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Old 12-17-2012, 11:48 AM   #31
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Sorry ahead of time if I missed any one or key points!

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Originally Posted by MacDracor View Post
I agree with much of the above. Captive breeding of endangered or extinct-in-wild species is a great way to keep them alive. And perhaps in the future, some natural habitats can be restored and the species reintroduced.
In addition, knowing the supply chain is important. Buy only from reputable dealers, and ensure any vulnerable species are captive bred.
But I'd like to expand on the original question. I think ethical fish keeping should be practiced on the microcosmic scale as well as the macrocosmic. While many may argue that fish tanks are there for our enjoyment, I posit that the keeper has an ethical responsibility to provide the best possible environment for these captive creatures. No life is disposable, so water quality, enrichment, appropriate tank size, and whatnot are all equally important. Our goal should be to provide a better home than nature designed.
I agree that once home proper care should be given to the lives we've purchased. I am a firm believer in CAPTITIVE breed livestock... especially for marine animals. Keeping in mind that we want these to be quality and respectable breeders whose livestock reflects their work.

I think stores should be encouraged to lable whether or not they sell captive breed or wild caught fish. It may help people recognize the supply chain and why it makes a difference.

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It's so hard to watch coral reefs being abused! I was snorkeling in Bali with my mom and two teenage dudes offered to show us some spots, we were enjoying the amazing reef when I saw the guys standing on these soft corals (whatever they were, kinda soft noodle things) that were shaped like mushrooms about 5 feet below water level.

I was so PISSSSSED! The darn things were smushed and flattened so bad!

Btw I get just as furious watching students littering up my block here in the USA, not making a comment on the Balinese in any way, that's just where I happened to snorkel. In Thailand I was given bread by the hotel to feed the fish, in retrospect probably not an ideal food!
Lol at hotel bread.... I'll tell you one worse! When we went snorkeling they lured the fish with icing laden COOKIES!

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That's why I think frag swaps are about the greatest thing ever. And I do not believe entrance should be charged. Should be free.
Agreed!!! What an awesome preservation method!

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Originally Posted by Dallascowboys16 View Post
My local fish store is against selling wild caught fish and never sell endangered species. I hate to see endangered species caught and then bought by clueless people and they soon die due to unproper care. I'm glad that there is a new forum for this subject.
Very cool. How long have they been doing this??

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Dragonfish brings up a very interesting point. At what point does wild collection shift from ethical (providing stock for dedicated breeders to preserve a species) to unethical (providing food for the novice aquarist's cleanup crew)?
I think the issue here is one of economics. Most supply chains that carry wild caught endangered fish are indiscriminate in whom they sell to. So while one individual may buy the fish and create a captive population, another might simply buy over and over again to replace those that die.
The lfs cannot be expected to have a separate row of tanks for dedicated breeders, but the dedicated breeders should not have to travel across the world to acquire their stock.
I think that in an ideal world, there would be a separate supply chain for endangered fish, perhaps through a non profit organisation that sells only to those who demonstrate that they can provide proper care. This sort of arrangement could even lead to reintroducing captive populations into areas where wild populations are suffering.
Sadly economics are and will frequently be a driving force. I think that big box stores should not have the ability to sell endangered fish.... I guess that would be going back to having different supply chains. Though it would be a pita to qualify homes.

Many big box stores have a return policy that, while not intending to, allows consumers to return fish that may die to aquarist error. That being said it is easier to replace the fish as the consumer may feel no loss, except for the cost of gas.

I'd say that because some fish are "cheap" some populations would benefit from a price increase. Not to say that all fish should be cost a hundred bucks but sometimes we have to hit people where it hurts: in the wallet!

Some of my personal efforts included recycling my water, taking containers when I buy fish as opposed to the bag they are usually sold in, buying from hobbyists, known breeders, and buying equipment that is energy efficient.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:24 PM   #32
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Just curious, whats the issue with wild caught fish? I get that it's unethical when it comes to fish that are endangered or having their habitats destroyed, but that's only a small portion of the fish collected for aquaria. Isn't it kind of hypocritical to be against 'wild caught' while still promoting captive bred considering that they all were wild caught at one point?
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:50 PM   #33
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Just curious, whats the issue with wild caught fish? I get that it's unethical when it comes to fish that are endangered or having their habitats destroyed, but that's only a small portion of the fish collected for aquaria. Isn't it kind of hypocritical to be against 'wild caught' while still promoting captive bred considering that they all were wild caught at one point?
I don't think it's too big an issue as long as the fish aren't being harmed and are treated correctly, and isn't endangering the populations. Otherwise I think it's perfectly fine. The issue with it is that the fish are being completely mistreated. I'm not against wild caught fish but I just have to make sure that the wild caught fish I'm buying isn't a species that's near extinction in the wild. If there are captive bred options I prefer them because those fish tend to be hardier.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:03 PM   #34
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I agree although in my experience wild caught fish are much hardier assuming they have been treated for diseases /parasites and are eating well.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:51 PM   #35
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I agree although in my experience wild caught fish are much hardier assuming they have been treated for diseases /parasites and are eating well.
Oh really? That's pretty interesting, actually. I've always heard that the captive bred fish are hardier, usually in the saltwater area.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:16 PM   #36
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Wild caught fish are subjected to chase, sometimes poison, rapid depressurization, transport to a holding facility, overcrowding in that facility, tra sport to a retail location, overcrowding there, capture in a net, transport to a home. Captive bred are raised usually without TOO much overcrowding, transported to retail, capture in a net, transport to home.
Mortality rates between capture and sale of wild caught fish can be astronomically high, depending on species, method, etc.
furthermore, some reefs have been completely destroyed by the removal of key species. Some species are endemic to such a small reason that even careful harvesting puts them at risk. The bangaii cardinal is a good example.
I could go on, but hopefully the point has been made.
I will say this for petco. My local stores sell captive bred whenever possible, and they are marked as such.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:34 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by jetajockey View Post
Just curious, whats the issue with wild caught fish? I get that it's unethical when it comes to fish that are endangered or having their habitats destroyed, but that's only a small portion of the fish collected for aquaria. Isn't it kind of hypocritical to be against 'wild caught' while still promoting captive bred considering that they all were wild caught at one point?
Not sure if I properly clarified there..... captitive breeding programs I'm okay with as they are designed to help reestablish wild populations vs wild caught fish that are captured unethically with disregard to their habititat. Going back to environmentally friendly capture methods that are not depleting populations or killing something else in the process.

Kind of like the zoo against poaching and hunting dying species but maintaining them in captivity to reintroduce.

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I don't think it's too big an issue as long as the fish aren't being harmed and are treated correctly, and isn't endangering the populations. Otherwise I think it's perfectly fine. The issue with it is that the fish are being completely mistreated. I'm not against wild caught fish but I just have to make sure that the wild caught fish I'm buying isn't a species that's near extinction in the wild. If there are captive bred options I prefer them because those fish tend to be hardier.
Exactly.... sometimes there is mass die off during collecting. As far as hardiness goes I've got no real thoughts there
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:49 PM   #38
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Wild caught fish are subjected to chase, sometimes poison, rapid depressurization, transport to a holding facility, overcrowding in that facility, transport to a retail location, overcrowding there, capture in a net, transport to a home. Captive bred are raised usually without TOO much overcrowding, transported to retail, capture in a net, transport to home.
Not all wild caught fish are subjected to these things. I know there are stories of cyanide poisoning certain fish to make easier capture, but it's rare and unethical of course. I would venture to say that most are captured in completely humane methods. How is netting a fish out of the wild different than netting one out of a tank? Heck, a lot of biologists use electroshock backpacks to collect fish, which is argued that it does no permanent harm.

I think we on the hobbyist level end up being hypersensitive to our pets because we have a lot of emotion and affection tied up into them. And we all have a right to, but where do we draw the line? We usually end up holding huge double standards in our logic when coming to conclusions on how to 'ethically care' for our fish.

The transport thing happens no matter if its wc or captive bred, as well as 'net capture'. And the 'overcrowding' thing is even more of a reality in farmed fish, except they actually grow up in crowded conditions compared to WC being stuck in a crowded condition only temporary in a holding tank.


Quote:
Mortality rates between capture and sale of wild caught fish can be astronomically high, depending on species, method, etc.
furthermore, some reefs have been completely destroyed by the removal of key species. Some species are endemic to such a small reason that even careful harvesting puts them at risk. The bangaii cardinal is a good example.
I could go on, but hopefully the point has been made.
I will say this for petco. My local stores sell captive bred whenever possible, and they are marked as such.
I think a distinction should be made between fw and sw wild caught. It seems like the vast majority of horror stories are based in SW. Because of limited endemic strains there should be more regulation on species at risk, which there is for the most part here in the states at least.

I have an unfair advantage/bias in that I have a lot of experience in observing and collecting fish in the wild. Ethically I don't find it any different (if anything, better) than fishing, and as long as the person is responsibly harvesting and following the rules/laws in doing so then all is well.
So far the arguments against wild caught fish have not been all that convincing. A loose comparison could say that since bluefin tuna numbers are dwindling we should stop all fishing, so sell that bass boat.

I definitely agree that promoting captive bred is good, but villainizing wc in the process is not very well founded IMO. It is and can be done in a very sustainable and responsible manner (not that it always is, ofc).zz
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:36 PM   #39
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Of course these points are sweeping generalizations. But when purchasing a fish from a fish store, how often can you be assured of the conditions under which it was obtained?
Many freshwater fish are restricted to small areas as well. Consider the endlers guppy. It hasn't even been confirmed in the wild in years.
Wild capture can and should be done in an ecologically sustainable and humane manner. But it isn't always. Unless the buyer can be sure of the entire supply chain (and many don't even realize their fish don't magically appear as adults in the local store. Lol), we should try to stick to captive bred or companies that can verify the chain from start to finish.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:19 AM   #40
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Of course these points are sweeping generalizations. But when purchasing a fish from a fish store, how often can you be assured of the conditions under which it was obtained?
For the most part, you can't. Most stores utilize a small group of farm-type companies that either captive breed or import their stock. Places like Segrest farms for example. Some fish have been captive bred for so long that they often have certain issues pop up related to it, this is seen in the popular tetra, danio, and livebearer species.

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Many freshwater fish are restricted to small areas as well. Consider the endlers guppy. It hasn't even been confirmed in the wild in years.
Yes, there are tons of FW fish that are endemic to very small niche habitats. In the case of the endler livebearer (which technically is the same species as a guppy anyhow, point aside) the loss of habitat had more to do with human encroachment and little to do with collection for hobby. So in that regard the hobby actually did a good thing by bringing it in. I believe the same has happened with the white cloud mountain minnow as well as a few others. L046 zebra pleco will be on that list in the next few years as well thanks to human development unrelated to the hobby.

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Wild capture can and should be done in an ecologically sustainable and humane manner. But it isn't always. Unless the buyer can be sure of the entire supply chain (and many don't even realize their fish don't magically appear as adults in the local store. Lol), we should try to stick to captive bred or companies that can verify the chain from start to finish.
Again, that's assuming that there are nefarious means to accomplish wild caught specimens. If the fish is in plentiful supply, not endangered or threatened in any way, then why not? Wild caught specimens often have noticeably more vivid coloration and true to form behavior. This is seen a lot in some long captive bred cichlid species for example and their loss of parenting skills.

I do agree that we should push to ensure that all of our wild caught fish are done so in a responsible manner, but to assume that they aren't until proven otherwise is off base and not supported by evidence IMO. It'd be unfair to apply the here and there horror stories to the industry as a norm.
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