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View Full Version : Removal of Clownfish and Anemones from the wild.


Moort82
12/08/2013, 02:14 PM
Just wondered what peoples opinions of the above were really? generally interested in a healthy discussion, not to judge anyone for they views.

Essentially is there a valid reason why it would be exceptable to remove "host" (only interested in those which form the symbiotic relationship with clowns) anemones from the wild where they may live for centurys and provide protection for clownfish who will die without it.

Also is it ethical to still be removing clownfish from the wild where they seem to have a high mortality rate during shipping, considering how easy it is to mass produce most species.

Timfish
12/08/2013, 09:34 PM
Locally most hosting anemones and clownfish I see in tanks are captive raised.

rogersb
12/09/2013, 04:20 AM
I don't remember the last time I saw a wild clown.

usmc121581
12/09/2013, 05:48 AM
I have 2 wild caught clowns but they are 4 years old, havent seen one since

Greg 45
12/09/2013, 06:56 AM
I will post a picture of my wild caught pink skunk clowns tonight they are already breeding in my system .

Moort82
12/09/2013, 08:07 AM
Locally most hosting anemones and clownfish I see in tanks are captive raised.

Thats very interesting. I can understand why clowns would be but i have never seen any other hosting anemone other than BTA offered as tank grown. Do you remember which species they were?

Moort82
12/09/2013, 08:12 AM
I don't remember the last time I saw a wild clown.

That's encouraging.

I have 2 wild caught clowns but they are 4 years old, havent seen one since

Also good news

I will post a picture of my wild caught pink skunk clowns tonight they are already breeding in my system .

Would love to see them but do we think that these could still be wild caught, just that they aren't labled as such. Going by import lists over here there are still lots of the less in demand species coming in as wilds, with only common ones being massed produced. I wonder if thats because you have some great sources for tank bred fish like ORA and we have to rely more on what comes from the far east.

usmc121581
12/09/2013, 08:48 AM
^ dont quote me but I think the colors will be a little different between the two.

Also please dont bash me one getting wild caught, I wasnt told that from the owner until after the fact.

Mark9
12/09/2013, 10:17 AM
has it gotten better?
I think people are oblivious to whats happening in the oceans.

2008
Demand for 'Nemo' puts clown fish in danger of extinction (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2008/07/demand-for-nemo.html)

2012
Saving Nemo? Clownfish Could End Up on Endangered Species List (http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/09/21/saving-nemo-clownfish-could-end-up-on-endangered-species-list/)

Moort82
12/09/2013, 02:18 PM
has it gotten better?
I think people are oblivious to whats happening in the oceans.

2008
Demand for 'Nemo' puts clown fish in danger of extinction (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2008/07/demand-for-nemo.html)

2012
Saving Nemo? Clownfish Could End Up on Endangered Species List (http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/09/21/saving-nemo-clownfish-could-end-up-on-endangered-species-list/)

That's my worry, that it hasn't. It was an old Coral article by Daphne Fautin that sparked the initial question. I've always been one who believed in captive raised fish where possible and remember reading years ago about the problems you link to above. I was wondering if it had changed at all, hence adding both anemones and clowns into the question.

I'm not really a fan myself but stumbled upon the LA Fishguy who mentioned if this lot of clowns died again (think it was ocellaris) that he had had it with wild caught clowns. His suggestion was that they died of brook and it was a very common thing for him. Wondered if this was an issue for most wholesalers over there. Luckily the biggest wholesaler in the UK mostly stocks captive raised but i am yet to see anything other than a BTA described as tank cloned, which suggests no one is having any success with them long term.

SGT_York
12/09/2013, 03:34 PM
Most damage is done by improper harvesting in the poor countries. Positive cash flows enable better harvesting technices in most cases. (bad people still exist) Which generally solves the problem by itself. Thankfully Clowns are for more economical to breed then to capture.

D-Nak
12/09/2013, 03:57 PM
has it gotten better?
I think people are oblivious to whats happening in the oceans.

2008
Demand for 'Nemo' puts clown fish in danger of extinction (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2008/07/demand-for-nemo.html)

2012
Saving Nemo? Clownfish Could End Up on Endangered Species List (http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/09/21/saving-nemo-clownfish-could-end-up-on-endangered-species-list/)

I think we need to put these articles into perspective. Neither are saying that clowns are getting wiped out only because of harvesting for the aquarium hobby.

"But before you start shedding tears for Nemo and his buddies, keep in mind that this request isn’t based on any evidence of a decline in the clownfish population. Instead, what has sparked concern is the deteriorating health of coral reefs as a result of climate change and growing ocean acidity."

And I have serious doubts about the validity of the first article:

"Parents whose children fell in love with Nemo at the cinema are seeking out the clown fish in ever greater numbers, leading to over-harvesting of wild specimens because captive breeding programs cannot cope with demand."

I don't think that Petco was selling only captive-bred clowns back in 2008 like they do now. But I think captive raised clowns can definitely keep up with the demand. I'm willing to bet that capture of wild caught clowns has gone down.

As I clown breeder, I believe that wild clowns need to be brought into captive breeding programs to freshen up the gene pool. There are several strains of clowns (including the one I am breeding) that need a "gene clean-up" due to excessive inbreeding.

However, I think the bigger problem is the removal of host anemones from the wild. As an anemone enthusiast, I'm torn because the anemone I am most passionate about -- S. gigantea (natural host of percs and occis) -- cannot be bred or propagated in captivity. The only species of hosting anemone that can be propagated with a high level of success are BTAs. There has been limited success with H. magnifica, but the recovery time of the propagated nem is a lot longer than that of a BTA.

Fortunately, many of the host anemones are simply too large (many over 24") to collect. It would be hypocritical of me to say that all nems should be left in the ocean, since I have one in my tank. Ultimately it's up to us to make wise purchasing decisions when thinking about buying a nem. I've made it a point to help as many people as I can specifically when it comes to S. gigantea, to make sure that it has the highest chance of survival, since that means one less dead nem, and one less pulled from the ocean.

Timfish
12/09/2013, 06:53 PM
Thats very interesting. I can understand why clowns would be but i have never seen any other hosting anemone other than BTA offered as tank grown. Do you remember which species they were?

As far as anemones locally the reefers have at least 5 variants of BTA's, Rose, Teal w/ Pink Tips, Green, generic brown and Rainbow. Supposedly someone has had a ritteri split but the guy who told me is prone to exagerating and I haven't heard it from anybody else so I'm doubtful. Locally raised clowns include A. Clarkii, a handful of different A. percula and/or A. ocellarius variants and maroons.

Joe0813
12/09/2013, 07:47 PM
i have a wild caught ocellaris that ive had for almost two years.. but my opinion.... If companies can now breed some types of fish and i know their is a list for which ones we successfully can breed then i think that species should be left in the ocean and people can only buy the captive bred

Moort82
12/10/2013, 02:31 PM
D-Nak, i don't think anyone with even a limited knowledge of genetics would deny an increase in the gene pool for breeders. I think this is a small sacrifice for the sheer number of clowns which such a person could provide. It also contributes to the future of the species and is something i commend.

I completely agree that the major issue is with the anemones. However since the article that sparked the question was also talking about clowns being in trouble i thought i'd mention them as they do go hand in hand.

Please don't quote me but from memory this was the gist of the article by Professor Fautin.
There are 10 species of anemones which host clownfish.
Of these only the BTA is really captive reproduced.
The other species can live for decades if not centuries and removal of clowns leaves them open to predation, vice versa removal the anemones deprives the clownfish of protection as well as subsequent generations.
Anemones are very slow to reproduce so are prone to over collection.
The average life expectancy of an anemone even with the best care is a small percentage of what it would be naturally.
Clownfish in the aquarium don't need protection from anemones

I can really understand why people want to see the association between clowns and anemones. It is something i find fascinating and can see why people keep the two together but i've seen far two many dying anemones to justify such a practice, at least in my own tank. I have no objection to captive raised anemones and clowns but i think the former is few and far between.

Moort82
12/10/2013, 02:35 PM
As far as anemones locally the reefers have at least 5 variants of BTA's, Rose, Teal w/ Pink Tips, Green, generic brown and Rainbow. Supposedly someone has had a ritteri split but the guy who told me is prone to exagerating and I haven't heard it from anybody else so I'm doubtful. Locally raised clowns include A. Clarkii, a handful of different A. percula and/or A. ocellarius variants and maroons.

I thought it would be BTA's. You can pick those up over here but cloned ones are few and far between and would no where near meet demand for anemones. I have heard of other species dividing but again they wouldn't even supply a small fraction of the desire to keep them so its nearly 100% wild caught for those.
We can pick up all those clowns captive raised locally as well plus tomato and skunks.

accordsirh22
12/17/2013, 01:38 PM
i didnt read all the way through the thread yet, but, at the store i manage saltwater for, i only order captive bred fish if possible. any time i ordered wild caught clowns they always did terrible and 90%+ would die for no apparent reason. however, with the captive bred ones, we have virtually 0 loss