You may not know Treehugger.com but as their name implies, this popular blog frequently posts news about how to live life more sustainably and advice on how to be a friendly consumer to the environment. Apparently Treehuggers are not Reef-huggers as their site yesterday featured a repost of a story about how to decorate a fireplace for the summer in which they advocated the use of dead coral skeletons as a perfectly legit choice of decoration. The header image features a once-beautiful large colony of Pocillopora eydouxi lookin about as dead as can be, not to mention a large Tridacna gigas clam shell, a species which is highly threatened in the wild and extinct from some localities of the Pacific Ocean.
Hey we get it, we like corals too but we like them alive and we like them to grow, not to collect dust and make a fireplace look pretty. Surely from a treehugger’s point of view, Reef Builders criticizing out a site for promoting the use of dead coral skeletons as decorations is like the pot calling the kettle black but there is a world of difference between the live coral trade, much of which is farmed, and the curio trade which harvests everything from clams to corals, seahorses to starfish and just dries them out into sepulchral souvenirs to sell to tourists. We applaud Treehugger for spreading awareness about many environmental issues as it relates to the everyday man but this is one case where they disappoint.