In a message dated 1/6/02 4:21:27 AM Central Standard Time,
> just wait as time goes by the Big Chains will drive out the Mom and Pap
> stores Then the quality of there fish will go down.
> I have seen this here in Peoria, even when a new Chain opens fish get better
> for a short time then drop off.
This is a problem in the nursery industry too. Most local garden centers
carry the "bread and butter stuff" - a friend of mine called them "Puppy
Mills for Plants". If you want really good garden plants -esp the
natives and selections of newly discovered species from China or other
parts of the globe you go mail order.
As the big chains dominate the local industry the best thing fish
enthusiasts can do is to exploit the niche market for the better
selections of obsurce species that the big chains don't want to mess
This could be an excellent opportunity for hobbyists to capitalize on.
Nice natives like Killies and some sunfishes and cyprinids can be raised
profitably in small ponds - even tropical livebearers can be cultured
outdoors in the summer - sort of like sowing and harvesting a crop
before winter sets in. You can keep a portion of stock you don't sell
indoors over winter to start again next year (seed corn).
Marketing will be the most difficult part but it can be done. The mail
order plant industry taps a big market by reaching out to specialized
enthusiasts scattered around the country and the world. Last time I
checked it is still possible to mail fish inspite of the Anthrax scare.
You just have to lable the package "Live Fish" so it won't be irradiated
and tell the postal clerk that you packed it yourself- just like checked
baggage at the airport.
I've had no trouble with recent exchanges with Ray and the Chubsuckers I
adopted from Sajjad in November so fish are still go!
In all it's just a matter of finding and exploiting the right niche
market. I believe it's out there - maybe not as strong as for plants but
there are people out there who want fish - really good fish that you
can't get from the run of the mill pet center. And in today's world it's
even easier than ever for the customer and dealer to find each other. A
web page would be a good start.
If things ever do get bad- to the point where it becomes impossible to
ship live goods you can always trade surplus stock at the various club
meets or bring it to a NANFA meeting. That way hobbysists will still
have access to rare and unusual species and select breeds and small gene
pools can be enriched and dispersed .
Digging out again in SW Pennsylvania!
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