View Full Version : Tongan live rock exprts may be ending.

02/05/2008, 12:40 AM
Tonga live rock collection may in fact be shut down due to the unscrupulous collecting practices of a certain well know marine ornamental export company stationed on that island.

Public out cry from concerned Tongan school children who after seeing the reef in front of their school activly torn up with crowbars and loaded onto trucks by collectors has spawned a student anti trade movement which has caused Tongan Fisheries to take a second look at the live rock collection trade.

Crow barring of live reef rock is not something normally done in such a public location in full view of onlookers, prompting many to question if this may actually have been a staged event in which to blemish the trade?

Crow bar broken off rock has white colored fresh snapped scars where the rock is newly broken away from the reef.
This type of collecting is not practiced by all collectors
Many collectors on the island go to great lengths to seek out old purple coraline encrusted reef rock which has broken off in past storms and is laying on the sea floor.
Deep water storm rock has a tell tale pink and maroon color and an aged look to it.

Several collectors I spoke with stated "that beach front collecting with crow bars is rarely practiced because the broken off shallow water rock is too white in color and unpopular with hobbyists."

Which again brings up the question that if this type of near shore broken up rock is not commonly collected in Tonga due to its poor sales history, what may have prompted this very public school yard event?

Officials are working with the Tongan locals to seek out new updated proposal for any future collection of rock.