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Marine Ornamental Fish & Invertebrate Breeders • View topic - "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisheries

"Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisheries

Bi-Weekly discussion topics.

"Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisheries

Postby spawner » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:10 pm

I would like to start a discussion about the need for us to ensure we are supportive of wild fisheries that are benefiting natural ecosystems. It is wrong to think of it as easy as just aquaculture species and thus we are conserving reefs. If wild fisheries like this are properly managed then it has a larger conservation impact than aquaculture. In fact aquaculture can often have a negative impact if livelihoods are taken away from a sustainable fishery and these fisherman start collecting grouper or other food fish with destructive fishing methods.

The best example is a fishery saving a rain forest. If remove this fishery by captive production we take away the incentive for these fisherman to protect their resource from loggers.

http://www.neaq.org/conservation_and_re ... _piaba.php


I think we should develop a more complex solution to put forward. Its nice to think about it as easy as just culture culture culture, but its not that simple.

Andy
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby BaboonScience » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:09 pm

Sure, I believe that the discussion is worthwhile. We have seen that sustainable ornamental fisheries are possible. Captive breeding is in no way ready to replace anything but a small fraction of the wild caught fisheries. I do have concerns with the ability of specific areas to follow practical guidelines, even when trained to do so, as long as more invasive techniques will deliver a higher net.
These and other discussion points are definitely worth discussing.
John
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby Kmiec123 » Sat May 01, 2010 9:31 am

Andy, Did you want this discussion to take place in the open forums? I agree it is a great topic for discussion.
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby spawner » Sat May 01, 2010 10:31 pm

Carl that is fine with me. Here is a link to some of our info at NEAq on the topic.

http://www.neaq.org/conservation_and_re ... iative.php

http://www.neaq.org/conservation_and_re ... _piaba.php
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby Kmiec123 » Sun May 02, 2010 11:17 am

I moved this to the discussion forum Andy and will look over your links, thanks for posting this.
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby Midnight Angel » Sun May 02, 2010 7:00 pm

Great post Andy :!: I wish all the people out there that are against us collecting fish could see this and how good can come of it.


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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby aomont » Mon May 03, 2010 4:57 pm

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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby spawner » Mon May 03, 2010 9:03 pm

Anderson,

For ornamental production its likely to never be an issue.

For shrimp farms producing millions post-larvae a month or tons of shrimp in ponds. Discharges can have massive local effects or can be management in a manner that has little effect.

Its the same with any agricultural enterprise. Intensive production often produces lots of waste in a small area.

The benefit of well managed wild fisheries such as those in the Rio Negro is that they protect habitat at very little cost in terms of biomass. Any aquaculture production that threatens that protection endangers the region.

Hence the title Tlusty's paper. Small scale of production does not automatically mean small scale of impact.
http://www.neaq.org/conservation_and_re ... f/11__.pdf
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby spawner » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:58 pm

In response to Matt's comments on Reef Builders : http://reefbuilders.com/2010/07/12/sust ... oom-take2/

Conservation and ex-situ Preservation are NOT synonymous terms.

Interpretation of my position being a one sided issue are incorrect.

If one is promoting conservation of wild reefs then one cannot simply say that aquaculture delivers said conservation. I speak nothing in regards to the preservation of species ex-situ. I take no position on the preservation of species ex-situ.

My post was a simple point, conservation of wild reefs is a complex issue with no single answer. Far too often professionals, as I am and have, involved in ornamental aquaculture, reach into the conservation bag with little justification.

In fact the captive production of the cardinal tetra and species that are collected in the Rio Negro can be part of the problem and the freshwater industry needs to support wild fisheries such as this. This was the point of my post, both aquaculture and wild fisheries are needed. It's not all aquaculture all the time solution. It's complex. We have failed if we can not protect wild habitats and support those that benefit these habitats. I would hope that the recent efforts PNG and others might provide a marine example of conservation through the marine aquarium industry. This is the major point of our recent paper; the US must meet its responsibility to support sustainable fisheries and reduce its impacts on coral reefs caused by the trade in coral reef species (not just aquarium related).

I would suggest anyone interesting in this topic read up on the Cardinal Tetra story and work by the New England Aquarium in related topics. The Aquarium has long been a supporter of this fishery and of responsible aquaculture.

Tlusty MF. 2001. The benefits and risk of aquaculture production for the aquarium trade. Aquaculture 205: 203-219

http://www.neaq.org/conservation_and_re ... f/11__.pdf

http://en.microcosmaquariumexplorer.com ... ave_A_Tree

This is an important discussion to be had.
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby mpedersen » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:12 pm

Thanks for the response Andy. Wish you had posted it on Reef Builders where the article was published.

I think the brunt of what I'm trying to get across is this. In your initial post, you argue against captive breeding because it hampers sustainability effort and the intrinsic benefits of such efforts. I'm arguing (and all but explicitly saying) that no matter what we do from a standpoint of sustainability + coral reefs, we are too far gone due to the ravages of climate change and man's at-large impact on the planet. There will likely come a time when the only "sustainable trade" is "no trade". Condemning captive breeding in the name of promoting sustainable collection is a highly tenuous stance.

If you can step aside from the short term issues, you should realize that no matter what you do from a conservation/sustainability standpoint, we are currently "destined to fail". In Situ preservation at this point, given what we do know, seems to be an impossibility. This is never talked about when promoting "sustainability". If you acknowledge this "dirty little secret", the fatal flaw in sustainable harvest as a mechanism for "preservation", then you must open up to other possibilities. The game of "conservation" changes. Thus, "conservation" ultimately means, and must incorporate, ex-situ preservation, because it's the only currently viable method of long-term preservation given the facts at hand.

Thus, sustainable collection needs to take a more appropriate place in the conservation toolbox, providing for an extended timeline by hopefully reducing our impact and putting a good face on our industry, thus pushing off the impending shutdown we will likely one day see. It's happened to birds, it's happened to individual species, and whether we like it or not, at some point, it will probably happen with ALL wild caught marine life. Which is why I chose to concede that while not fully "wrong", your position is "shortsighted". Sure, in the next 5 years, your position holds merit. It's when you extend the timeline to 10, 20 or 50 years, that your position falls apart. Sustainability, at this point in time, is a stop-gap, not the final answer.

I am 110% for sustainable projects, but not at the expense or vilification of captive breeding in the process. They need to work together. My article illustrates a way in which they can.

As for the example of Cardinal Tetras, you are talking about a far more localized issue, and not the global ocean problems. The simple truth is that even the Cardinal Tetra program cannot stop shifts in rainfall and temperature patterns that could ultimately lead to a river drying up or becoming uninhabitable. The situations are not analogous. If the Amazon dries up, no sustainable trade is going to save the Cardinal Tetra.

- For the record, the original article was written far earlier, prior to Andy's election to the BOD. It sat for a while while we mulled it over and refined it, and it seemed more appropriate to publish given the current paper published by Rhyne et. al.

Matt
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby aomont » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:19 am

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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby mpedersen » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:24 am

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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby spawner » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:02 am

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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby mpedersen » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:07 pm

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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby spawner » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:28 am

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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby mpedersen » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:53 am

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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby spawner » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:21 am

Matt,

I'm in Baja Sur right now so this will have to wait for a few weeks.

But quickly, you should read nothing into what I write. I asked for a discussion because I like to discuss topics like this, generally from what I have seen hobbyists are completely unaware of the linkage between conservation of natural environments and preservation of their hobby. I for one am not very interested in keeping glass boxes and ignoring the communities that supply them. Cruz changed my outlook 10 years ago. No matter what the long term out look is. You should get to know some of the fisherman over in the island countries....

Conservation of natural ecosystems and preservation of an industry are vastly different, but can be linked if attention is paid. I can tell you this fact, if certain folks out there reading your blog and these posts felt that the hobby was not interested in conservation of natural ecosystems and we were not trying to get the hobby moved into that direction, wild imports would be over long before the other CO2 problem is an issue. We are on very thin ice because we have done literally nothing to change the major problems afflicting this hobby, they are much like cancers.

I'm happy to discuss the recent paper, and yes, we need regulations, those importers, wholesalers, retailers, etailers, hobbyist that are concerned about the long term future of our hobby would also agree with that.
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby mpedersen » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:47 pm

Andy, respectfully, asking for a discussion, I provided you with very direct questions, and I will wait for those answers. Baja Sur or not, it seems like you're dancing around the issue and speaking in generalizations, refusing to actually get down and dirty and address my legitimate concerns about "sustainability" as a mechanism to conserve AND thusly preserve wild reefs (and the biodiversity that constitutes them).

On one point above I can again agree. I said it at Fragfest, I said it at IMAC West, and I'll say it here again. The Aquarium Industry is a LUXURY in this world, and thus, we are the easiest scapegoat and the first that will get the axe long before we start seeing reef extinctions due to climate or CO2. I believe that no amount of "good will" and "good intentions" is going to stop that, and frankly I do worry that drawing extra attention to the aquarium industry just highlights the ease at which it can be scapegoated, especially when the whistleblowers seem to be coming from within. But again, that is not what I wanted to talk about, the papers you coauthored were not the subject of my article, and not what I criticized about your initial comments. I'll defer to my earlier direct comments and questions about the "fatal flaw" of sustainability. Ret Talbot has an answer about those "flaws", why don't you?

- edit - BTW, I agree that we can make the comparison that in-situ preservation is like preserving a historic house, whereas ex-situ preservation would be like taking apart that house and reassembling various rooms from that house in museums around the world. One is certainly "preferable". But it seems that one is not possible in the long term..i.e. in my analogy, the house is perched on a coastal cliff that one day we know will erode away....
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby Greshamh » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:07 pm

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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby spawner » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:15 pm

Matt,

You need to develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing reef communities. There are short and long term issues. Reefs today are mostly affected by direct human activities, not global issues. In fact, very remote reefs have shown the ability to be very resilience in the face of stresses such as increasing water temperatures, as long as communities are intact. Without addressing the human populations that are using these resources at a local level we only increase the damage and reduce the ability of the system to acclimate to changing conditions. Ret's article is another good summary of the need for this sort of effort. Tlusty, Dowd and others have been working to get traction for this sort of effort in the freshwater community for decades. These efforts have been largely ignored by the industry and commerical producers of fish, that is a simply fact.

No one can suggest that they are going to sustain ecosystems without sustaining the communities that use the resources. No one can suggest that ex-situ preservation of a few species maintains ecosystem biodiversity.

Regarding your questions, ex-situ preservation and conservation are two very different issues. Humans have to chose what species they wish to preserve (ex-situ) and if they can is still a largely unanswered question. Maintaining biodiversity is another difficult topic, biodiversity requires ecosystems, without complex ecosystems you lack biodiversity, humans cannot preserve biodiversity very effectively at the molecular or ecosystem level. We can do it if for a few chosen species but that is about it.

One can talk about sustainability of the pipeline of fish, inverts and corals into aquariums, the preservation of the aquarium trade, the preservation of individuals species from extinction, the sustainability of ecosystems, take your pick. However, there is a big difference from suggesting that culturing fish in captivity is protecting reef ecosystems, there must be evidence to support such claims. This requires more complex solution than just aquaculture.

I am not now or have ever been against developing culture methods, it's what I do for a living, nor have I been against developing a US or EU based industry for the culture of species, not against the preservation of our hobby by ensuring that we have a supply of captive breed fish for the trade. What I have suggested is that we can't message ourselves as saving reefs by simply culturing fish. Makes for nice commercials and feel good statements but it's largely untrue. If you want to suggest that the aquairum trade is providing a preservation method for species, fine, but how many species out of the thousands that rely on coral reefs do you have plans to save, just the pretty ones, the ones that eat algae or provide use here in our glass boxes with services. What about the others? What good do they do if they are not providing ecosystem services and functions. There are no fatal flaws with the idea of trying to sustain coral reef communities with all of their biodiversity, intact, with ecosystem based management strategies, we should do this as long as we possibility can. Suggesting a plan A or plan B choice decision is not accurate and only washes over the real issues that the developing world faces and that the aquarium community as a whole largely ignores. Suggesting that I was vilifying aquaculture makes for entertaining reading but it's not accurate.
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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby mpedersen » Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:01 am

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Re: "Want to Conserve" Importance of Aquaculture/Wild Fisher

Postby rayjay » Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:59 am

As a marine hobbyist, and not an aquaculturist, I see merit in both arguments but perhaps total agreement is not possible because of differing base line beliefs.
As a hobbyist, I'm concerned about the fact that the marine hobby may decimate the reefs before any natural ecological conditions do the job.
I also adhere to the thought that saving the reefs is possible in that they could by themselves adjust over time to accomodate the new conditions nature and man have forced upon them, much like many other organisms have done in the past. But, I believe we need to find ways to give as much timeline as we possibly can to help facilitate this change they need to survive.
I am cognizant of the fact that many species won't make it, but believe that many others could do so.
I'm always hopeful, but wary, of mankind being able to do something to stop or minimize this ecological occurrence from happening to the extent it now appears may happen.
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