Christopher Scharpf (
Fri, 05 Nov 1999 09:10:49 -0400

(This has been a fascinating thread. Thanks, everybody, for taking the time to
write and share your thoughts. It's cool having deep fishy conversations with
fellow fishheads!)

R.W.Wolff said...

>In fact, there are several purebred killis doing fine that are extinct in the
wild since there habitat was
>paved over. if those countries ever decide that the stream they obliterated is
worth restoring, the fish
>are waiting to come back.

The fish may be waiting to come back, but what about all the other organisms --
the plankton, the microcrustacea, the algae, the worms, the mollusks, the
plants, the amphibians, etc. -- that were part of that stream's ecosystem, and
which are necessary to keep that fish alive? Is anybody "saving" them? Put the
killie back and it will likely die.

Aquarists talk about saving fish as if they're the only thing in aquatic
ecosystems worth saving. But the fish is only one part. We need to protect the
entire system, and habitat protection/restoration is the only way. Captive
breeding can play a role as part of a bigger, more integrated conservation
effort. But saving the fish in aquaria will not erase what pushed it into near
extinction in the first place.

Chri Scharpf

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