RE: NANFA-- Re: Captive-bred fish

Jay DeLong (
Fri, 7 Sep 2001 09:53:38 -0700

> Relying on wild stocks will ultimately pose a threat to native
> populations.

I think this discussion has ballooned into an irrational false-scare. Why
portray hobbyist/naturalists as greedy destroyers of nature? By comparison,
commercial and sport fishing pose a far, far greater threat to native fish
populations by removing large long-lived individuals from native
populations, often destroying entire age-classes and the species' health and
reproductive potential, or by moving "desirable" species like basses and
salmonids and cichlids where they don't belong just because people will pay
to catch them. Then of course there are the indirect but massively
destructive effects of development and pollution. A few
hobbyist/naturalists with dip nets chasing after a few short-life-span,
common, fecund, forage fish can hardly be thought to pose a serious threat
and may even help restore a natural balance by reducing the numbers of
forage fish that would have been food for the sport and commercial species.

I think what commercial sellers of aquarium-bred native fishes is doing is
good in that it provides a way for people to get fish they may not otherwise
have been able to get. But what they don't get by sending fish and
receiving fish through the mail is the natural experience. Just ask any
angler why he/she fishes. It's not for the fish. Forests are more than
trees; streams are more than fish.

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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