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Sustainability in the ornamental trade

Discussion in 'Scientific Section' started by The Lumpfish Guy, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. The Lumpfish Guy

    The Lumpfish Guy Fish Crazy

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    A few people might be interested in this review article which was published in the journal of the Fisheries Society of Great Britain regarding the sustainability and sources of the ornamental trade. As part of their species reports from the symposium of the sustainable use and exploitation of fisheries 2018.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jfb.13930
     
  2. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    Interesting!! I can see why it could be a threat to the ecosystems, after all, we are taking wild fish from their native habitats. But that is a crazy amount of money, $15–30 billion USD each year? :drool:
     
  3. The Lumpfish Guy

    The Lumpfish Guy Fish Crazy

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    It is a huge industry, If you work it out by kilo, the average food fish is about $5 a kg and the average ornamental is $20 per kg.
    I personally don't agree with buying wild caught fish for that reason. Most fish can be raised in captivity now, there is little excuse for us to be taking them from the wild.
     
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  4. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    I agree 100%. Most fish like Blue Tangs, Lion Fish, Yellow Tangs etc. (for some reason, they almost all seem to be saltwater fish!) are taken from the wild. I don’t see any reason to really, why can’t we just get 1 pair from the wild, and the, breed, breed, breed? (Oh, I got it, supply and demand.)
     
  5. The Lumpfish Guy

    The Lumpfish Guy Fish Crazy

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    I think you spelt greed wrong...

    Instead of putting the cost and effort into breeding a fish, take it from the wild and charge the same price....
     
  6. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    No, I meant “breed”. And that does make sense, “If we can make it cheaper, I’m all for it!!” Says the CEO of some big fish company. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fish Crazy

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    We have to be careful what we do with our plants and fish too. Byron made a post recently about a Frogbit plant that could be invasive and anacharis is all too well known as highly invasive. That Lion Fish you like so well has gotten entirely out of hand in Florida waters where it is not native. It has disrupted that environment in a very negative way. But the money involved in pet fish is mind boggling. I did not have even the slightest idea of those figures.
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I come across this now and then, and while I appreciate the thinking I feel it is not reflective of reality.

    Where it occurs, ornamental fish collection from the natural habitat must (or should) be controlled to prevent threatening the survival of the species. The Project Priaba in Brazil is an excellent example of how critical this actually is. Under this program, local residents make their living from the collection of ornamental fish and it is for them a viable living. If they were not collecting these fish, they would have to look elsewhere for their livelihood, and that almost always means destroying the rainforest for agricultural farming, whether raising cattle or planting crops. So this industry is very important.

    At the same time, this project ensures that over-fishing is not a result; in other words, the fish species are not being threatened. So there is really no detriment at all to the collection of wild fish if it is controlled and regulated, and the local individuals benefit and the planet benefits which means we all benefit. You cannot say fairer or wiser than that result.

    This unfortunately is not the case in some areas such as much of SE Asia where species have been collected to the point of near-extinction if not full extinction. I don't have the numbers so I just make the point that all situations are not equal.

    Most fish are not being raised in captivity, though I say this assuming you mean commercial raising and supply to the hobby.

    A number of years ago figures were published showing that of the total export of ornamental fish species from Brazil, 80% of these were one species, the cardinal tetra, and this amounted to roughly 20 million fish of this species. Yet year after year, during the following collection season (this is controlled and regulated for the preservation of the species) the numbers of cardinals in the same waters was just as high. This went on for more than a decade, and may still be the case. The cardinal tetra is believed to be an annual fish in many of its habitats, so if this collecting ceased, the fish would not survive in such numbers anyway.

    Another aspect is that wild caught fish of a species are usually hardier and healthier than individuals of that species that are commercially raised over a period of years.
     
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  9. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I might have misunderstood this bit, but aquarium fishes are bred and raised in Asia, and a lot of the less common species are bred in Germany. Virtually all tetras, barbs, danios, rasboras, gouramis, cichlids are bred in Asia. Germany does a lot of rainbowfish and cichlids too.

    Really unusual fish like some of the different species of Betta and Gouramis, and some tetras are wild caught but the common species are all captive bred. This doesn't mean the stocks aren't supplemented with wild caught stocks too. But most aquarium fishes sold in shops are captive bred. If they are wild caught, shops usually put "Wild Caught" or "Wild" next to the name of the fish, and the price of wild caught fish is usually more expensive than captive bred in Asia.
     
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  10. The Lumpfish Guy

    The Lumpfish Guy Fish Crazy

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    I appreciate your point of view but in most cases fisheries are pulling out more fish than they can sustainably do so, and even the best managed fisheries still have a marked impact on the environment and the fish population they are taking from. It is as always a balance between one thing or another, my choice is no wild, based on my experience, knowledge and priorities.

    I agree with Colin, most fish that I encounter here in the UK are captive raised and I I feel that this is the way forward. and several papers I have referenced below quote over 90% of stock in the UK is captive raised fish.

    You are going to hate me for this, but where is your evidence?

    When bred in (well managed) captivity fish are generally;

    -More robust (Stevens, C. H., Croft, D. P., Paull, G. C., & Tyler, C. R. (2017). Stress and welfare in ornamental fishes: what can be learned from aquaculture?. Journal of fish biology, 91(2), 409-428.)

    -Disease free ( or have the potential to be so) (Stevens et al 2017)

    - More sustainable (Moorhead, J. A., & Zeng, C. (2010). Development of captive breeding techniques for marine ornamental fish: a review. Reviews in Fisheries Science, 18(4), 315-343.)

    -Have the ability to be genetically manipulated ( to provide new colours, longer lives, smaller/ larger ect) (Moorhead & Zeng, 2010)

    -Generally more accepting of artificial diets (Stevens et al, 2017)

    -Preserve endangered species (Philippart, J. C. (1995). Is captive breeding an effective solution for the preservation of endemic species?. Biological Conservation, 72(2), 281-295.)

    And can be adapted to captivity in a single generation (Christie, M. R., Marine, M. L., French, R. A., & Blouin, M. S. (2012). Genetic adaptation to captivity can occur in a single generation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(1), 238-242.)

    " The over‐intensification of fish breeding as practised in some countries, particularly in Asia, has led to some serious problems such as increased susceptibility to disease, antibiotic resistance and poor broodstock quality (in‐breeding or uncontrolled hybridisation; Dey 2016)" This is why i stipulated well managed above) But I would like to point out that the consensus on this forum is often to avoid these areas and fish. If you know the sources of your fish you can avoid poor quality stocks, buying from reputable breeders with good broodstock can eliminate this entirely.

    ".On the other hand, there are many advantages of breeding aquarium fish in captivity beyond simply reducing pressure on wild‐populations. Firstly, it ensures a continuous supply of all important species, independent of seasonal weather and increasingly erratic climatic conditions. New strains or varieties can be developed that are highly attractive to consumers. Captive breeding usually ensures fewer instances of fish that are dead on arrival (DOA) due to shorter supply chains and easier logistics. Often cultured animals require shorter quarantine periods and they have better body condition compared with wild‐caught individuals of the same species. Furthermore, the people working in these facilities earn higher salaries and, in the case of Maju Aquarium in Indonesia, experience a certain attitude of pride when breeding and distributing the fishes of their own country without exploiting the wild sources."
    Taken from the paper I linked at the top.
     
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  11. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fish Crazy

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    I have definite views on wild caught fish too. However, after reading these responses, it appears that this is not a black and white issue. This topic is quite fascinating to me. Much that I did not know and certainly new things to think about. But I still think that wild caught fish should only be possessed by advanced aquarists and researchers.
     
  12. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I used to collect fish for myself and for other people and if it's done right, it doesn't harm the natural balance much, if at all. I used to wait until the waterways start to dry up and small shallow pools of water were left behind. These pools would normally be a couple of feet in diameter and a few inches deep. Quite often there were birds eating the fish in the drying pools. I would get most of my fish from these pools. If I timed it right, I got a heap of fish with very little effort. If I timed it wrong the pools were dry and the fish were either eaten or dried up.

    These fish would have died anyway due to lack of water or predation from birds. The same thing happens in the Amazon after the wet season. The waters recede and small shallow pools of water are left behind. The locals collect the fish from these pools and sell them.

    The locals do also collect fish from deeper pools and rivers, and this does have an impact on the total fish stocks if too many are taken. However, if it's done properly, you can collect fish from the wild to supplement captive bred stocks.

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    Wild caught fish do need more stringent water conditions and will suffer a great deal if put into an aquarium with water that is not similar to their natural environment. People buying wild caught fishes should make sure they provide the ideal conditions for those fish, and maintain ideal conditions for them.
     
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