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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-05-2012 04:06 AM
SMB [QUOTE]I feel weird for saying this, but I agree with them... The saltwater hobby as a whole is detrimental to the marine environment. Not only does it damage populations of certain species, it also is very damaging to the ecosystem as a whole with the introduction of invasive organisms such as the lionfish in the Caribbean. Personally, I would be very hesitant about getting anything for a saltwater tank that was not possible to breed in a domestic environment.
__________________/QUOTE]__________________

The fresh water keepers are not free of guilt when it comes to invasive species:
Snake Heads, Blue Catfish, etc.
The saltwater hobby is by no means perfect, but private aquarium owners have done a great deal in advancing the husbandry of marine fish and corals. In fact they put many public aquariums to shame. There is a compromise position, by keeping tank raised fish and identifying those wild caught species that do well in captivity, banning the sale of those fish that clearly have low survival rates in captivity.
It is the frag. coral industry that has made new steps in restoring some depleted reefs. As with fresh water aquariums we all have to be responsible for our systems. (I do not have a SW tank.)
12-05-2012 02:03 AM
FisheriesOmen
Quote:
Originally Posted by dprais1 View Post
Even if the impact is so close to "zero" that it is not measurable, it is still in no way acceptable that for every fish in a tank at the pet store there are 9 others that died.

When does the love of the hobby start to eclipse the love of the subject?

Take fish out of the wild? You bet! but responsibly and then the goal should be breed them in captivity.

my $.02
The thing is that there are captive breeding efforts in the marine hobby. It takes a lot more effort to raise Marine Fish (especially ones that have pelagic larvae stages) and people have recently been cracking very tough fish. Most people that don't have enough knowledge to keep a SW tank normally go with Clownfish anyways, which are breed extensively in the U.S.

Show me sufficient evidence of extensive use of harmful methods of collection. Even live-rock is being man-made and aqua-cultured.
12-05-2012 01:21 AM
dprais1 Even if the impact is so close to "zero" that it is not measurable, it is still in no way acceptable that for every fish in a tank at the pet store there are 9 others that died.

When does the love of the hobby start to eclipse the love of the subject?

Take fish out of the wild? You bet! but responsibly and then the goal should be breed them in captivity.

my $.02
12-04-2012 11:35 PM
Axelrodi202 While there are certainly unscrupulous practices going on in the marine hobby, I find that the trend is going towards sustainability. For example, one of the major LFS in my area is MAC-certified, and their lionfish are caught off of the Atlantic coast.
12-04-2012 09:05 PM
bikinibottom For those panicked about the end of the aquarium hobby -- ha. Whatever. It's never going to happen so you can stop the hand-wringing. What Snorkel Bob is doing is suing the state in an attempt to force them to conduct environmental impact assessments on extractions for the aquarium trade. He's not saying that anyone who keeps a tank should go to jail.

Personally, I would like more science-based facts about what the impact is. If we don't know, then how can we take a stance on whether ecosystems need more or less protection?
12-04-2012 08:57 PM
ddiomede
Quote:
Originally Posted by FisheriesOmen View Post
LEDs = No chillers = no probelm

The reefing hobby has changed dramatically since the 90s.


ddiomede, I completely agree with you. There are a lot worse things out there and this hobby isn't one of them. I can safely say that the majority of corals people buy (all of them in my case) are frags of other aqua-cultured corals.
Same here. I just got back into the marine hobby after years of keeping freshwater. I stopped back in the 90's because the technology IMO wasn't good enough to maintain these animals. Now since it's come a long way I figured I would get back in.

I am a member of a local reef keeping forum and nearly everyone on there trades and sells frags to one another. Most shops also only sell frags because people are gravitating towards aquaculture.

So with more and more folks looking towards sustainability, there is less impact on the reefs. As more and more people understand the husbandry of these animals, we can further limit wild collection. There will always be new corals that people will want in their collections, but once they're collected, people soon begin to aquaculture them so less need for wild stock.

Fish on the other hand is a different matter altogether. Many of the species cannot be bred in aquariums.

In short, it's up to us hobbyists to set the bar. When we go into pet shops and buy something that we have never seen before and don't know how to keep it is when we've failed the environment, as well as the hobby.
12-04-2012 08:42 PM
FisheriesOmen
Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
This issue is what ultimately made me leave saltwater as a hobby in the 90s. I just couldn't justify the costs for the environment and the demands of keeping the animals healthy with MH lights and chillers... It became obvious to me that the enjoyment I derived was at way too high a cost and then the guilt set in...
LEDs = No chillers = no probelm

The reefing hobby has changed dramatically since the 90s.


ddiomede, I completely agree with you. There are a lot worse things out there and this hobby isn't one of them. I can safely say that the majority of corals people buy (all of them in my case) are frags of other aqua-cultured corals. When the both hobbies (FW and SW) started, they were crude and poor. Freshwater has had it easier than Saltwater for aqua-culturing but one thing many people haven't taken into account is income. . . . the reefing hobby is a large business, not just for the U.S. but for the whole world. Many poor coastal countries rely on Mariculture and harvesting for income and even more rely on it for jobs in the US and in Europe and in Asia. This isn't something you can just ban.
12-04-2012 08:39 PM
lochaber
Quote:
Originally Posted by msawdey View Post
Not Too many people keep tuna or other types seafood as aquarium pets... you are mixing in 2 different issues here. Over fishing for food production and plucking animals out of the wild for keeping as a "pet" as two vastly different things. I agree with most of what you said, but I disagree on the comment about the hobby being insignificantly small. You said it yourself, all of these things come into play.

Fact of the matter is, if you are going into an environment and taking out an animal, the percentage of what is living to make it to a pet store is probably less than 50%. I do agree there are large issues at play such as the mentioned climate change that will probably alter the environments of aquatic life, but it stands true that responsibility needs to be taken.
Yeah, I get that, I probably wasn't too clear. And I know the overfishing is targeting different areas/species then the aquarium trade, but there is a lot of interactions between environs, and something that happens in one environ will usually have effects in another. Plus, a lot of aquatic animals spend time in various environments, depending on what stage of life they are in.

I do agree that we should practice our hobby responsibly, and encourage others to do so, I just don't feel our hobby is single-handedly destroying the oceans.
12-04-2012 08:33 PM
ddiomede The most invasive species is us humans. We're responsible for everything bad that is happening to the Earth. One example is the crown of thorns starfish explosion that is killing vast swaths of the Great Barrier Reef. One may ask, what is causing the starfish numbers to drastically do up? Well the answer to that is us. The runoff from fertilizers and agriculture is emptying right into the reefs and the chemicals are providing the exact nutrients the starfish need to increase in numbers.

As far as the saltwater hobby goes, I think that what is harvested is negligible compared to what global warming has done thus far. Some areas have horrid collection practices, but most have been doing it in a sustainable way. China actually goes out onto the reefs and kills giant clams by hand to collect the meat. There was an article about Paul Allen of Microsoft who was trying to locate an airplane that was chasing down Chinese poachers.

With global warming having its devastating affects on our coral reefs, saltwater hobbyists may be the only outlet to repopulating said reefs with fragments of their corals.

This clown Snorkel Bob seems like a moron who is an extreme hypocrite. Examples of what he's done are mentioned in posts above so no need for redundancy.
12-04-2012 08:11 PM
FisheriesOmen
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikinibottom View Post
Although Bob seems a little confused about the different types of algae, what their roles/functions are, and who eats what, I think the overall message of conservation is warranted. And you have to understand where he's coming from. His business relies entirely on there being healthy, vibrant corals to look at. He wouldn't sell/rent much equipment if there were a bunch of dead, algae-dominated ex-reefs to look at. Tropical areas the world over are watching their reefs die from disease, bleaching and ecological imbalances created from over-fishing and eutrophication. The marine aquarium trade is just one more threat in a very long list. There is very little that he personally can do about carbon dioxide emissions, disease and over-fishing, but he CAN try to stop this one threat.

Seriously, though... and this isn't a snarky question -- what do you have against conservation? If cost were not an issue, wouldn't you prefer to buy tank-bred species versus ones that were ripped off a reef somewhere?

I think we could all do the hobby a favor if we were more conservation-minded and tried to "self-regulate" ourselves before other people do it for us. Part of the reason I switched to freshwater was because of the greater availability of farm-raised/tank-bred/aquacultured plants and fish.

He isn't banning just wild caught... He wants the whole saltwater hobby gone and uses falsified or dramatized information to do it.

If he doesn't even know what type of algae is which, he has no credibility.
12-04-2012 08:07 PM
msawdey
Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
Overfishing for the seafood industry, while primarily targeting different environs, will also do far more damage to the ocean ecosystems then our hobby.

But our hobby is insignificantly small compared to the seafood industry, or the corporations that want to block any sort of talk about carbon emissions.
Not Too many people keep tuna or other types seafood as aquarium pets... you are mixing in 2 different issues here. Over fishing for food production and plucking animals out of the wild for keeping as a "pet" as two vastly different things. I agree with most of what you said, but I disagree on the comment about the hobby being insignificantly small. You said it yourself, all of these things come into play.

Fact of the matter is, if you are going into an environment and taking out an animal, the percentage of what is living to make it to a pet store is probably less than 50%. I do agree there are large issues at play such as the mentioned climate change that will probably alter the environments of aquatic life, but it stands true that responsibility needs to be taken.
12-04-2012 07:47 PM
lochaber I think there are a lot of angles to this issue. The first would be the destruction of wild habitats/depletion of wild populations. This tends to be more of a marine/reef issue then a freshwater issue, but can't be ignored because of that. Also, I believe it's less of a problem then it used to be, as I think damaging capture methods like dynamiting and cyanide were already on the decline a decade or more ago.

On the other hand, the damage the aqarium trade does to reefs is going to me negligible (as stated above) compared to the effects of climate change. rising ocean temps, increasing acidity, there is already a great loss of coral due to bleaching in some areas, and it's just going to get worse.

Overfishing for the seafood industry, while primarily targeting different environs, will also do far more damage to the ocean ecosystems then our hobby.

But our hobby is insignificantly small compared to the seafood industry, or the corporations that want to block any sort of talk about carbon emissions.

Another issue (also stated above) is the issue with releasing non-native species (or even captive raised native species, to a lesser extent). This doesn't just affect the aquarium hobby, it's a pretty big issue wit a lot of herp stuff as well. I'm sure you've all seen the pictures of the dead constrictor that swallowed an alligator and ruptured. Apparently this is becoming a problem in Florida, since the habitat is suits them pretty well.

As Bermyguy pointed out, the lionfish example wasn't due to hobbyists, but we are still going to get the blame. Many other introduction of non-native species are actually intentional acts done by the government under various conservation (and conservation is very different from environmental protection) issues. But hobbyists will get the blame; and sometimes we deserve it, I've known too many people who when they get tired of taking care of a critter, take it outside and let it go. I believe that's whey the Western Pond Turtle is in trouble out here in CA, the red-ear sliders (typical baby turtle) are competing with them. We need to make sure that we are careful not to accidentally (or intentionally) release captive critters into the wild, and do our best to educate others not to release them as well.
12-04-2012 06:38 PM
Bermyguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by msawdey View Post
while i know you are right, that fact still goes against the hobby as people do keep them. They are unfortunately still an invasive species, but i hear are actually really good to eat!
I totally agree with you.
12-04-2012 06:18 PM
msawdey
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bermyguy View Post
I agree with you, however, the DNA tests on the lion fish showed that they came from an aquarium in Florida, not from the hobbyist's tank. They apparently were released into the wild as a result of a hurricane.
while i know you are right, that fact still goes against the hobby as people do keep them. They are unfortunately still an invasive species, but i hear are actually really good to eat!
12-04-2012 06:17 PM
Bermyguy It is amazing how fast they spread as an invasive species though. Check the link http://www.oceansupport.org/lionfish-information
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