Re: NANFA-L-- Re: the aquarium hobby as conservator of

Michael Gaines (
Thu, 11 May 2006 00:26:20 -0700 (PDT)

While I perhaps took their comments out of context, there have been posts in the whole sturgeon discussion that HAVE referred to goodeids, and other non US fish.
I would however agree with everything else. Most fishes from the US are best left in the hands of the experts in most cases, though looking to the experience of hobbyists would benefit many of the government agencies involved greatly.

Peter Unmack <peter.lists at> wrote:
On Wed, 10 May 2006, Michael Gaines wrote:

> Tell that to the various Victorian cichlids and goodeids that exist
> because of hobbyists.

Michael, I think you are taking Mike's and Chris' comments slightly out of
context (although it perhaps wasn't exactly clear). No one is saying that
hobbyists can't contribute to fish conservation. But, if you had some
locally threatened minnow in your region that you wanted to breed and
reintroduce to help the local population then you would be more likely to
hurt the population than help it. That type of operation is best left to
the organisations that you listed below. Obviously, if a fish is extinct
in the wild then it's only hope for continued survival is captive
maintenance by aquariums and hobbyists and I think you would find that
everyone fully supports that.

> Who are these people who are more qualified? Except for a few zoos,
> Fish Ark Mexico, and CFI, most of those programs are collossal failures,
> and the ones which are not do not have the resources for every
> endangered species.
> IMHO, if it's legal to collect and distribute them, the only ethical
> mandate is that you breed and distribute them to others who will do the
> same.

However, many/some fishes lack the protection that they should have due to
political rather than biological reasons. If someone was going to remove
some of these, breed them, and document how they did it then I could see
some justification for it, but few people do this. Thus, for the most
part, if a fish is under threat for some reason, they are probably better
left alone. Sure, habitat degradation is typically the major cause for
population decline, but taking out individuals for no good reason doesn't
help them any. And I will qualify that by limiting these comments to the
USA. I think once you get into Mexico and other places with few resources
devoted to conservation then the situation changes somewhat since there
is essentially nothing the government will do to help the species survive
in the wild.

Peter Unmack
Provo River, Utah

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