Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Aquatic Life Use by Humans

Related Articles: Marine Life Use in the Aquarium Hobby II, Marine Life Use in Ornamental Aquatics, Collection Articles, Ethics of Marine Life Use by Aquarists

Related FAQs:  Marine Life Use in Ornamental Aquatics,

Know your livestock... growth rates, nutrition, compatibility, behavior...

Re: Hawai'iʻs Aquarium Fishery: MACNA 2018 presentation     9/20/18
New version for distribution:
Thank you for all your comments. I have incorporated a few suggested edits and corrections, and removed some images that may have been an issue.
This version can be shared with whomever you feel should view it.
<Real good Bruce. Great to find the pertinent facts, folks in the know explaining what is really going on in a concise presentation.Will share. B>

Marine Fish Regulations... not yet  3/5/07 Hey there... <Ho there> Maine has  large commercial salmon farms and is also known for it's many lakes and streams frequented by fishermen. The state has expressed concern of invasive SPS and/or diseases that an be spread by exotic SPS by fish owners. <Mmmm> I strongly feel that the emptying of ships ballasts are more of a threat than our fish we have in our tanks, but it is unlikely, IMO, the shipping industry will be  held responsible. <Ah, yes> It has been discussed that the state of Maine is looking into regulating the salt water fish that are brought into the state as pets. <Isn't that what government is about? The big "C" as in Control?> The freshwater fish that are legal in this state is VERY small. The marine fish are now being targeted. I wonder, to your knowledge, do any other states have strict restrictions on marine fish? <Not yet... though such discussions have come up... you can (if you can stomach it) take a look at the acronym PIJAC... Marshall Meyers...> Has it been proven anywhere that marine fish, directly linked to the aquarium trade, pose a threat anywhere? <Mmm, no... but I DO want to state (oh yes, once again) that NOTHING should be released to the wild... Some (for instance) Scorpaeniform fishes and Platacids are now entrenched in the tropical Western Pacific, whether there seems to be a negative effect... there is!> Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! I hope to attend a public hearing on LD692-an Act Concerning the Importation of Marine Organisms That May Be Dangerous to Indigenous Marine Life or Its Environment. Regards Denise Goodheart <I appeal to all, including faceless bureaucrats... to be "reasonable/rational"... there are no end of non-indigenous species (I hasten to point out, ourselves included) that damage the environment as it is... Let's not do ridiculous legislating of particular groups out of hand... Think on what is lost when people have no exposure to the living world... Not a place I want to be. BobF> Graham with a legal report from Maine 3/5/07 I haven't had time for any research yet, but it seems Rick will be attending a legal hearing regarding the State of Maine reducing or eliminating the number/species of marine fishes allowed across the border! Yikes! Will be researching and giving info as it becomes available. -GrahamT Graham with a legal report from Maine 3/5/07 Here is a section of the Maine Law as it currently stands: ?6071. Importing of certain marine organisms       1. Live importing for introduction into coastal waters. Except for Atlantic salmon imported by the Atlantic Salmon Commission under Part 12, it is unlawful to import for introduction, possess for purposes of introduction or introduce into coastal waters a live marine organism without a permit issued by the commissioner pursuant to subsection 2.[1999, c. 401, Pt. BB, ?3 (amd).]       2. Permits and regulations on importing for introduction. The commissioner may grant a permit to import for introduction, possess for purposes of introduction or introduce to the coastal waters a live marine organism if the introduction, importation or possession will not endanger the indigenous marine life or its environment. Prior to granting a permit to introduce a nonindigenous organism, that has not been previously introduced under a permit, the commissioner shall hold a hearing. The commissioner may adopt or amend rules governing the importing and introduction of organisms to the coastal waters and the issuing of permits, to the extent required to prevent the introduction of bacteria, fungus, virus or any other infectious or contagious disease or parasite, predator or other organism that may be dangerous to indigenous marine life or its environment.[1997, c. 153, ?1 (amd).]       2-A. Restricting importation of organism. The commissioner may adopt rules under which the commissioner may restrict the importation of a marine organism from a particular location when the commissioner determines that an organism from that location is or may be diseased or infected in any manner. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A.[1997, c. 153, ?1 (new).]       3. Organism and products embargoed and condemned. The commissioner or the commissioner's agent may indefinitely embargo, condemn or order to be destroyed a marine organism or marine organism product either indigenous or imported if:      A. The organism or product is introduced to coastal waters in violation of this section and the commissioner determines that the organism or product is of unsound quality, contains any filthy, decomposed or putrid substance, may be poisonous or deleterious to health or is otherwise unsafe; [1997, c. 153, ?1 (new).]    B. The organism or product is intended for introduction to coastal waters and the commissioner determines the organism or product is diseased or otherwise in a condition that if introduced to coastal waters could endanger indigenous marine life or its environment; or [1997, c. 153, ?1 (new).] C. Handling of the organism or product could result in the introduction of that organism or product to the coastal waters and the commissioner determines the organism or product is diseased or otherwise in a condition that if introduced to coastal waters could endanger indigenous marine life or its environment. [1997, c. 153, ?1 (new).] The commissioner shall cooperate with those state and federal agencies having similar responsibility in the protection of public health and in enforcing the order to embargo, condemn or destroy. If any marine organisms or marine organism product is embargoed, condemned or ordered destroyed, the commissioner or the commissioner's agent shall, as soon as practical, notify the owner in writing of the amount and kind of marine organisms or marine organism product embargoed, condemned or destroyed. [1997, c. 153, ?1 (amd).]       4. Salmon imports prohibited. Except as provided in this subsection and section 9906, it is unlawful to import for introduction into any waters of the State any Atlantic salmon, live or as eggs, that originate in any Icelandic or European territorial waters or any other species of salmon, exclusive of rainbow trout, originating west of the North America continental divide. The commissioner may grant an exemption from the provisions of this subsection for a term not to exceed 2 years, renewable upon application, for legitimate aquacultural projects. [1995, c. 406, ?5 (amd). If you look at this closely, it seems as though their jurisdiction doesn't exactly involve the viability of the imported species, but rather their potential as carriers of pathogens. Hmm... this is fishy. (No pun intended, really) I will surely be upset if this is to go into effect at all, but it seems as though they would likely require that wholesalers provide "proof" of the innocuous nature of their exports as either documentation or guarantee. That is just my take on this, because as the law is written, it seems like they are hesitant to take a firm stance one way or the other. Remember, this is all just a knee-jerk for me. I've know about this for about 4 hours. -GT Releasing back into the wild....never, never, never   2/11/07 We purchased 3 hermit crabs 6 months ago. <Okay.> We are going to Destin next week and we would like to take them and release them into the wild. <No...No.....No.....NO, you should never...ever...release animals held in aquarium captivity back into the wild. The danger for upsetting the natural balance, introducing non-native animals, along with non-native pathogens is far too great...there are rare exceptions which include public aquaria/research labs attempting to restore wild populations, however this does not qualify.  As mean as it may sound if your only two options are releasing an animal back into the wild or euthanizing it, the latter is preferable. Put it this way (only Trekkies will understand this) releasing an animal back into the wild would be like violating the prime directive.>   Would they survive or should store bought crabs be kept in captivity? <See above.> Lori Kissinger <AJ.>

Ecology and Management of Marine Ornamental Species, Lit. searches, breaking new ground likely    1/27/07 Greetings Bob, <Andrew> My name is Andrew Lewin.  I am a marine biologist who is interested in conducting research on the ecology and management of marine ornamental species.  Steve LeGore (LeGore Environmental Consulting Inc.) conducted some research pertaining to the effect of ornamental species export on wild populations in Puerto Rico.  He mentioned that there is much research to conduct in regards to species population dynamics and it's relation to ornamental collection in Puerto Rico and other places around the globe.  Can you please direct me to literature that covers life histories of the "popular" species in the marine aquarium trade so that I can read up on the subject matter? I would like to conduct desktop and field research in this field to help the ecological aspect of wild species population of the ornamental trade. Thank you for your time, Andrew Lewin, M.Sc <Mmm, Evelyn Woods works I don't think have been published... and for the very most part, a good deal of interpolation and novel research will have to be done (on your or somebody's' parts) on the status of stocks, recruitment, sources of mortality... OSY, MSY for the species in question... The real starting answer here is back to the/a large college library for computer search bibliographic work... I take it you are familiar... there are pieces archived on WWM re such searches. Bob Fenner>

Life Is Not Disposable Hi there! I had three fish before I moved a few weeks ago back when the weather was cool. Now that I've moved into my new apartment, the weather has been quite hot. So hot, in fact that the water's temp got up to 82F on some days. I had this idea that if I took a empty yet clean 16 oz. Pepsi bottle and filled it with water and froze it to put it into the aquarium later to cool them off. This seemed to cool the water to a more appropriate temperature. <OK, but adding an extra airstone is usually enough. After the ice melts the temp just goes back up.> About a week ago, I noticed that the juvenile orange fantail was missing. I looked around the outside of the tank because fish have been known to jump out of the tank. I found what was left of him in two small fleshy chunks at the bottom of the tank. I scooped them out with the net and life went on. <Well, for some of us. Did you do a water change after this fish was left to rot in with the others?> Today, I noticed that my black moor's tail was ripped to shreds. Upon closer examination, a saw that the black moor wasn't as dark as he had been the day before. He was much lighter. The much larger redcap was picking at his fins. Since the black moor was lighter, I assumed some kind of disease had made him sick and I made the decision to simply throw out the fish - both of them. I scooped them out with the net and tossed them on the lawn for some raccoon to come along and have a snack later. A whole 30 minutes later, I came outside and saw that the redcap was still gasping. I picked it up and put it back in the tank. He's still alive! He's swimming happily in the tank as I write this. <I've been staring at this for 30 minutes now. It's 1:30 am. So all I will say is you may want to rethink your decision to keep pets.> I only have a 10 gallon tank but I figured if I had a bubbler in there under the gravel, they'd not be so uncomfortable because dissolved oxygen would come from the bubbler. They seemed fine for months. <I'm glad you decided to put him back in the tank. Please find him a good home. Don>

How old can a fish be? Hi, Carlos from Guatemala (Central America) here. <greetings my friend> One of our goals in this hobby is to proportionate the best environment to our fish and invertebrates, and definitely we will now if we achieve this (among others issues) by the survival rate of the tank inmates. <yes... very much agreed> I try to locate a good database with the expected age of fish and invertebrates (marine) but I find nothing.  Do you have any idea where can I find this info? Thank you! <you might be able to request or access the databases and library of the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in San Diego, CA (especially if you have or know someone that has university or academic credentials). The longevity of many fishes can be measured in decades (with some well over 100 years  like carp and some sharks) and many invertebrates have no known senescence (ageless/immortal so to speak). I recall a hobby reference by Dick Mills (The Tetra Marine Encyclopedia cites lifespans of some fishes). Best of luck, Anthony>

Census of Marine Life project Thought someone out there might find this interesting.  Here's a BBC article about a new project called the "Census of Marine Life".  It's stated goal is to catalog all the life in the world's oceans (probably unrealistically ambitious, but a noble cause).  They claim to have discovered hundreds of new species already. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3210544.stm The project's website is here: http://www.coreocean.org/Dev2Go.web?anchor=coml_home_page Sorry if you've seen this before, but it's news to me and I thought WWM readers might be interested. -Mike Gorman <Thank you for sending this along. A worthy goal... to catalog/name all life in the seas. Ten years will not be enough time to get this done... but a good start. Bob Fenner>

Interesting Response to LA Times Article Hello all, Received this response to the LA Times article and thought you might be interested. Mary Middlebrook Marine Specialties International <Thanks for sending this along Mary... Did these people really make these statements? Idiocy... the trade would not exist with such massive mortality. The places I have been to in the world involving the ornamental catch have shown me that local folks are vastly higher paid, have higher standards of living than non-fishermen... comparing mark-ups, gross and net money in "consuming nations" is not "apple-apple"... Cyanide testing at every point of entry... unrealistic... it's been tried just at places in the P.I.... too slow, costly. Captive produced corals are an ever-larger part of the trade... look at the data! Go to the large hobby conferences (MACNA... last week) and survey the crowd... look at what was offered for sale... A ban on wild-collected organisms? Get real, get a job in the real world. Bob Fenner>

Subject: Re: Tropical Catch of the Day Hi Jerry, Here are some comments I will make regarding the article see below under your excerpts from the article. Jerry: "In some shipments if they get only 50% mortality they are happy," said Craig Shuman, a scientist for Reef Check, a monitoring group based at UCLA's Institute of the Environment. James: what should have been mentioned here was the statistical evidence showing that the mortality is in-between 80-90% from collection to USA tanks. <Does this make sense to you? How could this figure be accurate? Do the math> Jerry: The ability of the marine aquarium industry to put cash in the hands of villagers represents one of the greatest potential benefits of a business that badly needs reform, said Bruce W. Bunting, a veterinarian who heads the World Wildlife Fund's Center for Conservation Finance. James: This is not true. The Aquarium Industry reaps the real profits and the fisherman obtains pennies for his catch. The math is published, all one has to do is figure out the avg price of what the fisherman gets for the fishes and compare this to what the aquarium stores and suppliers get. Then you will see the real differences as to who is putting "cash in the pockets" Jerry: The council's standards cover the entire supply chain--from reef to retailer--setting targets to reduce mortality and demanding that collectors and exporters certify that their animals were caught humanely, without poisons or other destructive techniques. The first council-certified fish are expected to appear in U.S. retail shops in the next six months. James: The only way to enforce this is for the MAC to make sure that NaCN testing labs are at every port this is cheap and can work. However, they do not want to enforce this and fund this. I wonder why? Did Walt Smith tell you the lo-Down as to the suppliers and USA customers not wanting the captive raised corals? Meaning the USA tank owner STILL want the more exotic species due to the large sizes offered in Wild Caught corals and fishes. Until the trade is SHUT down we will still use destructive methods to bring in corals and fishes.....its make more financial sense. Meaning Business Management 101 teaches us to maximize production and make is most cost effective. In there it never mentions safe environmental practices that may cost time and monies. It is easy to use NaCN and crowbars to capture the needed corals and fishes...its fast easy and cost effective. So how do we stop this....NaCN testing labs, and cultured corals!! Remember if the habitats go, then we are going to see a REAL economic crash....its right around the corner. Given the state of the worlds reef, we need a ban on wild collected organisms! Its about the habitat not the fishes. Take care Jerry and let me know what you think. <I think you don't know what you're talking about... make that I know you don't. Bob Fenner> James M. Cervino PhD. Program Marine Science Programe mail:cnidaria@earthlink.net To: jerry.hirsch@latimes.com

Marine aquarium fish report Dear all, Thanks for your interest - I am attaching the report. There are two files, the main part and then the appendix. Hope they come through alright. I would be very glad of any feedback, corrections, additions etc! Best wishes, Liz Wood <Thank you Madam, I will gladly offer my input. Bob Fenner> Dr Elizabeth Wood, Coral Reef Conservation Officer, Marine Conservation Society, Hollybush, Chequers Lane, Eversley, Hook, Hants RG27 ONY, UK Tel 01189 734127 Fax 01189 731832

Investigate Before Buying Bob, Thanks for the fast response and very good information, It may not be what i wanted to hear but It's what I need to know. that's what i get for buying on impulse. well i learned a good lesson from this.. ALWAYS DO RESEARCH...thanks again Bob your a great contribution to the aquatics community. <Ahh..., thank you for your encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

[aquariumcouncil] MAC News - 3rd Quarter 2000 Dear Bob, thanks for your opinions on MAC developments. We would of course welcome any constructive suggestions you may have. One correction to your comments: MAC has never received any funding from Sea Grant. Paul Holthus <Thank you in turn for your candor. My offer still stands to aid your general purposes (thus stated) as well as the popularization of "grass-roots" commercial aquaculture of ornamental aquatics, in whatever way I can (images, articles...) if/when you (MAC) actually DO something. Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com>

Comments Regarding Your October 2000 Article in FAMA Hi Bob, Being one of the "not-vocal-enough" majority, I am finally writing to publicly voice my views, (though I do speak to those I come in contact with) & to express the elation I felt after reading your latest article under "Note For The New Saltwater Hobbyist" in the October 2000 issue of FAMA! Finally! My own belief's are expressed! <Thank you so much for writing... of all things, haven't seen the Oct. ish yet... and as you might know, don't get any advance/warning of what's going to run!> I have been a passionate hobbyist over 15 years, retailing fish & inverts through my company, Mainely Marine the last 4 years. We now focus on coral farming, producing mostly soft corals for the trade in Maine. Not due to any concern for the hobby's insignificant reduction of wild stock, but rather for the excitement of successful procreation of these much loved animals. <Outstanding. What a pleasure to meet (another) erudite entrepreneur/intelligent voice in our interest (hobby and industry)> Being an avid reader, I can't tell you how many times I was infuriated by the articles pointing a shameful finger at the marine aquarium trade, blaming it for the majority of destruction seen on our natural coral reefs! I want to vent my deep frustration and help turn the light on to what I believe to be the true destructive forces, which you brought to attention in your article. What I view as a propaganda campaign loaded with it's own dark agenda, i.e., the very REAL possibilities you expressed.  <Can't wait to read "it"...!> Obviously, collection, transportation and holding methods employed in our trade still require improvements, but compared to the other "human sources of mortality" the hobby's part is "miniscule". Those who blame this one industry for the majority of our coral reef depletion, I'd dare say, spew negligent conjecture from either ignorance or a hidden agenda. I truly believe all those involved in this hobby need to immediately identify & address the REAL issues of coral reef depletion. If we don't, the truly destructive practices will continue until there's nothing left to care about. <Do sadly agree (of course) with you... amazing is it not that folks seem to be so easily led re such matters... Would really like to see a realistic expose of "Sources of Mortality on the World's Reefs" or such. Have toyed with this idea for quite a while... and would really like to see it run in something like Natl. Geog.... How long would it take to count up the number of jet drives on boats and "seadoos" and assess their impact from blending the upper water column and adding their (some estimates at 40 so percent) gasoline in the process to the water?> Thank you for such a wonderfully written article. Know that I would love to send every person, especially government officials & those blaming our trade, a copy of your article and ask them ..."Are YOU part of a smoke-screen?!" Shame on those who are. <My friend, you are welcome (as all have been) to freely "lift", send any/all my content to parties you deem it will inspire, inform. Please do take a look at our website: Home Page , where book sections, images, video soon are accumulated for general access.> Sincerely, Penny Harkins Mainely Marine/AquaCorals P.S. Other highly regarded authorities have voiced similar views. I would love to see everyone come together and create one collaborative voice, to be a force strong enough to combat those who are looking for industry regulations, imposition of taxes, laws that would cease wild collection and to make positive changes to those practices which ARE the true cause for the decimation of our precious reefs. >> <I as well... a worthy goal... and a shame re the "human condition" and present economic and political life/constraints... Seems that some people in public and NGO positions have the time, monies to pursue such ideas... but business and "mere" hobbyists? Am hopeful that the Net, general prosperity and necessary interest in the living world will add momentum to such involvement, dissemination. Thank you again, Bob Fenner>

Re: 46 gallon saltwater tank yes I have live rock. you asked if the tank is bread/reared. what makes the tank that way?  <Hmmm... must have asked/mentioned about some organism being tank bred, reared... as in captive propagated and raised... versus wild-collected> I know the yellow tangs are easily infected so that's why I asked at what point to get it because I do not want to have a tank full of fish and lose them because I made a mistake of getting something that I should of gotten first to see how it might do. I understand at this point it is easy to make mistakes and that is why I am asking you questions, reading on the computer and I have ordered your book if I can ever get it. I didn't understand why you said I don't even know enough to ask questions. Why? <How to put this in another way... You have many possible questions that you are likely so unfamiliar with this vast interest, that you are unlikely to know what to ask... By comparison, if you wanted to jump into advanced mathematics, you would need to have knowledge of basic arithmetic...> I have learned to ask more questions because usually the pet store will sale you anything.  <Really? I would seek out another source> I guess if I had a shop I would find out what the person has and try to help them decide what they should get based on that information. I also know there are some fish that need special shrimp, worms and etc. so I don't want to have to worry that I can't find them the right food and they starve to death. How much live rock should I have in this size tank.  <Again, and for the last time, use the search feature, and read through the archived information on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com... your preliminary questions are covered there> I started this tank at the end of Aug. I still have the mollies in there that started the tank. someone told me not to take all of them out to just add to it. there are eight and the Percula clown. I just don't want to over crowd so that is why I was asking you how many fish for this size tank. How many mollies should I take out at a time. If you will answer me, I won't ask you anymore questions for awhile. I hope to get the book soon. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <Take them all out when you are finished with them... when the system is cycled completely. Bob Fenner>

Re: 46 gallon saltwater tank Sorry! I think there was miscommunication in our corresponding. I asked you about having 2 Percula clowns so you assumed I wanted them to mate. I just wanted 2 because I like them. I know the difference between tank bred/captured. <Ah good... I always wonder about "pairs", versus something like "a couple"...> when you asked me if my tank was setup for that it made me ask what makes a tank considered to be setup for tank bred. you asked if I have live rock which I do but it made me ask how much should I have in a 46gal. otherwise I would of looked it up but I thought I could ask you since you asked me about live rock first I guess not since you rudely said for the last time look up www.wet/web.  <Not intending to be rude... this service is free... and I do all myself... cannot keep up with revisiting same issues, queries when this information is already posted, easily accessible to people who will avail themselves. One is taught in accordance with their capacity, willingness and readiness to learn... repeat this a few times> I'm not trying to get into the advanced just the basics. I had a 10gal. for 1 1/2 yrs. that did good. anyway I should be able to find what I need to know on the computer/books so I won't correspond with you anymore. Thanks! <No worries. Much good information on the Net, listservs, hobby bulletin boards. Good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: