Debate topic: What are your feelings on keeping wild caught lake fish?

Aquagirl1978

Thought this could turn into a decent debate. How do you feel about wild caught lake, stream, or marine fish and crustaceans being kept in a home aquarium. If laws are in place in your state regarding this how do you feel about those laws. I personally live in PA where it is illeagal to keep them unless you are going to eat them or mount them on your wall as a trophy. A fish caught in PA can be released within 30 days back to its place of capture as long as not mixed into an aquarium with Aquaria. All fish kept must be caught with a license and be within legal limits of length. Any fish not used as food or for trophy reasons that is beyond the 30 day release time or has been mixed with aquaria must be destroyed. And on a personal note its called wildlife for a reason. Would you take a groundhog or skunk from the woods into your home and try to train it to use a litter box? So why take a fish from its natural environment and shove it into an aquarium?
 

jetajockey

As long as the FWC doesn't have a law against it then I have no problem with it. Many of our aquarium fish were someone else's wildlife, after all. Granted many strains we have today are tank bred/raised, BUT they all came from someone's proverbial backyard at some point in time.

People keep pet squirrels, possums, raccoons, gophers, groundhogs, foxes, and even wolves, bugs, frogs, lizards, etc, so it's not that much of a shock.
 

Meenu

Would you take a groundhog or skunk from the woods into your home and try to train it to use a litter box? So why take a fish from its natural environment and shove it into an aquarium?

Guess we know where you stand on the issue.
 

Aquagirl1978

LOL Yeah guess I kind of well you know ummmmmm........yeah
 

Meenu

I have had hatchetfish, neon tetras, etc. that were taken from their natural environment, made a pit stop at the LFS, and found their permanent resting place with me. So clearly, I haven't an issue with it.

So then you are careful to only buy your fish from breeders, or after you've confirmed that they were bred and not harvested from natural water sources?
 

Kupcake

I wouldnt take an animal from the wild, nor would I buy a species that came from the wild. I would only buy a species that was captive bred. The only way I would keep an animal from the wild would be if it was injured or could no longer be released into the wild.
 

FishHobbiest

+1 Kupcake
that's about my opinion as well
 

Aquagirl1978

I will only buy from my mom n pop LFS where they state all fish are captive bred and also will give you the info to write, call or email their local supplier. I don't even buy from chain stores anymore as far as livestock.
 

Meenu

I will only buy from my mom n pop LFS where they state all fish are captive bred and also will give you the info to write, call or email their local supplier. I don't even buy from chain stores anymore as far as livestock.

Cool. I like that if you're going to take this stance, you back it up with your pocketbook.
 

Aquagirl1978

My whole 120 hours of work paycheck on Tuesday. Also if you were involved in the last debate on being the exception to the rule as far as keeping certain fish together certain fish in certain sized tanks etc.. and spoke your mind on it being detrimental to the health safety or life of a fish I want to know why your opinion would change on this subject as far as it NOT being detrimental in the same way.
 

CichlidsYay

Aren't Ottos and many other fish caught from the wild and sold in LFS? I believe that if given the chance, the fish we keep would LOVE to be in a lake/river/ocean or where ever it may have originated from.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind taking a fish from the wild if I had the tank for it, but then again, I could just help some of the LFS's in my area and buy the fish from them.

Sure, it maybe "wrong" to take a fish from the wild and keep it in the tank, but is it wrong of us to keep fish too? Like I said, Fish would love to live in their natural habitat, but the real question should be, Who are we to say if its right or wrong, when we keep fish anyway?

So where I stand is that, if you have the tank size and are willing to put in TLC to your new pet, I say go for it! If not, it would be better to be released or used as food.
 

catsma_97504

I believe most Oto Cats as well as ocean life are all wild caught and sold by LFS. Just because it is sold in a store does not make it captive bread. The only guarantee regarding captivity is in its current state.

As far as going out with the intent to capture wildlife (fish, mammal, reptile, etc), I would not. But that also does not mean that I would boycott Oto Cats or ocean life if I wanted saltwater fish.

All animals were at one point wild. Being domesticated does not change this fact.
 

JRDroid

I have no problem what so ever keeping wild caught animals with one stipulation. You can provide a home where it can thrive. This applies to all animals of all sizes IMO. I want a salt water tank, and most of those fish are wild caught. I feel I can provide them an adequate home, so I will. I think it would be crazy awesome to have a wild cat (tiger, cougar, bob cat) but I do not have the means to provide them with an adequate home, so I won't keep one. If I do some day have that ability, I would keep one (although I would buy one that was unable to be released into the wild for whatever reason)

Do any of you eat salmon? Those are mostly wild caught. What is worse? Catching a wild animal to kill it or to provide it a home.

I am also against keeping species known to not survive well in captivity. There are certain marine fish with over 90% mortality rates in captivity. These should not be kept. Clown fish can survive in the care of beginner aquarists, these should be kept.
 

BunnyPuncher

Native species tanks are a fantastic way to observe local aquatic life and also serve a genuine educational purpose.

It is also a lot of fun to go collecting. I don't have a native species tank at the moment but I have in the past and I will again.
 

Jaysee

I don't care where my fish come from.
 

LyndaB

When I purchase fish, I have no preference as to wild caught or farmed.

I would never bring home a fish that I caught in a local water source and introduce it to my tank, simply because I'd worry too much about disease and/or pollution being introduced to my aquarium. Doesn't seem very fair to my existing fish to jeopardize their health and well-being.
 

ivan.tsary

Would you take a groundhog or skunk from the woods into your home and try to train it to use a litter box? So why take a fish from its natural environment and shove it into an aquarium?

Yeah, I think there are other reasons not to bring a skunk into my home... In that case I'm more worried about human rights than animals...

But srsly I don't have a problem with it as long as you have enough space. Which almost noone does. The smallest wild fish where I grew up in eastern NC (aside from minnows) would be bluegills and pumpkinseeds. Since I don't have at least 125 gal tanks to keep them in, I stick with C&R.

I do appreciate the massive 2000 or so gallon tanks in Bass Pro Shops for the large dispay fish.

To add to the mix... If you are against tanking wild fish all together... do you visit public aquariums?
 

lanlesnee

Wild caught or not, I have a hard time believeing that any fish would like being in an aquarium. Thriving and liking are not the same.
Think about it. Would you want to live in a prison the rest of your life, even if your given every thing you needed.
Even the biggest tanks are just a slice of what they would have in the wild.

Sometimes I wonder if I could live if someone took my house and yard and put it in a very large glass tank.
I would be stuck in this tank the rest of my life. With strangers I don't know. Some of which could be people, I don't perticularly care for.
All my days would be the same, day after day.

I think if we all really thought about it, most of us wouldn't have fish or other pets as well.

But I do think with fish they don't have the same complex mind that we do, so they don't know any better.
I don't think it's wrong to keep fish. I just don't think they are as happy as wild ones.
 

Meenu

I think if we all really thought about it, most of us wouldn't have fish or other pets as well.

Some of us have thought about it, but don't much care.
I know that sounds harsh, but for me at least, it's true. I think it's arrogant when we think that the fish are better with us than in their natural habitats. I can admit that I'm in the hobby because it brings me pleasure.

And as far as it being okay to have bred fish in a tank but not wild-caught, I don't understand the argument at all. It makes no sense to me. It's akin to saying that owning another person is okay as long as that person has never known freedom. Either it's okay or it isn't. Barring any laws, if you can provide a proper home to an animal, what difference does it make where the animal came from? Ethically, what makes putting a bred betta in your tank okay, but not one that was wild-caught?
 

ivan.tsary

If you tank your fish properly, i.e. keep the bioload light, provide adequet room for movement and feed correctly then the fish can actually benefit. If you have good tank mates you are providing them with safety from predetors, medication when they are sick, and a constant source of food.

I personally believe that animals we put here to be enjoyed. That does not permit abuse, but its easier to enjoy fish in your living room than in an amazonian stream or Rift lake.
 

Jaysee

I don't think it's wrong to keep fish. I just don't think they are as happy as wild ones.

Really? It's not like it's a party out there in the wild and they're missing out. Food, spawning and not being eaten are the only things that fish are interested in - that's what their lives revolve around. I think fish live a cushy life in our aquariums.
 

Treefork

I don't care where my fish come from.

Me neither. Wild caught lake fish, wild caught tropical fish, what's the difference really? Even tank raised were "meant" to be in the "wild", if you keep any sort of animal captive, I don't think you can reasonably speak against keeping another captive.

Joe
 

Treefork

Some of us have thought about it, but don't much care.
I know that sounds harsh, but for me at least, it's true. I think it's arrogant when we think that the fish are better with us than in their natural habitats. I can admit that I'm in the hobby because it brings me pleasure.

And as far as it being okay to have bred fish in a tank but not wild-caught, I don't understand the argument at all. It makes no sense to me. It's akin to saying that owning another person is okay as long as that person has never known freedom. Either it's okay or it isn't. Barring any laws, if you can provide a proper home to an animal, what difference does it make where the animal came from? Ethically, what makes putting a bred betta in your tank okay, but not one that was wild-caught?

Excellent point Meenu. Great analogy too.
 

bolivianbaby

If the species is endangered and I don't plan on breeding them, then I wouldn't keep a wild caught.

However, if a species is endangered and I do plan on breeding them, I would keep a wild caught fish.

Also, breeding wild caught fish to tank bred fish is a good way to keep the lines "fresh" and make sure you're not breeding siblings. And if there is no threat to them being "overfarmed", I have no problem with it.
 

jetajockey

Really? It's not like it's a party out there in the wild and they're missing out. Food, spawning and not being eaten are the only things that fish are interested in - that's what their lives revolve around. I think fish live a cushy life in our aquariums.

Haha, good point. And people wonder why mother nature has these fish spawning hundreds of babies at a time, thousands in some cases. By comparison, a well maintained aquarium is like hitting the lottery for a wild fish.
 

JRDroid

Wild caught or not, I have a hard time believeing that any fish would like being in an aquarium. Thriving and liking are not the same.

I don't think fish like being in the wild either. I do not feel fish have the capacity to like or dislike anything. They are survival driven. They want to eat, reproduce, and not die. If these criteria are being met I don't believe a fish gives a darn whether its in the wild or an aquarium. Even a wild caught fish couldn't tell the difference if you ask me. Survival is the only thing that drives fish to move from one region of a lake to another. If they can survive in your tank they will not feel a need to go anywhere else.
 

Treefork

I don't think fish like being in the wild either. I do not feel fish have the capacity to like or dislike anything. They are survival driven. They want to eat, reproduce, and not die. If these criteria are being met I don't believe a fish gives a darn whether its in the wild or an aquarium. Even a wild caught fish couldn't tell the difference if you ask me. Survival is the only thing that drives fish to move from one region of a lake to another. If they can survive in your tank they will not feel a need to go anywhere else.

You know you raise a good point there too, perhaps we as people "humanize" the fish a little too much trying to relate to it.
 

ppate1977

So you can catch and kill the fish to eat, or kill it and bring it to a taxodermist, but you're against keeping the fish alive; and not opposed to eating or making a trophy out of it? I personally wouldn't keep a wild fish I caught, unless I lived in the amazon or africa. That being said I don't have an issue with it.
 

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