Captive-bred fish (was RE: NANFA-- Carillio in the news)

Shireen Gonzaga (
Tue, 28 Aug 2001 11:23:55 -0400

>From: "Jay DeLong" <>
>"The rainbow darter is a sign of a stream's good health, but the
>fish attract collectors, too."
> From: "Robert Carillio" <>
> It sounds as though someone thinks collection is going to wipe out the

If this hobby ever gets as popular as the tropical fish
hobby, then it could very well contribute to a decline.
So, how popular do you want NANFA to become?

In a conversation with a Forest Service official a
few months ago, she mentioned that some biologists
are anti-collecting, that they believe that wild
animals should be left in the wild.

That remark made me think more about the ethics
of collecting wild creatures as pets (that is, keeping
wild fish for our personal entertainment, as opposed
to the valuble information that is collected by amateurs
who breed wild natives in captivity, or use them for
educational and research purposes).

I still have mixed feelings about this since there are
merits and drawbacks on both sides of the issue. For
now, since there are so few native fish enthusiasts, we
can collectively get away with ignoring this matter.
But someday, if native fish become wildly popular,
we'll have to deal with it head-on.

Until then, perhaps NANFA could encourage its
members to get captive-bred fish whenever possible?

The most inspiring article I've ever read in the AC
was JR Shute's piece on the future of NANFA (winter
2000, I think). In it, he said something about how
members could help the science and conservation of
native fish, by contributing information learnt from
their fish breeding studies to help scientists like him
develop techniques to recover endangered and
threatened fish.

Currently, there are a few very remarkable members
who have done an amazing job in this area. In addition
to contributing valuable information on breeding
techniques, perhaps they could also act as a source of
captive-bred fish for other members who want to keep
natives as pets, and as teachers to others who wish to try
breeding them. (One of these remarkable native fish
breeders recently gave me 7 of his tank-bred Iowa
darters, it was a joy and a privilege to adopt those little
"people" with fins!)

> From: "Jay DeLong" <>
>What do they mean by this?:
>"Knowing darters are doing well in central Ohio streams pleases
>Mark Allen Dilley, but he still wants to keep secret the whereabouts of
>tiny fish."

I don't know the specific context of that statement, but given
how the media works, the reporter most likely mangled it.

However, the issue of keeping certain wildlife sites a secret is
quite common. Many ornithologists and amateur birders, for
instance, will not disclose the locations of nests belonging to
uncommon birds, or in some cases, even common birds. This
is done to protect the animals from people, well-meaning as
they are, who could inadvertantly cause damage to the site
or the animal's well-being.


Shireen Gonzaga
Baltimore, MD

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