lexity in Ckolinss and docs not upp port any harvest of ostocorals because it
P
wou d have a significant impact on hard bottom habitat ,                  - . --
Dr. Jim Kundell-
State is in favor of the South Adantic position.
May possibly limit harvest and move toward aquaculture.
k d rock will not be acceptable for aquaculture.

SAFMC Coral AP h p o s e d a ndefmition of Live Rock- , .;:.,,.,..-:,ii:. +..,. ;.,..              .. - I.'. . *
New definition of live rock; "Biogenic r- attached io,'@i c l o s ~ e - ; a ~ ~ l a ~ ~ ~ ~ , ~ .~ : .n, .*--
,:A,   .,,,<,.   .,,                             '   i

in                            -:        5; : i ;
.:
. .
: " : %   .       ,

with hard bottom communities on which marine org'aiil%sor & akembhge are
thereof are growing."
p    *'
.
a
*      g
'
l          "5   '
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

"o ' &
- '
j
'   1   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminiatration
*?.rr,   0'   P
1   IUATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE
southeast Regional Off ice
9450 Koger Boulevard
-v-'[jve                             St. Petersburg, FL 33702

,w

Mr. Wayne Swingle, Executive Director                            u
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Man.agement Council
Lincoln Center, STE 331
5401 Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33609-2468
Dear Wayne:
These are our informal comments on the public hearing draft
(dated November 1993) of Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management
Plan for Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico and
South Atlantic (FMP), including a draft Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), a Regulatory Impact
Review, and an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. N O A A 1 s
Office of Ecology informs us that the document is in the proper
format and may be filed as a draft SEIS. The Southeast ~isheries
Science Center determined that Amendment 2 is based on the best
available scientific information.
Timing of the Amendment/SEIS
It is our understanding that Amendment 2 will be submitted
for filing as a draft SEIS in February or March, following the
South Atlantic Council's final action on the draft amendment.
will be required, and a response prepared to all written
comments, before the amendment and a final SEIS can be submitted
for Secretarial review.
Harvest Restrictions
We disagree with the Gulf Council's preferred option to
merely delay, for thkee years, implementation of a live rock
harvest prohibition. Instead, we recommend a phased reduction in
harvest levels over the three-year period.
Specifically, we recommend a phase out of the harvest of
live rock in the EEZ beginning with a 25% reduction in year 1, a
50% reduction in year 2, and a 75% reduction in year 3. At the
end of the three-year period, no harvest of "wildn live rock
would be allowed in the EEZ. This schedule will allow the
industry to pursue aquaculture options, and provide the incentive
to do so, while mitigating, to the extent possible, the adverse
impacts of the harvest on this nonrenewable resource.
~eography-basedManagement Measures
~rnendment2 contains an option to manage live rock
differently in the Gulf than in the South Atlantic. However,
very little justification is provided for this option. We
recommend that the same management regime be applied to all areas
of the Councils' jurisdictions, absent strong evidence to do
otherwise. Different management measures can cause confusion,
complicate enforcement, and result in a shifting of effort that
could further damage the resource.
Aquaculture Permits
It is not clear to us who will issue aquaculture permits,
what the criteria for issuance will be, and how an exception can
be made for harvest of hard corals and other prohibited species
on cultured rock. Additionally, it is essential to provide a
system for marking of cultured live rock. Otherwise, we will not
be able to enforce a prohibition on harvest of wild live rock.
Legal Review                                         -   -

In addition to the above concerns, our General Counsel
advises that Amendment 2 needs a discrete problem statement and
the problems need to be related to the FMP objectives. Also, the
discussions of the quota options need to contain the scientific
basis for setting a quota, i.e., what would determine the quota.
option needs to be added setting forth the OY, if management
by quota is chosen. The only OYs listed are for the scientific,
educational, restoration, aquaculture, or phase out situations.
We also have a .number of minor issues and editorial
comments. I suggest that our staffs work out these matters to
our mutual satisfaction before the Council submits the amendment
as a draft SEIS.

.
?.lhbLd Kemmerer

cc:   F/CM - Schaefer
SAFMC - Mahood
Regiona
3
Director

F/SEC - Brown
GCSE - Pedrick
*
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I UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
,
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1
NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE
--

southeast Regional Off ice
Q A F n V n m n ~ .
noulevard
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
-

Mr. Wayne Swingle, Executive ~irecto;
Gul f of Mexico Fishery Management Counci
'
Lin.coln Center, STE 331
5401 Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33609-2468
Dear Wayne:
These are our informal comments on the public hearing draft
(dated November 1993) of Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management
Plan for Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico and
,
South Atlantic (FMP) including a draft Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), a Regulatory Impact
Review, and an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. NOAAts
Office of Ecology informs us that the document is in the proper
format and may be filed as a draft SEIS. The Southeast -Fisheries
Science Center determined that Amendment 2 is based on the best
available scientific information.
Timing of the Amendment/SEIS
It is our understanding that Amendment 2 will be submitted
for filing as a draft SEIS in February or March, following the
South Atlantic Council's final action on the draft amendment.
will be required, and a response prepared to all written
comments, before the amendment and a final SEIS can be submitted
for Secretarial review.
Harvest Restrictions
We disagree with the Gulf Council's preferred option to
merely delay, for thkee years, implementation of a live rock
harvest prohibition. Instead, we recommend a phased reduction. in
harvest levels over the three-year period.
Specifically, we recommend a phase out of the harvest of
live rock in the EEZ beginning with a 25% reduction in year 1, a
50% reduction in year 2, and a 75% reduction in year 3. At the
end of the three-year period, no harvest of nwildM-live rock
would be allowed in the EEZ. This schedule will allow the
industry to pursue aquaculture options, and provide the incentive
to do so, while mitigating, to the extent possible, the adverse
impacts of the harvest on this nonrenewable resource.
Geography-based Management Measures

~mendment 2 contains an option to manage live rock
differently in the Gulf than in the South Atlantic. However,
very little justification is provided for this option. We
recommend that the same management regime be applied to all areas
of the Councils' jurisdictions, absent strong evidence to do
otherwise.' Different management measures can cause confusion,
complicate enforcement, and result in a shifting of effort that
could further damage the resource.
Aquaculture Permits
It is not clear to us who will issue aquaculture permits,
what the criteria for issuance will be, and how an exception can
be made for harvest of hard corals and other prohibited species
on cultured rock. Additionally, it is essential to provide a
system for marking of cultured live rock. Otherwise, we will not
be able to enforce a prohibition on harvest of wild live rock.
Legal Review                                         -   -

In addition to the above concerns, our General Counsel
advises that Amendment 2 needs a discrete problem statement and
the problems need to be related to the FMP objectives. Also, the
discussions of the quota options need to contain the scientific
basis for setting a quota, i.e., what would determine the quota.
An option needs to be added setting forth the OY, if management
by quota is chosen. The only OYs listed are for the scientific,
educational, restoration, aquaculture, or phase out situations.
We also have a number of minor issues and editorial
comments. I suggest that our staffs work out these matters to
our mutual satisfaction before the Council submits the amendment
as a draft SEIS.

cc:   F/CM - Schaefer
SAFMC - Mahood
F/SEC - Brown
GCSE - Pedrick


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