Hi Real Reef Supporters,
Here is a prime example of large volume coral and coral live rock mining. This is a shipment that arrived Mainland U.S. by boat earlier in the month. The shipment originated in the Fiji Islands and shipped via boat to the U.S., then trucked to the customer. Most likely this was live coral and coral skeleton rock collected then bleached in preparation for the export. Please note the large Table Top coral heads in the far right bin and the large Staghorn Acropora base in the far left bin. The large Staghorn’s broken branches are in the bin below.
This is not a import of dry scleractinia rock, but actual reef building coral colonies shipped under the “Live Rock” pretense. The foreground bins have actual dried and sun bleached pieces of Live Rock, but overall this large shipment is a combination of both coral rock and coral skeletons. This practice is not sound conservation, nor sustainable. It is bad enough the curio trade still harvests large reef building corals, but now reef hobbyist unwillingly are supporting the same practice. Buyer beware; if it’s cheap live rock, it’s probably boat rock! 90% of all Live Rock in the aquarium trade is shipped by boat and ultimately dead!
As more Aquarists become educated on how and where their Live Rock is collected, the thought and practice of wild Live Rock mining will be frowned upon and a thing of the past. Lets not chop down the tree, but pick the fruit for a lifetime!
-Team Real Reef