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Destination Reefs: Bali

By Leonard Ho - Posted Feb 19, 2012 07:00 AM
Bali, Indonesia: An island paradise near the southern border of Indonesia (and the Coral Triangle). Bali is so popular that we've got videos galore this week. The density and diversity of life found here is astounding, but Bali's coral reef is also a victim of its own beauty.

Bali is a tourist haven ... and for good reason: In addition to the world-renowned culture topside, the coral reefs at Bali teem with life. A 2011 research expedition counted an astonishing 953 species of reef fish and 397 species of coral in a mere two week survey, including 9 new species!  It is little surprise that Bali is a major exporter of livestock to the aquarium trade.  Chances are, every reefkeeper has at least one animal from Bali in their aquariums.

We had access to literally hundreds of Bali videos and selected the best ones to share with you.  Every one of these videos is incredible and unique, so we hope you find time to view them and bear witness to Bali's beauty.

Sadly, beauty and abundance is a double-edged sword.  Tourism development and frequent poaching of fish and invertebrates/corals (often times with destructive techniques like dynamite and cyanide) remain constant pressures on this island's ecology.

Over the past two decades, the Indonesian government has recognized the value of conserving their coral reefs with no-take zones, outlawing dynamite and cyanide fishing everywhere, and fostering mariculture programs.  However, enforcement has proven difficult.  While significant strides have been made to protect their natural resource, as much as 25% of its fisheries are still lost to illegal activities every year.  Continued vigilance is necessary to ensure Bali remains one of the worlds premiere reef locations.

As a marine aquarist, please buy from reputable dealers to prevent "blood corals and fish" from entering the aquarium trade.  It is my strong belief that all wholesalers and livestock retailers should share information about the chain of custody of the animals they handle;  Aquarist should insist on transparency.  Let's all make our demand drive a more sustainable, ethical, and responsible supply chain.

I dare you to tell me Bali is not worth our conservation efforts after watching these videos.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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