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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Wild caught vs Farmed. which is better from an environmental perspective?

Hello every everyone, I've recently started posting on this site although i have been lurking for a while.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been roaming some of the treads here and claiming that in general its better for the environment to buy wild caught animals than farmed or even locally bred ones .

This was met by scepsis by some of you, and since i didn't want to explain my self over and over again or spoil those threads with my ramblings, I thought i would start a new thread where i explained myself .

I think this subject is as interesting as its important, so i would love to get a discussion going about it. It may even turn out I'm wrong, but that's OK . The important thing is to sort out what is fact and what is assumption or rumor, so that we can make decisions based on facts when were in the LFS.

Here we go.

When someone claims something like this people usually presumes it has to do with the fish farms. And there is problems related to them, pollution,
risk of introducing invasive species or pathogens among other things.

But if we forget about the fish farms and try to look at the big picture, well realise that the biggest threat to these fish and their environment is habitat destruction. These days there's no place on earth that doesn't feel the pressure our exploding population, and everyone has to eat right? So if a piece of land or water for that matter doesn't provide food or money for the people living there they will do something about it.

To give a few examples they might introduce a new species of fish that is a better food source than the existing ones, Lake tanganyika and the nile perch comes to mind, or that lake in Sulawesi with those cool "new" shrimp (snakehead and tlapia was it?) Another thing that is popular right now is bio fuel (must save the environment ), so that good for noting swampforest where those tiny uneatable fish lives, lets chop it down, ditch it out and then we can grow oilpalms or sugar canes. You can also build houses of liverock, or fish with dynamite.

The old assumption that its better to leave the fish alone might have been true a long time ago, but that's not the way the world works nowadays.

What we need to do is to give people a reason to conserve that pice of nature, and if a few can make a living by collecting animals or plants from it well it might not be enough to save every pice of nature, but at least there will be a voice there trying to defend their livelihood.
And sometimes it does work! For exaple there was plans to introduce nileperch in Lake Malawi but the fishcollectors managed to prove it would mean an economical loss, so Lake Malawi is safe at least for now... I also have a hard time seeing anyone would want to mess with the area where they collect Cardinal tetras.

There is allot of rumors going round about all these fish being fished to extinction for the aquarium trade but i cant think of any where Ive seen any proof. Some anemones might fit the bill, but that's it. Oh wait Asian arrowana. And even if a couple species did go extinct, the positive benefits of wild collection outweighs the negative.

Lets look at things from an environmental perspective only in this tread cant we? Theres other factors ass well such as animalhealth, adaptability to captivity and not to forget price! All those things are important to but that's a whole other thread.

Here's some links (they where given to me by a celebrity )

Conservation Benefits of Wild Capture and Captive Rearing in the Ornamental Fish Industry

Decade of Project Piaba: Reflections and Prospects

Healthy Reefs and Fish, Healthy Business and Hobby:A Sustainable Future for the Marine Ornamentals Trade

Buy a Fish, Buy a Coral, Save a Reef: The Importance of Economic Incentives to Sustain Conservation
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