Where do your fish come from, and how do they get here?
We had a thread on this topic a while back, so here is a good overview that may be instructive.
Are you a ?Wildy? or a ?Farmy?? | Blog | Practical Fishkeeping
Most of my fish are farmed, but I do have several wild caught. I prefer farm raised.
Neat read, Byron. Here is more food for thought. If you look at the food fish at your local supermarket, they will often state their origin such as wild-caught or farm-raised. But you don't get a hint of this at many pet stores. We're obviously not afraid to eat fish from the wild, so why should people be afraid to keep fish from the wild.
Wild caught fish are generally more expensive. denison barbs are a prime example - wilds are up to $25 each, but recently, farm raised fish have hit the market at a $10-15 price point. Denison barbs are endangered, something I didn't know when I got them, so I feel better knowing that there are farm raised fish now.
My concern with wild caught fish is parasites - most wild animals have internal parasites. Also, some can be difficult to get to eat staple food.
Fish you eat is safe because it is cooked, which kills parasites. Also, sushi is examined with special lights to make sure there are no parasites, and is certified (any place that sells sushi should have paperwork documenting that the fish has been examined and is parasite free).
To your comment on disease, in fact it is rather the opposite. Farm-raised fish are turning up with more problems than wild caught fish. Almost every disease we encounter in fish is introduced somewhere along the captivity process, not from the wild. Also, wilod fish have shown a more robust immune system to tank-raised fish. There is also the genetic pool issue.
I guess we need to add economist, environmentalist, and moral philosopher to the list of disciplines that an aquarist needs to learn.
Food fish populations are going, there is no doubt about that. It's been estimated that reefs will be empty in 50 years, oceans in 100 years. This is due to the acidification of the oceans.. we are pumping in so much CO2 that the oceans absorb, the global pH has already dropped by .1. Molluscs are already suffering from this, especially in the polar regions, their shells are dissolving, it's been observed.
From what I hear.. there really is no chance that we will all band together and stop this.. our oceans will soon be empty.. and then we will be sorry. :/
Freshwater fish are going too, maybe at a slower rate.
Back to the question at hand. Wild caught or captive-bred. I do enjoy the captive bred varieties of betta, goldfish, and koi (because those are some of my favorite species). But the more I read about wild-caught freshwater species, the more I think I do want wild-caught where I can get them. I'm trying to find wild-caught cardinal tetra for my softwater community. If I ever get into breeding, then I will certainly try my best to get wild-caught species.
Hmm I'm doing a project on the acidification of oceans and the main research site for it says we are losing reefs faster than the rainforests. Either way, I don't think it's going to be like "oh there goes the Arctic! -50 years later- hey that was the last rainforest! -50 more years- why are there no more fish left?" Even ecosystems like the amazon and the arctic are connected.. Mostly by wind and water currents, swaping hot/cold water and air..
The arctic melting? Ooo that one bothers me a lot.. It's going to melt all the way in my lifetime. Combined with the summer melts in antartica, which will also be huge once this happens.. The salinity of the ocean can change... Which people don't realize will be one of the most devastating things, as it will change the ocean currents.. We all know what that'll do.
Dams. How I hate them. Prime example is Chinese paddlefish.. (also the now extinct Yangtze river dolphin but we are talking about fish lol..). The Yangtze river has been turned from a fast flowing, powerful, clear watered river, into a murky swamp.
People trying to protect the Yangtze were interviewing local fishermen.. They found a pretty clear age division.. There was an older age group who had all seen/caught the huge paddlefish.. I think people 30 and under had either never heard of them or only heard stories. It's a huge fish, like the dolphin a recognizeable feature of the river.. But all the animals of the river are endangered simply because dams have altered the environment so much.
In China the dams are even a danger to the people.. Government wants to build a dam near you? Get out of there. Leave your house and your crops.. They receive almost no compensation. But that's a totally different issue.
India is planning to build a ton of dams along their major rivers... It's "clean" energy but it does so much harm..
I know in BC/northern America people are trying to save salmon populations damaged by dams, but the Chinese paddlefish are going out in a whisper and no one seems to care. It's cousin of largeness, the dolphin, got some funding before it was declared extinct, but who on earth cares about some fish?
I would love some well bred, healthy dwarf gourami, to breed them free of their horrible disease.. From what I can tell, they don't sell them wild caught, which would be the best way to go about this.
Wild ornamental fish don't bug me as much.. We stop if we notice we're doing something wrong. -True- hobbyists care as much about the ecosystem as their own tanks. We don't want to be left recreating and image that no longer exists...
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