Re: NANFA-- Bluenose shiner news

Christopher Scharpf (
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 15:08:02 -0400

> How many people on this list are good at keeping Pink Muckets, Rough Pigtoes,
> Cumberland Monkeyfaces or any of the other endangered Unionid mussels?

For that matter, how many people on this list -- how many people in NANFA --
are are able to breed the fish they keep and profess to love? Easy-to-breed
species like Heterandria and Cyprinodon aside, I can count on one hand the
amateur hobbyists in this country who can regularly and systematically breed
minnows and darters, hatch the eggs, and raise the fry to adulthood.
Breeding temperate stream fishes in aquaria isn't easy. Hobbyists talk up a
storm about "saving" species, but very few are able or willing to do the
work. I'm not knocking the recreational keeping of native fish because
they're pretty, or fun, or interesting. I'm just saying that catching a fish
from the wild and keeping it in a fish tank until it dies is a long way from
so-called "conservation collecting."

If one were to round up every last specimen of P. welaka from the wild and
distribute them to hobbyists for "safekeeping," the species would be
functionally extinct in about 2 years.

Chris Scharpf
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