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Don McAllister <[log in to unmask]>


[log in to unmask]


Wed, 30 Apr 1997 06:54:32 -0400





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Our Ocean Voice International, Ottawa and the Haribon Foundation for
Conservation of Natural Resources has been working on alternatives to
cyanide collection of aquarium fishes for several years. We've had
training in net use, education about reef care, and produced a coral
reef educational manual in 3 languages editions for the Philippines plus
a couple of awareness raising videos.

Sodium cyanide is what is used in the Philippines. My sources tell me
that it was potassium cyanide that was used in Taiwan (this is from an
article that I hope to publish in our quarterly bulletin, Sea Wind). As
manager for the IUCN SSC Coral Reef Specialist Group, we hope to be
publishing our bibliography on the toxicity of cyanide to fishes and
corals (not much on the latter, though new stuff will be coming out).

I would assume that the two would be both highly toxic. The collectors
try to use a low dosage to merely stun the fish and make them easy to
catch. But as the lump of cyanide in the plastic squeeze bottle
diminishes in size and as currents or wave action variously dilutes each
squirt, and as a 'cloud' of cyanide gets caught less diluted in
crannies, you get overdoses and a lot of mortality on the reef, and more
all the way through the exporters, importers, dealers and aquarium
hobbyists. Then there is the cyanide life reef food fish fishery - see
the Johannes report.


Christopher Burton wrote:
> Hi everyone
> Further to my first posting regarding a live-fish industry in WA, I want to
> know if there are different forms of cyanide used in Asian waters for the
> capture of live fish ie. Sodium and Potassium cyanide or anything else, and
> if so, are there any differences between these chemicals and their effects?
> Thankyou for your help
> Chris
> Chris Burton
> Research Consultant
> Western Australian Marine Research Laboratories
> Fisheries Department of Western Australia
> P.O. Box 20
> North Beach, 6020
> Western Australia
> Email: [log in to unmask]
> Fax: 61 9 447 3062
> Phone: 61 9 246 8444

Don E. McAllister /& Canadian Centre for Biodiversity
Ocean Voice International /Canadian Museum of Nature
Box 37026, 3332 McCarthy Rd. /Box 3443, Station D
Ottawa, ON K1V 0W0, Canada /Ottawa, ON K1P 6P4
URL: E-mail: [log in to unmask]
 (or: [log in to unmask]) Tel: (613) 264-8986, Fax: (613)

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