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Old 07-28-2011, 01:55 AM   #31
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Just wondering about everyone's position on what is ethical when it comes to fishkeeping. I often see posts concerned with the welfare of fish, whether it be overcrowding, potential toxin spikes in uncycled tanks, or even humane methods of euthanasia.

Yet it is still common to have feeder fish, who tend to live a short life in sub par conditions prior to being chased around and eaten alive.

We often allow fish to cannibalize their young, which is often due to being kept in the confined area of an aquarium.

Some of us like catching fish in the wild by putting a hook through the mouth, which is not only inhumane by basic fishkeeping standards but also cruel, since we do it for sport.


So, what makes 1 fish better than another?

I think its just part of the food chain. Bigger predators need a prey. My red cherry shrimp population will become food for my puffers. Snails are also fed to my puffers. Raw mussels, clams, and cockle is fed to my puffers.

Every meat I buy was once alive, but I need to survive. Everything my puffers eat was once alive, and they too will have to survive in my tank.

There is no better fish. There are just fishes you like to keep alive because its fun to you. If not, then release it back into the wild for it to be eaten by something else out there or die from natural causes.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:27 PM   #32
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Very interesting topic! For me, when I take in a fish as a pet, I am depriving it of a natural life in the wild. So I take it as my responsibly to reasonably ensure a good quality of life. That means keeping the fish in a semblance of it's natural environment, with reasonable space, food, etc. It's life doesn't have to be perfect, since life in the wild is far from it, but my goal is to provide a better than average quality of life for my fish, to justify pulling them out of the wild for my own entertainment.

As far as feeders go, being eaten is part of life, so I have no qualms with feeding fish to fish. However, I think they should be treated well until they are reading to be fed. So it's unfortunate that all those feeder goldfish, etc live in poor conditions prior to being sold.

For sport fishing, my personal opinion is that as long as my intent is to eat a suitable fish, it's okay for me :P I'm not too enthusiastic about the idea of fishing for the sake of having fun. A caught and released fish is certainly going to be injured, and in pain and shock. If I were a fish, I wouldn't want a hook through my jaw for "sport". So when I fish, I do it with the intent of feeding myself, not simply for entertainment.

So basically, as long as it's in line with the course of nature, I'm good with it. Life and death is natural, and animals need to eat to survive, as do humans. However, since humans are unique in keeping "pets", we need to make sure we are not causing unnecessary harm to the environment, or suffering to the animals under our care and protection. JMO.

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Old 07-28-2011, 05:20 PM   #33
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As long as the fish meet's the Harvest Minimum. It's coming
home with me.. Big FlatHead's will get CPR (catch,photo,release)

Still a Rookie as far as Fishkeeping!!
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:06 PM   #34
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Another interesting twist in the plot.

There are a few fish that are 'bled' after they are caught, to remove the strong blood taste. I know in our region, this is typically done with king mackerel and blackfin tuna. It just involves using a knife to cut the fish either at the gill or near the base of the tail and put them back into the water, tied to a rope, and allowing them to 'bleed out'.

It's a very common practice, and ultimately it serves a good purpose since the fish are being eaten, but it's not exactly the most humane thing if you are looking at it from an ethical standpoint.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:46 PM   #35
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Also, how ethical is it to put feeders in a tank where there is no option for them to run? Lots and lots of 'what ifs'
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:09 PM   #36
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The feeder thing, it seems like most don't really object to it, but it tends to become questionable when people are deriving pleasure from watching the fish hunt/eat their prey. Example, there's a guy that comes on all of the fish forums just to post new youtube videos of some of his animals eating other animals. It's usually fish eating fish, but i've seen spider eating spider also. He doesn't really contribute to any of the forums other than posting these videos to get more youtube viewers.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:48 PM   #37
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I think we could debate ethics in nearly every aspect of fishkeeping as a whole until we are all old and gray, whether it's hybrids for profit, inbreeding, dyeing fish, poor practices of catching wild caught(especially marine)fish, or just the whole keeping animals as pets. These threads could go for years just like every other topic when emotion is involved including abortion or the death penalty.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:08 PM   #38
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For sure. I think there's a generally accepted 'ethical' rule, but lots of things to change it. just like balloon fish, electric blue fish, etc.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:20 AM   #39
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For sure. I think there's a generally accepted 'ethical' rule, but lots of things to change it. just like balloon fish, electric blue fish, etc.
All electric blue fish?
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:39 AM   #40
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Haha, selective breeding is a hornets nest! Is selective breeding degrading the health of our fish for our enjoyment? Are the mutations we find attractive detrimental to our fish? What about culling unwanted fry? Farm raising fish? The list goes on and on... I'm not even sure what my opinions are for those questions.

Also, for fish eating fish videos, is that cruel/unethical or sadistic? I'm sure the fish being fed doesn't mind :P

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