Wednesday’s news of SEASMART’s funding loss and lawsuit stunned many. Still, given the nature of ongoing legal proceedings, parties are generally tight-lipped about the past and present. CORAL Magazine contributor and journalist Ret Talbot filled in a few key details for us while we waited for the press release embargo to expire, and in his own commentary released Thursday on the CORAL Magazine website, we got a few new tidbits of insight. Most notably, we learned that PNG may have cut off SEASMART’s funding as early as September, perhaps right as SEASMART was making its presence known at the 2010 MACNA in Orlando. Ret Talbot goes on to cite undisclosed sources that suggest, but do not outright state, that simple economics may have driven the PNG Government’s decision to withhold obligated funding. Still, this does come across as a very easy and convenient explanation for what might be a very complicated situation.
We invite ReefBuilder’s readers to review Ret Talbot’s commentary on the current status of EcoEZ’s PNG SEASMART program, and to consider the many questions raised about sustainability and the marine aquarium industry. The ongoing debate over the future of wild fish collection for marine aquariums, and thus, the shaping of the marine aquarium industry in the decades to come, may not be as instantly enthralling as a $1050 Chalice Coral Frag. Still, these events transcend the day-in, day-out efforts of the industry – where the results take us is much more important in the long run.