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Old 03-07-2003, 08:36 AM   #1
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Lively discourse on Environmental Responsibility

Personally (The Saltwater guys will hate this) I go with fresh over salt due to a few factors:

Cost of fish and supplies,

Slave to the Tank syndrome, Salt, you have to watch you water parameters more closely,

Lastly, (and this is the part that may srike up a controversy, but I don't care anymore, I'l say what I bloody well please)

SW fish keeping removes fish and inverts from our reefs, which are rapidly declining in all parts of the world. Although some strides have been made in captive breeding, most are still harvested from the ocean, and more die in transit to the stores than actually make it to home tanks. I personally feel this is irresponsible.

Almost all FW fish are bred in captivity, and have healthy wild populations still existing. The same CANNOT be said for SW, no matter how folks care to spin it.

boy I'm gonna be in trouble when some folks read this!!!

This topic was split and move to lounge, as i felt that was probably more appropriate, CC
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Old 03-07-2003, 09:16 AM   #2
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Almost all FW fish are bred in captivity, and have healthy wild populations still existing. The same CANNOT be said for SW, no matter how folks care to spin it.
Care to show some kind of proof of this, or is it just opinion? The "no matter how folks care to spin it" part leads us to believe you have some proof. I am unaware of any way that the SW hobby has dangerously depopulated any species.

Quote:
SW fish keeping removes fish and inverts from our reefs, which are rapidly declining in all parts of the world.
Same as above. There may be some fish species populations that are declining....but it cannot be attributed soley, or even in the majority, to the ornamental fish industry.

Quote:
Although some strides have been made in captive breeding, most are still harvested from the ocean, and more die in transit to the stores than actually make it to home tanks.
IME, this is just not accurate. I worked at a LFS and we went and got our fish from the wholesalers, as well as received fish shipments, the majority lived, although I will concede the numbers were not as well we would have liked. Percentage wise....we lost alot more FW fish than SW.

Quote:
Almost all FW fish are bred in captivity, and have healthy wild populations still existing.
In the beginning of the FW ornamental fish industry, all FW fish were removed from the wild. The same experiences were had with FW as SW. It is simply timing. SW has taken longer to get in the Captive raised phase, but it is getting there.

Quote:
I personally feel this is irresponsible.

Hmmm, not sure how I feel about this. I feel I am a responsible fish keeper. I do not feel it is irresponsible for me to keep and maintain a SW aquarium. My tank consists of 32 lbs of LR (5 pieces) four of the pieces of LR are aquacultured. I have 3 fish in my tank, 2 were WC, the other was TR. I have 28 corals in my tank 9 are WC, the rest are TR. All my sand is dry sand that has been seeded to make LS. My cleanup crew consists mostly of TR specimins. This is the trend. People are demanding TR over WC, and in many cases they are getting it. To come into a hobby that has made such strides towards self sufficiency and telling the hobbyests that they are irresponsible, simply because you weren't keeping FW fish when it had the same problems as SW???? Progress is being made, we will get there.

To answer the question as to why I chose SW over fresh or FW over salt....I didn't I keep both.
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Old 03-07-2003, 10:13 AM   #3
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http://petplace.netscape.com/article...asp?artID=2929

Excerpt from above article:

Beautiful as they are, saltwater fish come to us at a price. At this time, the vast majority of saltwater fish and "live rock" are collected and shipped from the wild. The process of collecting these animals is not always done in an environmentally friendly way. Cyanide, dynamite and other destructive methods are commonly used on reefs to stun the fish to make them easier to catch. Many are killed, and reefs are often destroyed in the process. A reef is a living community that can take 50 to 100 years to establish, so once destroyed, it is not readily replaced.

Fortunately, some suppliers are changing the ways fish can be made available. There are certain species of fish that can be successfully bred in captivity. Damselfish are an example, which means that a population of fish can be supplied without having to take them from the wild. Some suppliers are now forming artificial reef, using bare rock and letting it be naturally colonized so it can be harvested without reef destruction. Ask your local pet store how the fish are obtained. If they have only wild caught fish, you may wish to explore more environmentally friendly options. end excerpt

Some improvemnt, not enough to convince me.


Quote:
we lost alot more FW fish than SW
FW, Captive bred, easily replaced, no environmental repercussions vs. WC reef fish, dead, not replaceable in their natural surroundings. Also, how many fish were lost on the way from the collection site to the Wholesalers? I don't know, but you don't either.

Quote:
To come into a hobby that has made such strides towards self sufficiency and telling the hobbyests that they are irresponsible, simply because you weren't keeping FW fish when it had the same problems as SW???? Progress is being made, we will get there.
When FW had those problems the WC fish were not being squeezed by lack of habitat and other environmental concerns, or least not to the degree they are now.

Quote:
I personally feel this is irresponsible.
Sorry, I know thats judgemental, but it's my opinion, I can't change it. The SW hobby is not illegal, I wouldn't make it so if I could. I probably should have said something along the lines of "that's why I choose not to participate in SW". If I offended anyone, I honestly apologize.

Any way, I did this for a reason, I really did want to Stir the pot, and have some lively discourse, I think this could be a quality debate, and make some people think.

Also I'm at work, I'd like to hit up some more of these points later, don't have time to get to them all.
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Old 03-07-2003, 10:29 AM   #4
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...nguage=printer

Another exerpt, from Hawaii,

Local residents and dive tour operators allege that collectors are "fishing out" coral reef areas that once teemed with brightly colored tropical fish. "Areas that we take divers to all the time, and that once had rivers of fish swimming in and out of the corals, are now quite barren," said Lisa Choquette, owner of Dive Makai, which offers scuba tours of reefs just off Big Island. "Aquarium collectors are scooping up these fish much faster than nature can replenish them."
...
Results showed significant population declines in areas where the fish were collected for the aquarium trade. At sites with regular activity, Achilles tang, for example, had been reduced by 63 percent; longnose butterflyfish by 54 percent; and yellow tang by 47 percent. "This indicates that aquarium collectors are having significant impacts on the species examined," said scientist Brian Tissot of Washington State University in Vancouver, B.C., who coordinated the West Hawaii Aquarium Project.

...

Good news from same article (trying to be fair here)

Walsh and others at the DLNR are working to set aside areas along Big Island's west coast where tropical reef fish collection would be banned. In 1998, Hawaii's state legislature passed Act 306, which mandated that a "West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area" be established in the waters near the shore between Upolu Point and Ka Lae on the Big Island. Act 306 required the DLNR to designate a minimum of 30 percent of Big Island's west side as Fish Replenishment Areas (FRAs), where aquarium fish collecting is off-limits.

"In the FRAs," said Walsh, "we're in fact starting to see the fish come back. If we can keep fishing activity at reasonable levels in other reef areas that remain open to collecting, we might see this situation start to turn around."...

A major advance recently came with a species of bright orange fish called flame angelfish. Researchers at the Oceanic Institute on Oahu reared flame angelfish larvae at the institute's fish hatchery. Biologists developed a way of culturing microscopic organisms as food for the tiny angelfish. Carlson and others at the Waikiki Aquarium have succeeded in a similar attempt with rare Hawaiian masked angelfish.

The news comes not a moment too soon, say dive tour operators such as Choquette. "If we were talking about bald eagles, everyone would be up in arms. But tropical fish are underwater . . . 'out there' . . . where most of us don't ever see them. If they disappear, will anyone notice in time?"

end excerpt

Keep in mind this is in the USA, where we care about conservation. Other poor tropical countries?? I doubt seriously that keeping their reefs alive while people are starving is high on their priorities.
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Old 03-07-2003, 02:57 PM   #5
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I am wondering if you eat tuna, or any other salt water fish in your diet. I believe commercial fishing does a good bit of harm...but it is still being done. You can effectively look at any conservation group and spout volumes why this should be done and that should be done...the world progresses, what can adapt moves forward with the humankind, what doesn't, becomes extinct. That is the way of it and no soapbox,greenpeace, Peta or save the owls group will ever change it.

Not that I am against conservation, I just understand when you are smacking your head against a brick wall. I also think if people cared half as much for starving and homeless humans, then true humanity would return to the race and then you could look to other species that need saving.
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Old 03-07-2003, 03:24 PM   #6
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corvuscorax,

First off a healthy debate is just that. Healthy. Having an adult debate about such subjects is totally fine. WIth that said I would like to make some comments about the first article you linked.

The writter says
Quote:
At this time, the vast majority of saltwater fish and "live rock" are collected and shipped from the wild.
What the writter does not give is where she gets this info from. In many places in the world its illegal to collect live rock from a reef. In fact the vast majority of the live rock us americans can purchase is strickly regulated by our government. (its my understanding that back in the early 90's Florida started regulating the live rock collection trade) Many of the domestic live rock suppliers have legal plots of ocean floor that before they leased this part of the ocean there was little or no life aside from what was on the ocean floor. These companys spend big $ to have rock transported out from land to these plots and this rock was then placed and let age for years. In effect producing an artifical reef. This is where almost all of the live rock we purchase today comes from. In my view that is not from the WILD as there was nothing there till we put it there.

As far as fish collection. Yes there are places in the world that still use such methods to collect their fish. I would not be willing to go as far as say that this practice is not nor was not used in freshwater at some point in time. But there are many more collectors that use safter methods to catch their fish. Using nets or even hand catching them has proven to provide a much higher survivability rate.

Quote:
FW, Captive bred, easily replaced, no environmental repercussions vs. WC reef fish, dead, not replaceable in their natural surroundings.
That comment concerns me. It seems like your placing a lower value of the captive bred fish's lives than wild caught. A fish is a fish regularess of where it was bred. So each fish loss should be treated equilly.

Conservation starts with education. And I appricate everyone bringing their views and sources to the table here. What many hobbists dont know is how some of their fish are being collected reguardless of the type of water they are kept in. I have seen surveys that show that fishkeeping is the #3 pet in american homes. Obviously the top two are Dogs and Cats.

Regretfully it seems many people have this phylosophy that fish are some lower form of life because we can not interact with them like we can with other warm blooded pets. Since they feel this way often times they have no problem running out and buying fish with no knowlege on how to keep or care for them. I mean not many people would get a puppy and have zero idea how to care for it.

Dogs and cats and birds and such have resuce orginizations like the SPCA to come to their aid when they are in homes that are unfit for their survival but fish dont have such an orginization and I am sure if you asked yoru local SPCA when they would start taking fish due to over breding and such they would laugh at you.

I know I am starting to ramble off so Ill just stop.
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Old 03-07-2003, 04:12 PM   #7
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As far as fish collection. Yes there are places in the world that still use such methods to collect their fish.
FYI - The biggest (non Petco type) fish store that I'm aware of in the Twin Cities area switched their SW wholesaler precisely for this reason. Their old supplier used less humane methods to collect their fish, so they switched. The fish are a little more expensive now, and there is a little less selection, but I feel I could buy there with a clean conscience.

Just my $.02 - at least some of the stores care!
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Old 03-07-2003, 04:30 PM   #8
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This exactly what I was looking for, and why I started off so contentiously! These type discussions are healthy! Frankly, I was tired of silly word games, and hearing about people's body ornamentation, so decided to start a discussion.

Hara said
Quote:
I am wondering if you eat tuna, or any other salt water fish in your diet. I believe commercial fishing does a good bit of harm...but it is still being done.
Yes i do, but the difference is, I, like everybody else, have to eat, none of us, fresh or salt, have to keep fish in a glass box.

ffreek said:

Quote:
That comment concerns me. It seems like your placing a lower value of the captive bred fish's lives than wild caught. A fish is a fish regularess of where it was bred. So each fish loss should be treated equilly.
You have a point, but maybe misconstrued my intent. My point was not to place less emphasis on individual fish lives, but to point out that the captive bred fish almost always have a healthy population left in the wild, therefore less environmental impact. That cannot be said for SW fish that isn't bred in captivity yet. (or FW fish under the same circumstances, as I do know some cannot be commercially bred).

In any case, I'd like some more opinions on the matter, and more importantly, THINK before you set up any kind of tank, or purchase any other kind of pet.

Where did it come from?
How was it obtained?
How did it get here?
Are there plenty left where it actually belongs?


Anybody else who cares to chime in?

What do you think?
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Old 03-07-2003, 04:59 PM   #9
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Yes i do, but the difference is, I, like everybody else, have to eat, none of us, fresh or salt, have to keep fish in a glass box.
ahh, but you don't have to! Whatever happened to save the whale/dolphin etc?...just goes to my point on a previous thread, it is easy to be moralistic when it is agreeable to us, not quite so desireable when we have to change our way of life. ie: I support saving the wolf, the spotted owl etc, but my husband does not make a living in the forestry business. It is all a matter of perspective.

Quote:
but fish dont have such an orginization and I am sure if you asked yoru local SPCA when they would start taking fish due to over breding and such they would laugh at you.
That is because instead of having an overpopulation, they just turn them into feeder fish or flush them..no one knows!
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Old 03-07-2003, 06:07 PM   #10
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I have killed far more FW fish than SW. It just due to the price difference that I dont notice it much. I have questioned my view on this issue several times, however I have came to a conclution. It wont be popular either, I am a human, I am at the top of the food chain, If I want to keep pets, I do. I do try to do it in a responcible manner. But its not illegal , and I love the hobby so I choose to keep FW fish, SW fish, a dog and a cat.
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