PROTECT THE REEF FISHES OF CLIPPERTON ATOLL
In light of the currently unknown long-term effects of the recent chemical tanker 'Sichem Osprey' grounding on the Atoll, and a myriad of other threats and changes in this location, we urge the relevant authorities to place a COMPLETE and IMMEDIATE BAN on the collection of reef fish species from around Clipperton Atoll for anything other than legitimate scientific study or for breeding programmes at recognised public aquaria.
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Clipperton Atoll is a tiny, remote and uninhabited ring of land in the vast Tropical East Pacific Ocean. Although the Atoll is named after the 18th Century English Privateer, Captain John Clipperton (who allegedly used the location as his base for raids on Spanish shipping), it is a French possession. Ecologically, the location is unique and important for many reasons. Numerous scientific expeditions have visited the location and all have recognised the unique value of the fragile ecosystem that exists there.
In early 2010 a tanker carrying thousands of tons of Xylene (a flammable solvent) ran aground at the Atoll. As of the date of the creation of this petititon, it is not known what the environmental impact of this accident will be. Yet, even with potential disaster looming, a further threat has developed.... that is, the activity of ornamental marine fish collectors.
Unlike the marine trade in other areas of the World (which can have numerous benefits), in our opinion, commerical collections at Clipperton have NO knock-on benefits at all. These activities represent an UNNECESSARY additional pressure on an already fragile ecosystem. Due to the inherent difficulties in collecting species from such a location, it is perhaps not surprising that previous attempts have led to almost TOTAL LOSSES. We are talking about the deaths of dozens of rare reef fishes, classified as 'vulnerable' by the IUCN, purely for commercial gains or 'status'. If further instances of this occur it could be damaging for the wider reef-keeping hobby.
By signing this petition, we urge the relevant authorities to stop this UNETHICAL activity and place a COMPLETE and IMMEDIATE BAN on the collection of reef fish species from around Clipperton Atoll for anything other than legitimate scientific study or for breeding programmes at recognised public aquaria.