Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community Archives > More Forums > Reef Club Forums > West Region-Reef Club Forums > Bay Area - Reefers (BAR)

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01/10/2008, 06:09 PM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
Collectors die in Tonga, Vanuatu

People,
The pursuit of deepwater wrasses in Vanuatu and deepwater ventralis anthias in Tonga has killed two divers these past few months.
I just got off the phone to my own guy in Tonga and he said the reason there was not so much alarm is because they were both Filipinos under contract and not locals with families.

The grieving families in the Philippines did not apparently count.
They were promised a severance pay...that never got sent....
They were also both pressured to dive deep for the coveted species in order to get paid.

Beautiful fish, dangerous...200 foot depths, and scandalous business.
There is no way to work 200 foot w/ conventional scuba and not kill divers.
The only press so far is this.
There will be more as I dig futher.
Sincerely, Steve
  #2  
Old 01/10/2008, 06:11 PM
delsol650 delsol650 is offline
Semi Reefing Vet
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Pacifica, Bay Area
Posts: 4,676
That Sux...
__________________
" This hobby can really give you one of the best highs and the worst lows any hobbyist can experience within a small given time".

" Charles V "
  #3  
Old 01/10/2008, 07:06 PM
GreshamH GreshamH is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 5,113
Steve, is that one in each country in the last few months?

200' on SCUBA while working is stacking the odds in a major way. Heck, I've never hit the depth even for a couple minutes. 160' is my limit and I don't stay long, and I have never worked at ANY depth collecting fish. I can not imagine what that would do to your down time.

So I take it the companies don't use computers (duh, I know ) nor do they enforce any tables (another duh, I know ). Indeed it does sound scandelous and my heart goes out to the families. Those divers sent most thier earnings back to their family in PI. While I don't know what exporter they worked for, I wish I did so I could make sure I didn't support them in any way.

Steve, do you think it's safe to see over a hundred divers have died world wide in persuit of MO collections? You've meantioned the village in PI that has nearly no males left do to baby clownfish collections (deepwater). Are there other places like that?
__________________
Gresham
_______________________________
Feeding your reef...one polyp at a time
  #4  
Old 01/10/2008, 07:17 PM
Unarce Unarce is offline
espyesitis sufferer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 3,512
__________________
The views of reefkeepers do not conform to the views of the general public, or to any accepted standard of logic that reveals reefkeeping to be a true illness.
  #5  
Old 01/10/2008, 08:27 PM
Thales Thales is offline
PKSN
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: bay area
Posts: 2,762
Massively lame.

200 feet is a decompression dive. When I was there they didn't even do a safety stop at 15 feet. 80 feet to the surface as quick as they could swim. Oy.
__________________
The reefer formally known as Lefty
Ink is the way; the way is ink.
  #6  
Old 01/10/2008, 08:27 PM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
Gresham,
I just talked to MeMe in Tonga and he reminded me of the Polilio Island, Quezon province village that lost 45 collectors to baby clown triggerfish collecting from 1988-93.
The pressure to go deep is put on by the business /marlketing people who know nothing of the ocean but how to sell it.
Steve
  #7  
Old 01/10/2008, 08:58 PM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
The Vanuatu guy was from Mascinloc Zambales, trained on nets in 1993.
The Bolinao guy, Eddie Balmoral was trained by others and was thrilled to get paid well to work abroad.
No where in the contract they had to sign did it say that you'd have to "dive deep or else not get paid" .
Forcing people to go to certain danger every, single day to catch ventralis gives them the choice...resign and be sued or work deep.
None of them understand the efects of deep diving like genuinely trained scuba people and they figure that "some are taken and the rest spared."
Just bad luck if you're taken they think instead of the predictable laying down the odds in a game of Russian Roulette.
Today they are still pressured to go deep...and think they cannot rebel against the powers that they are contracted to work for.
Criminal charges would be levied in many countries over this.
Steve
Steve
  #8  
Old 01/10/2008, 09:17 PM
Thales Thales is offline
PKSN
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: bay area
Posts: 2,762
Thats the Eddie that dove with us in Tonga?
__________________
The reefer formally known as Lefty
Ink is the way; the way is ink.
  #9  
Old 01/10/2008, 09:56 PM
hawaiianwargod hawaiianwargod is offline
Flips"R"us...U?
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: 11 54' N, 121 55' E
Posts: 2,061
Send a message via Yahoo to hawaiianwargod
Damn...that so sad! May they RIP!
__________________
Proud to be American!........I'll die for this country in a heartbeat!
[E] levated
[L] evel
[O] f
[S] weetness
  #10  
Old 01/10/2008, 11:39 PM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
No, A different Eddie from the other company. Joeys friend.
Steve
  #11  
Old 01/10/2008, 11:44 PM
Thales Thales is offline
PKSN
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: bay area
Posts: 2,762
Thanks Steve. It still really sucks.
__________________
The reefer formally known as Lefty
Ink is the way; the way is ink.
  #12  
Old 01/10/2008, 11:55 PM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
The pressure came from the American manager who knows better.
I warned him several times about this....on 100 foot fish!
I had no idea he then pushed them to go even deeper.
That means it was really unneccessary and more scandalous.
He worked Vanuatu as well and prepped it to sell to the new guys. They continued the program using imported Filipino divers to go super deep and sure enough, a good guy died of the bends.
The way they still go for hooded wrase, ventralis, scotts wrasse and pictilis is still very dangerous.
The odds are for more deaths to come as the "good season" rolls in .
Some of the divers are resigning as their contracts expire.
Steve
  #13  
Old 01/11/2008, 12:01 AM
waxy waxy is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 108
Anything for money
  #14  
Old 01/11/2008, 02:02 AM
scuba71 scuba71 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Jose
Posts: 3
my condolences to their family and friends.

My deepest dive was a wreck dive in the marshal islands at 160'. Only stayed there for less than 10 minutes. I can't even imagine doing any chasing of fish at 200'. That's nuts man.
  #15  
Old 01/11/2008, 02:22 AM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
ruinous repetitive dive routines

Quote:
I can't even imagine doing any chasing of fish at 200'. That's nuts man.
Then I should shut up cuz there are a number of Americans running stations in the Pacific who regularly put their briefly trained employeee divers at risk .

The divers generally think theres not much difference between 100 and 180 feet as they are both deep. In fact here is a huge difference but the exporters want ventralis to please you all and most of them are not divers .
For the ones who are divers, they know better and have no excuses.
Pushing the guys into repetitive dives three times a day is the norm. Three!
Not 60 feet then 50 feet then 40. Oh no...

For you guys out there who are divers and have already sat thru boyles law and Archimedes principle during scuba class, you already understand what this daily ventralis anthias collectors dive profile means;

8:30 AM DIVE TO 180 FEET FOR 25 MINUTES
11:30 AM DIVE TO 150 FEET FOR 40 MINUTES
1:30 PM DIVE TO 150 FEET AGAIN FOR 40 MINUTES

The divers are not nearly decompressed enough and are way over the limits setting themselves up for the bends, paralysis, partial paralysis, bone neucrosis and eventually premature arthiritis if they survive.

If employers were held responsible, things could change quickly.
Steve
  #16  
Old 01/11/2008, 02:29 AM
Unarce Unarce is offline
espyesitis sufferer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 3,512
Steve,

Is there anything we can do as conscientious hobbyists? Something more than simply boycotting deepwater fish from these areas.

If you're able to locate and contact the relatives of the deceased collectors, perhaps we could contribute to a Family Donation.

Karl
__________________
The views of reefkeepers do not conform to the views of the general public, or to any accepted standard of logic that reveals reefkeeping to be a true illness.
  #17  
Old 01/11/2008, 02:34 AM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
Karll
One I know already and the second ...I'll have info tomorrow.
I know Eddie had a wife and a one year old baby.
A direct western Union to the wives of both would be wonderful!
Steve
  #18  
Old 01/11/2008, 07:53 AM
Reefcherie Reefcherie is offline
VILP
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ocala, FL
Posts: 2,557
Quote:
Originally posted by Unarce
Steve,

Is there anything we can do as conscientious hobbyists? Something more than simply boycotting deepwater fish from these areas.
I wonder how many hobbyists actually realize which fish are the "deepwater" ones that they could be choosing not to buy due to the risk to divers trying to obtain them? I can't honestly say that I know. Does such a list exist?
__________________
A hundred years from now the world may be different because you were important in the life of a child.
  #19  
Old 01/11/2008, 08:07 AM
billsreef billsreef is offline
Moderator
10 & Over Club
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 12,688
Send a message via ICQ to billsreef Send a message via AIM to billsreef Send a message via Yahoo to billsreef
Re: ruinous repetitive dive routines

Quote:
Originally posted by cortez marine
8:30 AM DIVE TO 180 FEET FOR 25 MINUTES
11:30 AM DIVE TO 150 FEET FOR 40 MINUTES
1:30 PM DIVE TO 150 FEET AGAIN FOR 40 MINUTES
For the non divers out there, these depths and bottom times are well past the no decompression limits for diving on air. Such dives really require considerable decompression time and a good amount of time spent on the surface between dives. Multiple deep dives ,on air, like that in the course of one day is just bad.

If these exporters really want their divers to collect deep water fish, they should be supplying their divers with proper training and equipment.
__________________
Bill

"LOL, well I have no brain apparently. " - dc (Debi)
  #20  
Old 01/11/2008, 08:53 AM
Glove Glove is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 459
Send a message via Yahoo to Glove
WOW I am amazed at those dive depths and times.
Totally not acceptable.
  #21  
Old 01/11/2008, 09:02 AM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
I am amazed that these commercial divers have physiologically "adapted and adjusted" to lethal depth/time dive profiles that we learn are deadly in dive class..
However, w/ that said, they still pay the piper eventually. Some sooner, some later in bone diseases .
The trade and hobby has an unsuitable species list to protect it from buying a coral feeder. A list of unsafe fishes to protect the diver is not hard to generate.

For Americans w/ mixed gas diving experience, rest assured, that is never in the equation for these guys.
American deep diving professionals Richard Pyle and Chip Boyle [ Cook Islands ] are capable of it and very few others.
Steve
  #22  
Old 01/11/2008, 11:11 AM
Thales Thales is offline
PKSN
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: bay area
Posts: 2,762
Steve,

In your experience, how many, if any, any of the divers have actual dive training and/or citification?
How responsible are the state side importers?
__________________
The reefer formally known as Lefty
Ink is the way; the way is ink.

Last edited by Thales; 01/11/2008 at 11:17 AM.
  #23  
Old 01/11/2008, 11:23 AM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
They all have to have ..allegedly... scuba certification.

Being long time commercial divers, they perhaps confuse "all around water knowledge" and skills with deepwater knowledge and skills, which are, as you know, not the same.

Thats a good follow-up question for the next phone call.

After a sea cucumber death in 1995, we had a one day seminar on diving issues and safety for the villages on the East side of Tonga.
The death was a local and the cause of great enough concern to serve as a basis for banning hookah compressor diving as a safety measure in Tonga...ignorant of the fact that scuba is no guarantee of safe practice either.
Depth is still depth...time down is still time down.

If this causes a ban on SCUBA as well...only shallow fish will go forth as in Solomon Islands.
Steve
  #24  
Old 01/11/2008, 11:31 AM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
State side importers are merchants and not divers per se.
Island based American managers are also generally not divers but one in Vanuatu and also Tonga was a long time commercial diver in Hawaii and knows very, very well about diving physics and human welfare.
They pressure divers to go deep still.
No, there is no gun at the head...but the pressure is real.
Brought to the island specifically for this activity and contracted solely for this...they see few alternatives but to relectantly oblige, especially the young, "invincable" ones.
The Filipino enclave of imported divers in Tonga are getting together on this now.
I'M GOING TO ASK THE ADRESS OF THE FAMILIES TO PROVIDE A WESTERN UNION ADRESS FOR SOME RELIEF.
Steve
  #25  
Old 01/11/2008, 11:41 AM
cortez marine cortez marine is offline
Reefer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, Calif
Posts: 243
issue unpopular

I used to write for FAMA magazine from 1981 to 1993.
My last article quiery was to be a story about the 45 collectors we discovered to have died collecting baby clown triggerfish in a single region in the Philippines; Polilio Island, Quezon Province, Philippines.
We trained this area for several weeks and learned first hand of the stories of each and every diver and diver family member left behind.
Divers wanted to know why the stricken divers coughed up foamy, purple blood .
Why they couldn't talk in the boat as paralysis set in, why some survived yet became crippled and so on.
The article was turned down, my first....and I think I became a bit of a pariah soon after that.
Steve
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef Central Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2009