Busting Aquatic Myths

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Busting aquatic myths
21st December 2016

By Sandra Pearce

A PHD student is leading an investigation with three other explorers into the global aquarium fish trade. 

 
The team went to the Philippines and Indonesia in June and July to track blue tangs from home aquariums back to their native habitat in the South Pacific. A film documenting the journey will debut next year.
 
Shannon Switzer told the National Geographic magazine: “We’re trying to have a counter-narrative to this dominant conservation view of ‘the aquarium fish trade is bad and just make it stop.’ 
 
“We would encourage people to just learn more about the chain itself and understand the complexity of it. There are a lot of people who are involved in it and are impacted by the aquarium trade. And if we stop the trade – that is the goal and that is the current voice from the conservation community – there are people like the harvesters who will have to fill that void with something else.  That will likely be another marine resource that might be managed less sustainably.”
 
National Geographic has named the Stanford second-year PhD student one of the 10 most inspiring Adventurers of the Year. National Geographic invites its readers to vote for a People’s Choice winner, who will be announced in January 2017.
 
A photographer and conservationist, Shannon has, according to National Geographic, ‘dived with sea lions, sailed along the coast of California and surfed near otters and whales. Over the years, her love for surfing and other ocean sports inspired a deep commitment to scientific research and advocacy, which has propelled her across the globe’.