The use of cyanide in the live reef fish trade

This discussion topic submitted by Melissa Mejia ( on 5/6/98.

Coral reefs are one of the most productive and biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. They harbor a rich diversity of species ranging from 35,000 to 60,000 with thousands more still unidentified. Much of the degradation is due to the fishing practices of the live reef fish trade. The use of cyanide as a collection device plays a key role in the ecological destruction that occurs in coral reefs. The most interesting aspect of this subject is the profound social effects that are involved. It is not a simple matter of biological threats through careless practices but rather a means of survival for many people. I intend to give an overview of the live reef fish trade, the use of cyanide and its biological effects, and the social and political aspects as well. Cyanide and dynamite fishing , Who's really responsible. Environmental, economic, and social implications of the live reef fish trade in Asia and the Western Pacific. Coral reef rehabilitation efforts in Indonesia. Threats to coral reefs.

Leduc, G. 1994. Cyanides in water:Toxicological significance, p. 153-224. In L.J. weber (ed) Aquatic Toxicology Vol. 2. Raven Press, New York.

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