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    Program ID - bo042606

    Cruise Ship Pollution, Coral Reefs and Aquariums

    This week we'll explore how tourism and home aquariums are impacting our oceans.

    Over 20 million coral reef fish are sold to aquarium hobbyists every year with the vast majority of them “wild caught.” These coveted specimens – including the threatened banggai cardinalfish and the panther grouper – are stunned by divers who use cyanide to poison the waters around them. Sensitive coral reefs and other marine wildlife suffer the consequences of this toxic collection method.

    Join host Jerry Kay as we hear how the growing aquarium trade is fueling fishing practices that are destructive to both the ocean and humans. We'll also learn about cruise ship pollution and a new type of biodegradable plastic that's being used in water bottles.

    This Week's Guests:

    Drew Weiner — Founder, Reef Protection International

    Weiner founded Reef Protection International (RPI) in 2004. Having been an aquarium hobbyist for more than 15 years, he conceived, designed, and raised the funding for RPI's Reef Fish Guide campaign in order to educate aquarium hobbyists about ecologically responsible fish buying. Prior to starting up RPI, he managed WildAid\’s Galápagos Forever program where he worked directly with local fisherman and the Galápagos National Park Service for the protection of the vast Galápagos marine reserve. Previous to WildAid, Drew was Publisher of Eco-Odyssey online magazine, which provided a multimedia presentation of environmental projects and cultures around the world, supporting an international subscriber base. Drew has appeared on radio and has written articles about marine conservation issues for publications that include Earth Island Journal and Tropical Fish Hobbyist.

    Dawn Winalski — Campaign Projects Manager, Oceana

    Winalski works on Oceana's campaigns to stop pollution in the marine environment. Beginning on the campaign to stop cruise ship pollution, she played an integral role in the organization's victory in getting Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to commit to upgrading their fleet to advanced wastewater treatment technology. She continues to lobby for national legislation to bring these changes to the rest of the industry. In addition, she plans and coordinates activities on Oceana's campaign to stop mercury contamination in seafood.

    Oceana campaigns to protect and restore the world's oceans. Their staff of marine scientists, economists, lawyers and advocates go after specific and concrete policy changes to reduce pollution and prevent the collapse of fish populations, marine mammals and other sea life. Oceana has campaigners based in North America, Europe and South America.

    David Zutler — CEO, Biota Spring Water

    Zutler is chief executive officer of BIOTA Brands of America Inc.,based out of Telluride, Colo. Biota which stands for Blame It On The Altitude was introduced for retail sale as the world's first water in bottles made of polylactide, or PLA, a polymer derived from corn that's commercially compostable. Zutler originally saw a market for bottled Colorado water a decade ago, and began to search for a spring that met his standards. The spring, which pumps 2,000 gallons of 38 degree water a minute is owned by the city of Ouray, Colo. and Zutler maintains a lease. The corn based packaging that the water bottles are constructed out of decomposes in under 3 months and burns cleanly.

    More information:

  • The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

  • Wall Street Journal – "The Sea Inside"
  • Associated Press – "New Law to Cut Down on Cruise Ship Waste"

    Web Resources:
  • Reef Protection International
  • Marine Aquarium Council
  • Oceana – Cruise Ship Pollution Campaign
  • Cruise Ship Pollution State Activity Page
  • Biota

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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