RE: NANFA-- Re: Captive-bred fish

Jay DeLong (
Fri, 7 Sep 2001 23:32:19 -0700

> If you are refering to my comments, I by no means consider the
> current rate
> of take by native fish collectors to be significant, nor in any way
> comparable to the take by sport anglers and commercial harvesters. I was
> just suggesting that, if the hobby does become as widespread and
> popular as
> the tropical fish hobby, and the fishes in the trade all come from the
> wild, it will be a significant issue for wild fishes and management plans
> will be needed.

Mark, yes- I was referring to your comments and Shireen's also. Mark or
anyone that feels this way: Why after decades of Herbert Axelrod and others
(and NANFA I guess) pushing the merits of NA natives as aquarium fishes are
only a few just slightly popular (some Fundulus and maybe Enneacanthus and
others)? Why do you think anything will change that people will suddenly
want to rush out to dip and seine fishes? I don't think it'll happen. And
why do you think that such activities would have a dent on populations of
any but the most rare fishes already supposedly "protected" anyway? (I
wonder if the greatest problem might not be to the fish, but from people
trashing sensitive areas and habitats to get to those fish!)

One more question: Do you think that most keepers of exotic tropicals know
about or care about their fishes' native distributions, habitats and
statuses in the wild? What does this say about the value of setting
everyone up with native NA fishes without the outdoor experience to go along
with it?

> With regard to experiencing fishes in the wild, this is invaluable for
> understanding them. So we need to lead the way in preserving this
> opportunity by:
> Observing fishes in the wild legally and responsibly;
> Working with governing agencies to keep this opportunity open;
> Working to preserve the natural habitats and healthy wild stocks;
> Developing a positive reputation as individuals and as an organization.

Excellent points. And if people could fish-watch with binoculars like
birders do, they'd be more in awe of what's out there and more likely to
feel ownership and want to protect it. I know-- let's push freshwater
snorkeling as a valid hobby! Snorkeling clubs from coast to coast! Okay,
maybe that's too weird... (but I've been feeling weird and ornery lately

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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