Re: NANFA-- Collecting ethics
Tue, 13 Jan 2004 10:39:37 +0000 (GMT)

> How often do you have to replace specimens on exhibit?
> How often do you have breeding success with your specimens on exhibit?

In the case of Zoological Institutions, there are ethical procedures and protocols to go through when acquiring new stock. No single individual takes it on themselves to make the decision on what is right and what isn't. These decisions are subject to internal scrutiny and also external scrutiny by regional and central government. Inspections are rigorous and frequent, as they should be.

> dare say that there are a lot of hobbist out there with the same drive and
> interest as any "professional".

Indeed, and that is where I have acquired the majority of my knowledge from, and that is why I personally attend three different aquarium society meetings each month, but they do not always have the resources or support structure required to be able to make informed decisions about what are or aren't sustainable populations or on other questions pertaining to conservation.
In terms of sheer numbers, certainly private aquarists are way ahead if we are measuring 'passion volume' (for want of a better term), but for every private aquarist with that passion there are 50 who like the look of Red Parrot Cichlids etc.
To work in the professional field you have to be able to take that same passion and use it to offset the fact that you are always going to be paid at a level that leaves you worrying every single month about what to most people are fairly routine expenses.

>>From your unrealistic statements, you are either very young or >very inexperienced - or both.

I have to say here that Nick is neither, but is an internationally recognised Public Aquarium professional who has proven himself on many occasions on all aspects of the delivery of a successful Educational and Zoological institution, including innovative husbandry techniques, reproduction and long-term maintenance.

> An aquarium, a pond or any artificial enclosure is just that - > artificial. You cannot maintain
> specimens in "their native environments" in a tank.

You can use environmetal enrichment to ensure that the fish concerned are exposed to as many of the non-hazardous conditions that they would experience on the wild as possible. If the ultimate aim is conservation this is absolutely essential, otherwise what you end up with is a domesticated fish that breeds perfectly well in aquaria but would not last the day when returned to the original habitat the broodstock came from. Work like this is very difficult for any one individual to carry out, as it requires such a multi-disciplinary approach.

> Aquarist jump through hoops providing environments as
> close to nature as possible. EVEN to the point of using muddy > leafy bottoms where the fish seem never to be seen.

As in the Apistogramma I have breeding at home which I only see when they are displaying or guarding fry.
But for every one that does, there are dozens more who have crystal rocks and plastic ships.
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