Rumours and Nonsense

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by MASA Admin, 15 Jul 2012.

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  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

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    Well another disturbing occurrence on MASA that may need some explanation. We are speaking about the incident where someone asked for the ID of a coral and then later on in the thread announced that it was taken out of the ocean and when it was pointed out that it was illegal to do so, he claimed he was not aware of this. First off, if you are going to collect or catch anything from the ocean please make sure you have the appropriate licence/permit to do so as ignorance of the law is no excuse if you end up in court because of your actions. What happened after the announcement that it was removed from the ocean, we assume was a knee jerk reaction by one of the sponsors who is a permit holder to import corals and fish into the country, but more about this later.

    Most of the laws governing our hobby are unbeknown to the most of us and this is because the majority of the time they are not aimed at us, the hobbyist and as such not really policed. Do not kid yourself though and think the authorities do not watch our forum because believe us they do. However unfortunate, as things stand we do fall under these laws and as such it is illegal to propagate/frag a coral or breed a marine fish, however ridicules this sounds, it is the way things stand at the moment. As responsible hobbyists we assume the majority of us are animal lovers and very aware of what is happening to our oceans, so strive to do the best for the animals in our care. There are very few hobbies that evoke such passion as marines. We can all see the advantages of fragging and captive breeding, as it means somebody can receive a coral or fish without having to take it out of the ocean, this in our book is defiantly a win win situation, but unfortunately as the law stands, it is illegal to do so. If you think there are no repercussions to this law, just speak to Luckyfish (Marcel) or find his thread here on MASA. Now with this in mind there are a good few people working to protect our hobby, these folk are mainly in the trade as their lively hood depends on us getting our livestock as easily as possible. This often costs them a lot of money, effort and an endless amount of time, so yes they do reap the benefits but so do we at the end of the day. Some have taken it even further and set up meetings with DAFF to try and get the hobby under its own set of laws so people would be allowed to frag and breed marine ornamentals for the hobby. These are folk that don’t just sit behind a computer and criticize and bitch about the law they actually throw the time and effort into trying to get it changed because they can see how vulnerable the ornamental trade is, under a blanket law. Now admittedly they also stand to gain from it at the end of the day, they are businessmen after all. With job creation being the number one priority in this country, there is a whole sector that has potential here, if it were legal.

    Back to our original point.
    We also understand that as an import permit holder you may be required to report anything illegal but please keep in mind that when these laws were written they were not aimed at the hobbyist but at a rather larger industry. Please think of the poor hobbyist starting out that does not have any knowledge that there are certain laws out there and his only contact has been with the LFS so far, who does not supply any of this information, to report this person again is taking everything to the N’th degree and nothing will be gained by this. As far as fragging/propagation goes we at MASA fully support this in the name of conservation, as the more that is fragged the less has to be imported and thus less coral taken out of the ocean. With regards to the proposed permit system, we do not disagree nor agree with a permit system to be able to frag corals at home, but if the permits do come into effect then we appeal to the authority to please make the permits accessible so that those who want to practise this fine art are able to do so.
     
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  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    The above post was posted under the MASA admin username as it is an amalgamation of a few peoples feelings.

    But to say that I am personally absolutely livid is an understatement, I am beyond furious that a member of this forum deems it necessary to report other members for violations of the Living Resources Act, especially if it was an innocent mistake, we've all done it, we've all had people shout at us when we've done something wrong and for the most part we corrected our ways after we had been advised that what we did was wrong, now to have someone come on the forum and tell us that they are bound to report this to the authorities infuriates me to no end, people with motives like that are not welcome on MASA.

    I am not saying that we condone illegal activities, what I am saying is that we (myself and a lot of you) are fully capable of educating and/or advising members with regards to the rights and wrongs of South Africa's marine living resources, people make mistakes, we're here to help, not to report people to the authorities.

    And now this nonsense that all of a sudden, after all these years, we need to have permits to sell frags? In my opinion, this ancient law was originally there to curb the commercial aspect of whatever it was they were trying to curb, the law is in no way relevant from a hobbyists perspective, hobbyists were not taken into account when this law was gazetted, yes you can quote all the bits and pieces of text that you want from the various Acts and claim that it's illegal to frag, so what, as far as I'm concerned it's all hogwash, in my mind somebody has brought all this up and excited the authorities purely so that they can gain monetary benefit from it, why else push the issue about fragging permits? Why try to look good in front of DAFF by reporting our members (your customers by the way) and sending reports to DAFF? What exactly were you going to put on the report anyway, the persons username? From a commercial point of view it all makes sense. I don't support it at all! I'm sorry this post is so aggressive but I've just blown my top and I am very pi$$ed off and I'll probably regret it in the morning, but after someone opened a fragging club today and was then told via PM that it's a no-no on MASA???? What the hell? That's absolute utter nonsense.
    So you want all of the reefers to sell their frags to you and you then sell them on? I don't think so, I refuse to adopt that idea.

    I fully 100% support reefers fragging and selling in their own homes! I do not in any way support the idea of a commercial entity trying to monopolise the fragging market in this country! And I certainly do not support any member of this forum that feels the necessity to report our members to the authorities!
     
    Last edited: 15 Jul 2012
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  4. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    Unfortunatly if you read the Living Resources Act section 18, it seems that according to the wording it is actually illegal to have a marine tank since we are in essence cultivating (growing or trying to grow) fish(which include coral).

    So where does it leave the industry including the shops who sell us these stock?
     
    Last edited: 15 Jul 2012
  5. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    All antiquated laws if you ask me. I agree 100% with your view on this matter Viper.
     
  6. CocaColaza

    CocaColaza

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    Also agree with viper 100% but just because a law is old and you dont agree with it doesnt make it less of a law. Just playing devils advocate.
     
  7. Rhyn

    Rhyn

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    :iagree:
     
  8. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Thanks Viper, I 100% agree!

    Just had a long talk with my clown fish and asked them nicely to stop laying eggs, told them it is illegal in SA for them to mate!
     
  9. magman

    magman

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    @viper357, I agree with you Dean that it is sad the comments that have been said, maybe motivated by greed and power to control the hobby.

    I did speak to one of the marine guys, from the KZN wildlife on Friday, and basically one is correct in saying that it is illegal to swop frags. Basically every single one of us in the hobby fall short of the law, and he said especially the petshops. Basically our hobby falls under the marine collection permit, which was written solely for the collection of fish, and then keeping them. But basically if you live in JHB, go to a sponser there, and buy six chromis for your 5000lt tank, you breaking the law, as you can't keep more than 5 of any one species, even though you never been to a South African beach. You can't have more than 10 fish, regardless of wether it is a queen angel from hawaai or any other exotic fish. We are supposed to keep a log of any fish purchased/caught for our tank.

    But basically they do know that the legislation was not written for our hobby, they won't arrest you and me for swopping a few frags, they are more concerned about the commercial side, eg aquaculture like Marcels case.

    One concern he did say was corals on the sites list be swooped.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Draylin

    Draylin

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    +1 to viper , just because it's law does not mean its right. Personally I think the laws on coral propagation make no sense what so ever. I fully agree with the law on not being able to return fish and corals back to the sea based on them bringing disease but come on only a fool cannot see that every coral and fish breed in captivity is 1 less that is not being taken from the sea
     
  11. rakabos

    rakabos

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    What does that mean
     
  12. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Think he meant to say Cites list. So protected corals.
     
  13. rakabos

    rakabos

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  14. Draylin

    Draylin

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    Means like a typical bureaucrat they will confiscate and destroy the very creatures they are supposed to protect.Make no mistake I fully support the law but when the law is wrong how can I support it . From time to time situations change and the law must change with the times.
     
  15. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    I suspect magman meant corals on the cites list being swopped.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
  16. magman

    magman

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    One other thing, it is hard to blame newbies that don't know the law. we were all newbies at one stage, wether it be not knowing what we collecting, if it be legal or not, if it will survive or not, or if our tank is ready for it like anenones, I fell it is up to us, the more experienced to teach.
     
  17. magman

    magman

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    Sorry guys, my first post should of said CITES, I am on my cell, and it has a auto correct.
     
  18. pXius

    pXius

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    Agrees with admin and Viper post.
     
  19. brentch

    brentch

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    I think he meant Cites list?
     
  20. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    well all hard corals are on the CITES lists, and there are many, this applies to the trade in wild caught corals removed from the ocean to the end point, however if these same corals are captive grown, aka frags, and those frags are grown and fragged again, those frags do not need a CITIES permit to be traded as they are considered aqua-cultured and not mari-cultured. i have many emails to and from CITES and here is a response below
     
  21. magman

    magman

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    bottem line though, I think if any hobbist had to go to court for swooping frags, any judge would throw the case out if you could prove which lfs you got your original colony from, as the current law only pertains to collection. I don't think we can let one person that cries wolf bring our complete hobby to a standstill. My tank is completly full of frags, and I am proud to say that it has had an almost zero affect on any Asian reefs, and I think it is what the environmental law would want to protect.
     
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