OPEN LETTER

  • OPEN LETTER

    „Vayanse al carajo“ this insult reached me recently written by a marine biologist. I have no problem with disputes and other opinions. However, what shocks me is the ever increasing rough tone - the brutalization in language - even among the so called intellectuals. There simply seems to be no space left for having a good argument, with different views being exchanged, potentially resulting in consent, but at the very minimum in learning about other perspectives and then them into account in future thinking. To my question why he reacted so strongly, the cited marine biologist replied: „There are tremendous efforts to protect species that the aquarium industry is destroying. and do you want me to sign for them? really? My answer is NO and I hope they will continue to ban many other „famous" or threatened species. It is very stupid to think that wild animals are adornments.“


    Not really an explanation for the rude tone, but this was my reply:


    Pet keeping, including marine aquarium hobby, will not go away, just because some people want it and don’t find it ethical. We talk about sustainability of removals from an ecosystem here in the first place and I don’t think the ecosystem cares if the fish taken ends up in an aquarium or on the grill. In the case of the West Hawaii aquarium fishery we have one of the world’s best managed aquarium fisheries, where status of targeted species is continuously monitored, fishing is regulated with No Take Zones, size limits and collection limits for species where it is needed. If managers think an additional limitation in effort would be needed, it is their task to cap the collection permits or place a moratorium. But it is not DLNR, the management body, suggesting this measure, but opponents of aquarium trade and hobby, while any recreational fishing and removal of partly the same species remains excluded from this request and any regulation efforts. This is the odd part from an ecosystem’s point of view...


    I don’t understand why one would support the destruction of a sustainably managed fishery? Instead it should become the role model for any aquarium fishery in the world.


    I’m a marine biologist myself, but fighting fisheries (even when I don’t eat seafood myself nor have an aquarium at home) is simply no option. Instead we at SAIA work for sustainable fisheries and also educate the trade and hobbyists on how they can support a sustainable trade themselves: SAIA Fish Lists, 3rd Edition


    If pet keeping is ethical or not in your view, is not the question when it comes to sustainable ecosystem use, incl. fishing. I’m sure there are enough arguments by vegetarians why fishing in general should stop and fish consumption is not ethical. Yet there is an armada of fishery scientists and fishery managers working to make this part of ecosystem use as sustainable as possible. Clearly we all still need to raise our voices to demand even better managed and scientifically backed up fisheries to protect the oceans. However, not by simply asking them to be closed down!


    Don’t get me wrong, I am not whiny, but I am fed up being insulted by guys with no interest in an open dispute. Simply write „ unsubscribe“ when you have no interest in our SAIA-Newsletter! That’s it. Thank you.

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