NANFA-- RE: Captive-bred fish

Jay DeLong (
Tue, 28 Aug 2001 13:38:48 -0700

> 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.

If she was talking about fellow Forest Service biologists, it's kind of
curious, considering that National Forests are open to kinds of activities
like logging, hunting and fishing, all which take wild things out of 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

I think it's admirable for a person to look into his/her actions and
consider their effects and ethics. Would you disagree with this statement:
"Taking individuals from a healthy wild population is alright when it does
no harm to the species or those individuals, and for some creatures like
fishes can even provide a better living for those individuals."

At the same time anglers and hunters are directly killing them for food and
sport, and development, logging, pollution, etc, from others are indirectly
killing more. Don't the effects of responsible collecting for personal
"entertainment" pale in comparison to these? And don't the possible
positive results of introducing people to the life beneath the surface of
the stream in their backyard offer hope for a more environmentally-educated
and ethical public in the future?

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA
"If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do
not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts?
To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent
~ Aldo Leopold (1953)

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