Bush Seeks Ban on Destructive Fishing

Discussion in 'The Octopus' Den' started by tonmo, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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  2. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Isn't it fortuititous that the elections are a month away.....that was a lucky break for the environment!:lol:
     
  3. chrono_war01

    chrono_war01 Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hey what about the SUVS and the Alaska Oil Rig?

    Bush may be saying "Save the enviroment", but I really don't see the point if our basic lifestyles don't change.
     
  4. myopsida

    myopsida Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Good point - conservation has to start at the 'ground roots' level.

    How about TONMO supporting a ban on the keeping of all but captive bred cepahlopods in aquaria.
     
  5. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Then there wouldn't be any cephalopods to keep!
     
  6. myopsida

    myopsida Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    and how long do you think it will be before there are no wild ones left to catch? how many do you think die before they get to the pet shop?
     
  7. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    I think that's a fair suggestion and would make sense for our community. In fact I would like for TONMO.com to subsidize a captive bred program.
     
  8. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Although rare, endangered, and otherwise at risk species could be a real issue, from everything I've read, the aquarium hobby industry is really a small catch compared to the numbers of octos and cuttles that are caught as food, bycatch, and bait. In the "choose your battles wisely domain," I'd say that a blanket objection to wild-caught pet octos and cuttles is cutting off our nose to spite our face. Personally, I'd like to promote ceph keeping as a hobby, decrease mortality rates in capture and shipping, ban destructive and cruel capture methods, ban or regulate import of inappropriate species (endangered, understudied, or requiring more specialized care than even expert hobby aquariasts can produce, and probably poisonous-- sorry Greg), and encourage people to only order cephs when they are really prepared to house them. Probably reducing fatal bycatch for some species would be a good goal as well, and maybe reducing food use of endangered species (although I'm not sure this is really much of a problem).

    If we do all those things, perhaps the demand for tank-raised animals will become great enough that it's financially viable. For now, though, with the demise of octopets, there doesn't seem to be anyone with the time, knowledge, and money to invest in aquaculture, and even if there was, it's not clear that it's possible to make it financially competitive with wild-caught animals. If there is a way to change this, I'm all for it, but simply declaring that this is what we'd like to see doesn't contribute anything to making it a reality.
     
  9. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    I hear you Monty, and don't think the suggestion here could change the world in that regard, but I woudn't mind us standing on that principle, if we could. i.e., if someone with the time, money, responsibility, skills and inclination came along with a captive-bred program, I would be quite happy to subsidize it and also discourage wild-caught programs. After all, if we were subsidizing a captive-bred program I would assume we'd have lots of ground to stand on as to why that would be more respectful of cephalopods than wild-caught. So I'd very much *like* to get there, but I agree it certainly feels far off. In the meantime, I'd prefer we keep the octo-keeping hobby in motion so we can continue to learn and also work toward our collective goals.
     
  10. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Never. With the exception of rare or worriesome species like the mimics, flamboyants, etc that we already disapprove of owning; I have seen no evidence that the harvest of cephalopods for the hobby trade is anything but eternally sustainable.

    Remember these animals are R-strategists laying 500 eggs at a time. The number of young that make it to maturity is based on the resources present. You can harvest a lot of young with zero impact to a mature breeding population. That's ignoring the fact that very few are even harvested for the hobby. How many are for sale at any given time in all the pet stores in the world versus how many are being sold for food?

    Thales is the only one of us on these boards that's actually been to Indonesia and has seen cephs collected for food and for hobby; and its my impression he very much supports both.

    To say that we should not harvest any wild-caught cephalopods is reactionary in the purest sense of the word. The premise is formulated completely on emotion and not on any rational analysis. Its pretty silly to target cephalopods as an environmental pillage when we're importing tons of reef rubble from the South Pacific every day.

    I am all for captive breeding programs; but I don't see the point in discouraging sustainable collection.

    Dan
     
  11. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    I know no one is talking to me in this thread :smile:, but to clarify my own point here, what I'm saying is that I'd like to subsidize a captive bred program. *IF* we had such a program, I can't see why we *wouldn't* discourage wild-caught. What am I missing with that principle? i.e., we could just tell everyone "don't get wild-caught, TONMO.com supports provider X".
     
  12. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Well, it comes down to the variety of cephalopods out there. Lets say that there's a successful breeding operation that gives us all the bimacs we could ever want. That would be great, but does it mean I would be an outcast if I decided that I prefer keeping a briareus or an aculeatus? And then there's cuttlefish!

    The other thing is cost. Even if it was subsidized, a CB octo is almost certainly going to be more expensive than a WC one. If there is no environmental effect to purchasing the WC octo--and its cheaper-- what's immoral about WC? Lacking a moral imperative, does the captive breeding program justify itself?

    The real reason behind CB isn't conservation but rather availability. Its illegal to collect bimacs for sale in California and as such they're rather hard to come by. The only bimacs available are those from organizations that disregard the law (Marine Depot) and from hobbyists raising eggs (of which there are at least two).

    The reason its illegal to collect bimacs for sale is because the threat does exist if this hobby took off and people kept octos like they keep clownfish. We're not at that point and the law even recognizes that by allowing people to collect them for personal use. I really believe that captive breeding for profit (or to break even) won't be realized until the hobby gets to that point.

    Dan
     
  13. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    My comments were aimed at Myopsida's oringinal proposal, which was

    which is completely hyperbolic. I really liked the TONMO community's informal position when octopets was around: "there are a lot of good reasons to prefer the captive bred bimacs from octopets to wild-caught octopuses, here are all the reasons," which seems to be pretty much what you're advocating, Tony.

    however, a ban is completely different.

    Perhaps it would be useful for us, as a community, to try to come up with some reasonable, rational standards and actually write some sort of "generally agreed positions on controversial issues in pet cephs" article (which would obviously need a catchier title). Cover stuff like mimics and wunderpuses, blue rings, metasepia, nautilus, CB vs WC, species choices, what to do if you see one of these animals in your LFS, and stuff like that.

    if Myopsida wants to start a petition for people to sign for banning all wild caught cephalopods in the hobby trade, I won't object, but I certainly won't sign it, since it sounds like a crackpot idea to me. And as a member of the TONMO community, I would be inclined to say that we should only take "positions" if it's clear that most of the active members of the community are in agreement. Of course, since it's a benevolent dictatorship, I suppose you (Tony) can make any policy you want, but I assume you want to keep us peons believing you care what we think, lest we rise up in rebellion against the despot. See, I addressed you directly, Tony, feel better :twisted: ?
     
  14. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    The biggest problems I can see with wild caught are:
    1. People who are doing the catching and shipping...may not know or care if they are catching rare, threatened or endangered species.
    2. The packing and shipping may kill a high percentage of cephs shipped. We have no real way of knowing.
    3. By most accounts here, most LFS don't have a clue about how to keep cephs, and may not only kill those in their care, but apparently give terribly inaccurate information to people who are interested in buying them.

    Ideally, someone knowedgeable and caring, with adequate resources to do it, would breed cephs for sale. Thales was (is?) doing a good job of that with cuttles.
    The breeder can do a lot to guarantee that the purchaser has as much accurate info. as possible and the equipment, commitment, and skills necessary to maintain a healthy environment for the ceph, and the financial means to purchase the apparently vast amounts of fresh seafood the little critters require.
    We certainly have the knowedgeable, caring people part covered here, but finding someone who has the space , money, and time to do it right would be the problem.
     
  15. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    chrono_war01's quote

    Hey what about the SUVS and the Alaska Oil Rig?

    Bush may be saying "Save the enviroment", but I really don't see the point if our basic lifestyles don't change.
    _______

     
  16. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Well there are lots of great ideas (and great points) in this thread (except for the part about Monty leading an online rebellion! :goofysca:).

    I guess it's all hypothetical, because there really ISN'T a robust, trusted captive bred program available right now. Someone reply to this thread when that happens!
     
  17. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Ok, here is what I see as a huge stumbling block for a captive bred program... I have three cuttles for the past 5 months, they cost me $30 plus shipping. I am spending (conservatively) $50 a week to feed them. That's $200 a month, $1000 so far (:goofysca: I never actually added it up before now!!! remind me to never, ever let hubby look at this site :bugout: ). I now have 36 eggs, so in order to break even (just on feeding costs!), I have to sell the eggs for $30 a piece (assuming I keep three to keep breeding). Now that is not a terrible price, but not all female cuttles produce this many eggs, some cuttles don't survive and of course there is the start up cost of the tanks and maintenance and electricity... So basically I'm losing money... I think I will stay out of the captive breeding and just keep my three little, cute, expensive cuttles...

    On the upside, I am giving Thales 15 of my eggs so he can start a captive breeding program :grin:
     
  18. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    You folks don't really know me that well as I haven't been posting here long, but from what I've noticed since I started in this hobby is I think for the most part, the aquarium hobby community is doing what they can about conservation of our ocean life. Every aquarium book, and just about every magazine article, in some way or another makes a point of addressing conservation issues. We let it be known that Mimics and Wunderpus' shouldn't be purchased because of the past experiences and lack of information, this could eventually have a positive effect on the trade, much more so than no advice at all.

    These things are some of the oldest species on Earth, and being they are in the ocean, which human kind knows relatively VERY LITTLE about, I think they are pretty well protected. Of course this is only my observation, based on what I've read on the WWW, books, and seen on Animal Planet, Discovery, etc. I could be wrong. When I started this hobby a friend of mine said "You know what you should get? An Octopus!" and I immediately searched the web for captive keeping Octopi. I had no idea it was possible. I found this site, I found other sites. And here I am two years later finally owning one, praying I do it as much justice as I intended to when I started researching two years ago. We are doing what we can. You people are doing a great job. I try to share as much solid information as I can with other people when they show interest in this hobby. Don't change a thing, other than, as mentioned.... get a captive-bred program going. I wish I could myself. That's my dream. One of these days perhaps.

    Liveaquaria.com lists Aquacultured Cuttlefish and Octopus on their site. They also have a "No guarantee" statement to go with them that I see as a pretty good way of deterring unfit people from ordering them. I sure wouldn't spend the money after reading that it's better to go to an expert or even a zoo, if I didn't have the confidence from my experience.

    Man is his own worst enemy. I see a lot of Hummers driving around. They get HORRIBLE gas mileage, plus I'm sure insurance and car payments on those things are ridiculously excessive. This is something that drives me insane. Look at it one way, Hey, they're doing us a favor. Burning up gas faster so we'll have to find better, more efficient resources sooner. Catch 22. You can't ban Hummers I guess. I drive a Honda Civic, it gets almost 40 miles a gallon, and in that I feel I'm doing the world a small favor.
     

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