Hello Ecotube Team:
I wanted to call attention to a deadly practice that occurs on some of the large snorkel boats. After bringing urchins and other animals onboard to show customers the urchins are being tossed overboard. They land in areas of open sand where urchins are never naturally found, many of them upside-down, to die what we can only imagine from our own life experience, to be a stressful and painful death.
Attached are some not-very-good photos of the results of this practice. The first photo is of an urchin upside-down in the middle of open sand. The second is what that urchin looks like after several days upside-down. Although it is still alive, the spines and tissue are gone from the top of the urchin. The 3rd photo shows what happens to most because no one is there to rescue them. This is not limited to collector urchins. Red pencil urchins are also used, as in photo 4. I guess urchins are considered throw away animals.
Haloa Point is where I have seen this the most. In some areas there are many urchins or urchins skeletons in various stages of decline scattered across the bottom. It is sickening.
How can we get the word out to these boats that this is not acceptable?