Wild Caught vs Fish Farm

BottomDweller

Hi, I'm currently doing some research into how fish are supplied to the aquarium trade and I'd like to start a discussion (no arguments please!) around wild caught vs farm bred. I'd also be interested in people's opinions on other ethical issues surrounding commercially breeding fish for aquariums such as selectively bred and genetically modified fish, shipping fish across the world, hybrid fish.

Personally I'd feel more comfortable getting fish from fish farms than wild caught fish because I don't feel that wild fish ever truly settle in to tanks. Catching fish from the wild can lead to habitat destruction and the extinction of some species. A large proportion of fish caught from the wild die soon after. Wild caught fish are likely to carry parasites and disease.
However I can definitely understand some arguments from the other side. Wild caught fish tend to have stronger genetics than captive bred fish that have been line bred and selectively bred for generations. I suspect that the conditions that fish are bred and raised in on fish farms are not ideal. They are crowded and in some places are given hormones in order to stimulate them to breed.

Looking forward to reading your opinions. Thanks!
 

smee82

It doesnt bother me at all and i dont see any ethical or moral issues with wild caught or farmed fish. Imo If someone has ethical problems with keeping certain fish they shouldnt be keeping any fish.

However if i was buying expensive fish i would rather buy from a breeder directly
 
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GlennO

I prefer captive bred fish for ethical reasons and it's one of the reasons that I am unlikely to ever own a saltwater reef tank. That's a generalisation though as there are some wild caught species whose conservation status is not significantly impacted by the aquarium trade. There are also those enthusiasts who obtain threatened wild caught species for breeding programs as has happened with some Rainbowfish species in Australia.
 
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Keenamoss

I am conflicted about this, and keeping fish in general... I think it's why I'm in my mid 30s with my very first aquarium lol... We are still learning about the cognitive and emotional and social functioning of fish species, but it's more and more evident that they're far more complex than was ever assumed before... and I would guess many standard practices in the hobby are quite stressful for the animals, as well as the environment, particularly catching wild fish, for the reasons you mentioned above,though I don't know much about that aside from the environmental impact of fishing in general.

On the other hand, I want to rescue them from the industry lol (though in doing so obviously I am supporting the industry) and give them the best lives possible, and teach my daughter to love and respect animals and care for them up close, and it's super awesome just for my own enrichment and getting through covid19 being home all the time etc etc so. Just have to try to do it as ethically as possible. I dont know a lot about it but I think it's an important discussion.
 
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DoubleDutch

Over the years there have been several threads about this and often things got out of hands. There are pros and cons for both.

There are several examples of communities relying on the fish trade and also take part in the protection of certain habitats and fishspecies. I think for instance oil, food and woodindustry are by far bigger issues for the countries involved than the fishtrade.

Also several assumptions ( that wild caught fish earlier die or will have more parasites or diseases) simply aren't correct.
The main issues in fish occure in tank bred fish. think of Dwarf Gourami Disease, Neon Columnaris, etc etc.... Intensive breeding doesn't bring the best.

I myself try to prevent wildcaught fish purely cause I don't like the idea we take fish from the wild / from millions of gallons of water and put them in a 20G tank for instance exposing them to waterqualityissues, diseases they wouldn't ever encounter in the wild, stress caused by unsuitable tankmates etc etc....
But everyone has his own thoughts.

It doesnt bother me at all and i dont see any ethical or moral issues with wild caught or farmed fish. Imo If someone has ethical problems with keeping certain fish they shouldnt be keeping any fish.

However if i was buying expensive fish i would rather buy from a breeder directly

I think this is a pretty weird answer, which I don't understand. Why shouldn't people keep any fish if they have ethical problems about some ?

For instance : I won't keep Dwarf Chain Loaches cause they are on the Red List. Shouldn't I keep any other fish ????
 
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dojafish

I don't mind wild-caught or farm-raised fish. I feel like the hobby generally tries to get things to become sustainable eventually, and it tries to do good things (although I know some weird stuff can happen sometimes). Personally, I just don't buy wild-caught fish if I can't find information on how to care for it anywhere online. I'm not about to drop big bucks (they usually are) and guess how to keep it alive.

I guess I have a pretty passive take on everything, I just like what I like and I walk past what isn't exactly my cup of tea. I don't care for short bodies or glo fish, but some people really like them and that's fine. I also like selectively bred fish when quality of life and health is the priority. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. I will walk away from fish that generally show poor body conformation. It's not like raising a ruckus will stop it from happening, I just simply won't support it by spending money on it and that's the best I can do.
 
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mimo91088

I'm fine with wild fish as long as they aren't endangered. One thing people don't often think about is that most fish collection takes place in developing countries. It allows the locals to make a decent living catching and selling fish. When that industry goes away so does the food on their table. Even if you only care about the environment and not those people's quality of life, it can lead to more environmental fallout as these people turn to more destructive practices to make up for that lost income.
 
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BigManAquatics

Fish farms don't bother me much. I am sure part of that is the fact that the game and parks commission in my state uses fish farms to help maintain certain fish populations in some of the local rec lakes. We also now have the opportunity for actual freah shrimp due to inddor shrimp farms.
 
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DoubleDutch

I'm fine with wild fish as long as they aren't endangered. One thing people don't often think about is that most fish collection takes place in developing countries. It allows the locals to make a decent living catching and selling fish. When that industry goes away so does the food on their table. Even if you only care about the environment and not those people's quality of life, it can lead to more environmental fallout as these people turn to more destructive practices to make up for that lost income.
Do you really think so? Think there are soem other problems that are a bit bigger.


 
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kbn

Do you really think so?
Well, I think so and I've seen it on the news, and many documentaries. We have saved millions of acreage of the Amazon rainforests by showing the locals that they can earn a livelihood without destroying forest and a higher income at that. Ban the fishing of aquarium fish and they cut trees to survive. Ban both and they starve
 
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DoubleDutch

Well, I think so and I've seen it on the news, and many documentaries. We have saved millions of acreage of the Amazon rainforests by showing the locals that they can earn a livelihood without destroying forest and a higher income at that. Ban the fishing of aquarium fish and they cut trees to survive. Ban both and they starve
Depends on what you refer to as locals.
The Indians living in the rainforrests for centuries didn't need an income, didn't need to sell fish and didn't need destroy the rainforrest. So in fact we "imported" the need to earn a livelihood and tell them that is called devellopment.

Oilcompanies, foodindustry, huge farmers etc..... are the ones that destroy rainforrest and made it an art to point to locals hahaha. I believe the Pantanal is on fire at this moment.

BBC News - Brazil's Amazon: Fireman 'saving what's not burnt' The fireman 'saving what's not burnt' of the Amazon

And when we wake up from our dream it simply is too late.
 
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smee82

I think this is a pretty weird answer, which I don't understand. Why shouldn't people keep any fish if they have ethical problems about some ?

For instance : I won't keep Dwarf Chain Loaches cause they are on the Red List. Shouldn't I keep any other fish ????

I was speaking generally and I meant if someone has an ethical problem with one aspect of fish keeping then they shouldnt keep fish at all. I dont believe you can pick and choose parts of something to support but ignore others that dont fit your agenda. I know english is not you native language and want to make sure you know that "you" in that case is not you doubledutch.

Its like bettas, someone will say its ok to have them in a 2g filtered bowl but someone else will say that its unethical to have them in anything less then 5g because they dont live in puddles in the wild while they ignore the fact that 5g is still a puddle compared to their natural habitat.
 
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DoubleDutch

I was speaking generally and I meant if someone has an ethical problem with one aspect of fish keeping then they shouldnt keep fish at all. I dont believe you can pick and choose parts of something to support but ignore others that dont fit your agenda. I know english is not you native language and want to make sure you know that "you" in that case is not you doubledutch.

Its like bettas, someone will say its ok to have them in a 2g filtered bowl but someone else will say that its unethical to have them in anything less then 5g because they dont live in puddles in the wild while they ignore the fact that 5g is still a puddle compared to their natural habitat.
Think it's maybe all about about the meaning one gives to the word "(un)ethical" hahaha.
 
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smee82

Think it's maybe all about about the meaning one gives to the word "(un)ethical" hahaha.

Your probably right
 
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Keenamoss

One thing people don't often think about is that most fish collection takes place in developing countries. It allows the locals to make a decent living catching and selling fish. When that industry goes away so does the food on their table. Even if you only care about the environment and not those people's quality of life, it can lead to more environmental fallout as these people turn to more destructive practices to make up for that lost income.

That's true of a lot of things; including poaching of endangered species, opium harvesting, oil fracking etc etc... and it's true you can't simply take away a person/village/community's livelihood and leave them with nothing. Responsible efforts to decrease these ethically concerning or destructive practices involves rebuilding communities to establish other forms of income, which of course is not easily done. There are no simple answers unfortunately.
 
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fishnovice33

It’s a little less complicated with freshwater. I like farm raised fish for ethical reasons, fish are adaptive and if captivity is all they’ve known I’d imagine it’s less detrimental to them. This is assuming they’re well cared for and given proper conditions and space.

As far as the genetics, that’s the responsibility of the breeder which granted takes a back seat to profit. Most simply aren’t willing to pay more when they can pay less. That’s for all things not fish. That will never change. Thus, an ethical breeder will, in every case, be less profitable than a less ethical breeder.

Now saltwater is much more controversial. A lot of these species can’t be bred in captivity.
Many of them die in the process of catching them. Corals are destroyed as well. I personally think owning wild caught salt water fish (which is the majority of them) is as unethical as it gets in the hobby. Creating the perfect conditions, environment and space of an ocean is not easy. Bright colors and the beauty can attract individuals who are irresponsible. But I suppose that goes both ways.

On the flip side, nature is unpredictable. Fish can be eaten. Their egg after dries up. Die of diseases and parasites, that’s if they even make it into adulthood in the first place. Who is to say my freshwater fish living a full like in a gorgeous fully planted large tank is not more desirable? I mean no one can really know.

The destruction of the ocean to get saltwater fish though, for me, personal crosses a line. And that line is different for everyone. I can’t see many circumstances a fish from the ocean is better off in a tank, especially considering the 20 that died and coral destruction that got it there. I am sure there are ethical saltwater breeders, and if I wanted saltwater fish I’d only buy from them.

To play devil’s advocate I am sure plenty of freshwater fish die when being breed on large farms through various means. Overcrowding, transportation, etc. all in the name of profit.

But as I said before whether salt or fresh water after, being ethical is not profitable and people will not pay more for a fish because it costs more to be bred in more appropriate conditions.
 
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mimo91088

That's true of a lot of things; including poaching of endangered species, opium harvesting, oil fracking etc etc... and it's true you can't simply take away a person/village/community's livelihood and leave them with nothing. Responsible efforts to decrease these ethically concerning or destructive practices involves rebuilding communities to establish other forms of income, which of course is not easily done. There are no simple answers unfortunately.
Perhaps I worded it poorly the first time. I'm fine with wild collection when done sustainably. As long as the species population isn't being decimated I don't see an issue with it.

Is it an issue for certain species? Sure is. But the burden falls on us as hobbyists to do our research before we buy. If wild collection is hurting the wild population of the species you want, then don't buy wild caught for that species. But there's tons of species out there where it's not a concern and collection doesn't cause a dent in the overall population.
 
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dojafish

Now saltwater is much more controversial. A lot of these species can’t be bred in captivity. Many of them die in the process of catching them. Corals are destroyed as well. I personally think owning wild caught salt water fish (which is the majority of them) is as unethical as it gets in the hobby. Creating the perfect conditions, environment and space of an ocean is not easy. Bright colors and the beauty can attract individuals who are irresponsible. But I suppose that goes both ways.

The destruction of the ocean to get saltwater fish though, for me, personal crosses a line. And that line is different for everyone. I can’t see many circumstances a fish from the ocean is better off in a tank, especially considering the 20 that died and coral destruction that got it there. I am sure there are ethical saltwater breeders, and if I wanted saltwater fish I’d only buy from them.
I have to agree with you on this, I've never got into saltwater fish keeping so I did not even think about it. We just had some guy get caught collecting more than his fair share, too, and turns out he is a notorious collector who sells the fish into the hobby and clearly has no cares for the well-being of the fish.

I live in Hawaii where a lot of saltwater fish are taken from our own reefs to be sold into the hobby. I have not been following along closely, but I know there are restrictions in place although a lot of people are pushing to ban collections, period, if they haven't already done so already.

Our reefs are already struggling from the effects of global warming, then people have been over-fishing and collecting all to make an easy quick buck. Coral get damaged from tourists climbing on top of them, or from people foraging for lobsters or fish. Sigh. These days a lot of people are just so disrespectful to nature, it's unreal. Greed is a great sin in this age.
 
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fishkeepinginaisa

Hi, I'm currently doing some research into how fish are supplied to the aquarium trade and I'd like to start a discussion (no arguments please!) around wild caught vs farm bred. I'd also be interested in people's opinions on other ethical issues surrounding commercially breeding fish for aquariums such as selectively bred and genetically modified fish, shipping fish across the world, hybrid fish.

Personally I'd feel more comfortable getting fish from fish farms than wild caught fish because I don't feel that wild fish ever truly settle in to tanks. Catching fish from the wild can lead to habitat destruction and the extinction of some species. A large proportion of fish caught from the wild die soon after. Wild caught fish are likely to carry parasites and disease.
However I can definitely understand some arguments from the other side. Wild caught fish tend to have stronger genetics than captive bred fish that have been line bred and selectively bred for generations. I suspect that the conditions that fish are bred and raised in on fish farms are not ideal. They are crowded and in some places are given hormones in order to stimulate them to breed.

Looking forward to reading your opinions. Thanks!
I keep mostly saltwater, and most saltwater fish are wild caught, but I buy captive bred any chance I get. Captive bred fish are used to living in an aquarium, thus are hardier. I think it is also more ethical than pulling fish from the wild, espically from something as fragile as a reef. This is a great discussion. Personally, I think the pros of captive bred fish almost always outweigh the cons. The only time I buy wild caught is if captive bred isn't avalible. I am going to engage in this some more after work!
 
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mimo91088

These questions always have levels of moral complexity. I'm curious what thoughts you guys have on something like this. There's a rare pleco (I think zebra but someone might correct me). It's become endangered in the wild so it's export is banned from Brazil. Problem is, collection isn't the biggest threat. It's going to end up in much bigger trouble due to dam construction in it's natural habitat. Is it better to let it go extinct completely? Or to at least have them exist in captivity?
 
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A201

Regarding the Amazonian oil sludge pollution problem. It's likely fixable. Just takes money & time.
I live in Oklahoma, a state that at one time was considered the oil capital of the world. After the oil boom, there were vast areas laid to waste by oilfield pollution. A grassroot land reclamation movement started up. Popular opinion & Lawsuits against offending oil companies resulted in a massive cleanup & land reclamation.
Most of the oilfield dead zones have long since disappeared & have been replaced with huge reservoirs, sprawling prairies, private ranches & subdivisions.
I've seen old Oklahoma oilfield photos that closely resembled the Amazonian mess. Many of those areas are located near my residence.
My county is now one of the prettiest locations in the state.
 
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fishkeepinginaisa

I am conflicted about this, and keeping fish in general... I think it's why I'm in my mid 30s with my very first aquarium lol... We are still learning about the cognitive and emotional and social functioning of fish species, but it's more and more evident that they're far more complex than was ever assumed before... and I would guess many standard practices in the hobby are quite stressful for the animals, as well as the environment, particularly catching wild fish, for the reasons you mentioned above,though I don't know much about that aside from the environmental impact of fishing in general.

On the other hand, I want to rescue them from the industry lol (though in doing so obviously I am supporting the industry) and give them the best lives possible, and teach my daughter to love and respect animals and care for them up close, and it's super awesome just for my own enrichment and getting through covid19 being home all the time etc etc so. Just have to try to do it as ethically as possible. I dont know a lot about it but I think it's an important discussion.
You'd like What a Fish Knows by Jonathan Balcombe. He really digs into the cognative abilities of fish. It's fascinating to read about, but don't worry, it won't make you feel guilty. He tells loads of stories about fish who bonded with their owners. Some species recognize their owners, and I'd dare say, enjoy their company.

These questions always have levels of moral complexity. I'm curious what thoughts you guys have on something like this. There's a rare pleco (I think zebra but someone might correct me). It's become endangered in the wild so it's export is banned from Brazil. Problem is, collection isn't the biggest threat. It's going to end up in much bigger trouble due to dam construction in it's natural habitat. Is it better to let it go extinct completely? Or to at least have them exist in captivity?
Another similar case are White Cloud Mountain Minnows. They're extinct in the wild, but live on in the hobby. They went extent due to urbanization, not over collection. I think it's a great thing that we can preserve them in our aquariums.

[/QUOTE]
But as I said before whether salt or fresh water after, being ethical is not profitable and people will not pay more for a fish because it costs more to be bred in more appropriate conditions.
[/QUOTE]

I hope I don't come across as confrontational. This thread is so interesting to me, and I love this sort of debate. I am only trying to continue the conversation.

Captive bred saltwater fish are more expensive at first, but after they've been bred awhile, the price dips. For example captive bred clownfish are cheaper than wild caught. They were one of the first saltwater fish successfully bred. In the beginning, they were pricye, but now they're cheap.

Most saltwater hobbyists are chomping at the bit to buy captive bred fish, even if the cost is higher. It's largely agreed up that any uptick in price is worth it. Captive bred fish are hardier because they're accustomed to tank life.

I hope I haven't been offesive. I am really enjoying this discussion.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

I prefer captive bred fish for ethical reasons and it's one of the reasons that I am unlikely to ever own a saltwater reef tank. That's a generalisation though as there are some wild caught species whose conservation status is not significantly impacted by the aquarium trade. There are also those enthusiasts who obtain threatened wild caught species for breeding programs as has happened with some Rainbowfish species in Australia.
There are also many fish that are nearly extinct in the wild but still exist in - and in big numbers - in the aquarium trade.
These questions always have levels of moral complexity. I'm curious what thoughts you guys have on something like this. There's a rare pleco (I think zebra but someone might correct me). It's become endangered in the wild so it's export is banned from Brazil. Problem is, collection isn't the biggest threat. It's going to end up in much bigger trouble due to dam construction in it's natural habitat. Is it better to let it go extinct completely? Or to at least have them exist in captivity?
A lot of African Cichlids are endangered because of the addition of Nile Perch to their lake. There are live-bearers that are thriving in the trade but almost extinct in the wild.
Although, on that note, those cichlids should not really be in hands like mine. I don't think I would actually care to own any wild caught fish. Not until my skill level was way above where it is. And even then, I would really prefer something raised by a breeder.

The ethical line with keeping an animal in a small cage (as we keep our fish in tanks) gets crossed most easily for me with birds. I just can't imagine putting something that can fly in a little cage.

For fish.... if the tank is appropriately sized and the water quality is very high, I feel ok.

I am not ok with how turtles are kept here in China. I have seen too many full sized turtles living in little plastic boxes. Often without even a proper turtle light.
 
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fishkeepinginaisa

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in the early days of the hobby, weren't most freshwater fish wild caught? For example discuss. When discuss first came into the trade, they were impossible to keep alive. Recreating their natural enviroment was nearly impossible. Even today, they have the reptuation of being an impossibly difficult fish. But when people began breeding them, the captive bred fish were hardier and didn't even need softwater. Today, they're not a challenging fish at all.

I think most freshwater fish are captive bred because the freshwater hobby is older than its salty sister. I expect, eventually, most saltwater fish sold in stores will be captive bred. It's already happening. Designer clowns, filefish, and even some species of tang are now captive bred. All that's needed is more time.

Now saltwater is much more controversial. A lot of these species can’t be bred in captivity.
Many of them die in the process of catching them. Corals are destroyed as well. I personally think owning wild caught salt water fish (which is the majority of them) is as unethical as it gets in the hobby. Creating the perfect conditions, environment and space of an ocean is not easy. Bright colors and the beauty can attract individuals who are irresponsible. But I suppose that goes both ways.

You're correct about the damage of fish and coral collection, and the large number killed in the process, but these days saltwater fish aren't particularly difficult to keep once they're in your tank. In the past twenty years, there's been vast improvements in salt mixtures, aquarium filtration, and knowledge of the fish in general. Most experienced aquarists can give most saltwater fish a great life. Now, there are species which are still nearly impossible to accomidate, fish like moorish idols and clown tangs. We still don't know enough about those to effectivly care for them, and thus they shouldn't be collected.
 
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DoubleDutch

Regarding the Amazonian oil sludge pollution problem. It's likely fixable. Just takes money & time.
I live in Oklahoma, a state that at one time was considered the oil capital of the world. After the oil boom, there were vast areas laid to waste by oilfield pollution. A grassroot land reclamation movement started up. Popular opinion & Lawsuits against offending oil companies resulted in a massive cleanup & land reclamation.
Most of the oilfield dead zones have long since disappeared & have been replaced with huge reservoirs, sprawling prairies, private ranches & subdivisions.
I've seen old Oklahoma oilfield photos that closely resembled the Amazonian mess. Many of those areas are located near my residence.
My county is now one of the prettiest locations in the state.
Only think the Amazon rainforest is a bit different than Oklahoma.
Recently saw a documentary of a place called Shell (our Dutch UK oilcompany) in Ecuador. Shell left the place ages ago completely devestated. A shame.
 
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A201

Seeing that Amazonian oil sludge pollution was quite troubling.
Cleaning up the Amazons remote locations would definitely be much more difficult than reclaiming Oklahomas oil spoiled areas.
 
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BottomDweller

Thank you all very much. This has been a really useful discussion for me and there are lots of points that have come up that I am definitely going to research further.
Problem is, collection isn't the biggest threat. It's going to end up in much bigger trouble due to dam construction in it's natural habitat. Is it better to let it go extinct completely? Or to at least have them exist in captivity?
This in particular, is an excellent point that I hadn't really considered before thanks
 
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DoubleDutch

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in the early days of the hobby, weren't most freshwater fish wild caught? For example discuss. When discuss first came into the trade, they were impossible to keep alive. Recreating their natural enviroment was nearly impossible. Even today, they have the reptuation of being an impossibly difficult fish. But when people began breeding them, the captive bred fish were hardier and didn't even need softwater. Today, they're not a challenging fish at all.

I think most freshwater fish are captive bred because the freshwater hobby is older than its salty sister. I expect, eventually, most saltwater fish sold in stores will be captive bred. It's already happening. Designer clowns, filefish, and even some species of tang are now captive bred. All that's needed is more time.



You're correct about the damage of fish and coral collection, and the large number killed in the process, but these days saltwater fish aren't particularly difficult to keep once they're in your tank. In the past twenty years, there's been vast improvements in salt mixtures, aquarium filtration, and knowledge of the fish in general. Most experienced aquarists can give most saltwater fish a great life. Now, there are species which are still nearly impossible to accomidate, fish like moorish idols and clown tangs. We still don't know enough about those to effectivly care for them, and thus they shouldn't be collected.

Uhhhhh I seriously don't see you're point.
We damage / destroy corals / fishhabitats and a large number are killed "during the process" but we give the survivers a "great life" ???? Only the ones that are hard to keep shouldn't be collected?
I am puzzled.
 
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GlennO

These questions always have levels of moral complexity. I'm curious what thoughts you guys have on something like this. There's a rare pleco (I think zebra but someone might correct me). It's become endangered in the wild so it's export is banned from Brazil. Problem is, collection isn't the biggest threat. It's going to end up in much bigger trouble due to dam construction in it's natural habitat. Is it better to let it go extinct completely? Or to at least have them exist in captivity?

Definitely preferable if a species can at least survive in captivity. But it should be a last resort option with the primary aim being to undertake measures to preserve it in its natural habitat.
 
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mimo91088

Definitely preferable if a species can at least survive in captivity. But it should be a last resort option with the primary aim being to undertake measures to preserve it in its natural habitat.
Agreed. But unfortunately in developing countries, bringing power to a city usually outweighs the needs of a fish. The dams are very unlikely to go away. Do we collect now while they're still out there? Or wait for them to be on the brink of extinction and stick the last 10 in some public aquarium for only the locals and visitors to see? I'd rather see them spread around the hobby and readily available.

We as humans are wiping out aquatic species left and right. Only in a handful of cases is over collection the main culprit. Much more often it's because we destroy the native habitat through development. I'd rather a fish exist only in captivity than not at all.
 
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GlennO

Agreed. But unfortunately in developing countries, bringing power to a city usually outweighs the needs of a fish. The dams are very unlikely to go away. Do we collect now while they're still out there? Or wait for them to be on the brink of extinction and stick the last 10 in some public aquarium for only the locals and visitors to see? I'd rather see them spread around the hobby and readily available.

We as humans are wiping out aquatic species left and right. Only in a handful of cases is over collection the main culprit. Much more often it's because we destroy the native habitat through development. I'd rather a fish exist only in captivity than not at all.

In that specific example, where a single imminent dam is the main threat, I agree that collecting now might be the best option. What also needs to be considered is how the collecting and subsequent breeding program is managed. Possibilities for relocation could also be investigated.
 
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fishkeepinginaisa

Uhhhhh I seriously don't see you're point.
We damage / destroy corals / fishhabitats and a large number are killed "during the process" but we give the survivers a "great life" ???? Only the ones that are hard to keep shouldn't be collected?
I am puzzled.

In the first two paragraphs, I was responding to how several people mentioned the fact that most saltwater fish are wild caught thus are unethical to keep. I assumed that in the early days of the hobby most freshwater fish were wild caught before they were bred as they are today. For the first two paragraphs, I my point was that "one day most everything in the saltwater hobby with be captive bred like in the freshwater hobby." We're already on our way there I think.

As to the last paragraph, I was conceding to another writers point that fish collection damages ecosystems. But they also wrote that recreating ocean conditions in the aquarium is very difficult for most species, which isn't accurate. Many saltwater species adapt really well to tank life. That was my main point. However, DoubleDutch you're skilled at rhetoric and made note of several things in my final paragraph I should clarify.

Clarifying my stance: destruction of reefs is not an acceptable price to pay for marine fish. In many collection zones, government regulations work to limit the damage to nature. For example, fish collection in Australia is far more regulated than Indonesia so the practices are far less damaging to the reef in the former than the later. Fish from Australia are also generally considered better stock because the ocean to tank chain is shorter and more gentle. Most hobbyists prefer fish collected in Australia for that reason alone.

Marine fish collection should be conducted in a way that does minimal damage to nature until the hobby evolves to the point where most fish are captive bred. Once a species can be bred in captivity, there's zero justification for collecting it from the wild. I know many will disagree with me and say marine fish collection is unethical no matter the method, but I hope my opinion won't come across as offensive.

DoubleDutch I hope I didn't offend a Fishlore legend. I just wanted to clarify what I said and continue the conversation to discuss its many complex variables
 
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DoubleDutch

In the first two paragraphs, I was responding to how several people mentioned the fact that most saltwater fish are wild caught thus are unethical to keep. I assumed that in the early days of the hobby most freshwater fish were wild caught before they were bred as they are today. For the first two paragraphs, I my point was that "one day most everything in the saltwater hobby with be captive bred like in the freshwater hobby." We're already on our way there I think.

As to the last paragraph, I was conceding to another writers point that fish collection damages ecosystems. But they also wrote that recreating ocean conditions in the aquarium is very difficult for most species, which isn't accurate. Many saltwater species adapt really well to tank life. That was my main point. However, DoubleDutch you're skilled at rhetoric and made note of several things in my final paragraph I should clarify.

Clarifying my stance: destruction of reefs is not an acceptable price to pay for marine fish. In many collection zones, government regulations work to limit the damage to nature. For example, fish collection in Australia is far more regulated than Indonesia so the practices are far less damaging to the reef in the former than the later. Fish from Australia are also generally considered better stock because the ocean to tank chain is shorter and more gentle. Most hobbyists prefer fish collected in Australia for that reason alone.

Marine fish collection should be conducted in a way that does minimal damage to nature until the hobby evolves to the point where most fish are captive bred. Once a species can be bred in captivity, there's zero justification for collecting it from the wild. I know many will disagree with me and say marine fish collection is unethical no matter the method, but I hope my opinion won't come across as offensive.

DoubleDutch I hope I didn't offend a Fishlore legend. I just wanted to clarify what I said and continue the conversation to discuss its many complex variables

You didn't offend me.at all. Thanks for your clear explanation.

BTW I don't value "Fishlore Legend" (or others) which I think is mainly based on the years someone on this forum and is put on me without asking of course.
Personally I hate any differentation (is this English?) in people this way and value the input of newbies, active members (maybe that'a a better one), etc.... all.the same way.
I am not a.know it all but a bit sceptical (and.maybe a bit sarcastic) as it comes to human interference in Nature). I think "we" don't have ANY reason to damage / destroy Nature and to harm animals / plants or treat them bad. Keeping freshwater fish sometimes is a "internal ethical struggle" .
for me for that reason. That's why I try to stay away from wildcaught fish (only adopt them if needed) and trying to give all of my fish the best possibe care (in tankspace, food, understocking, etc etc....)

Thanks again and no offense taken nor made at you.
 
Upvote 0

GlennO

Keeping freshwater fish sometimes is a "internal ethical struggle" .

Yes. I’ve had my own little ‘struggle’ for 2 years since buying some Otocinclus on impulse without researching and not realising that they were all wild caught. After a few months all of them had died except one. So do I buy more, knowing that they are a social fish, or do I not, now knowing that they are wild caught? I decided not to, assuming that the last one would soon die anyway. More than 18 months later and he was still alive, fat and healthy. Recently I weakened and bought one more so he could have a buddy and both are going well. But the dilemma persists as I still only have two.
 
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ProudPapa

In that specific example, where a single imminent dam is the main threat, I agree that collecting now might be the best option. What also needs to be considered is how the collecting and subsequent breeding program is managed. Possibilities for relocation could also be investigated.

Relocation is tricky because of the danger of the relocated species displacing native species.
 
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Fishcat

With regard to the welfare aspects of keeping fish in tanks that are inevitably small compared to their natural habitat, it is important to remember that the sheer size of the lake, river, ocean, etc. is not necessarily what is important to the fish. An animal whose physical and social needs are met can be perfectly content in a habitat that seems cramped to people. This is not to say that size is unimportant, but that gallonage is not a factor to necessarily consider above others.
 
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