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View Full Version : 90 percent of saltwater aquarium fish imported to the U.S. are caught using cyanide


Alexraptor
03/10/2016, 01:01 PM
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/160310-aquarium-saltwater-tropical-fish-cyanide-coral-reefs/

Any actual truth to this?
I'm have a bit of a hard time believing this to be accurate, given that most of us, at least around online communities, seem to have been trying so very hard to avoid animals caught with cyanide or that show signs.
Or is this largely the fault businesses and institutions that commission large saltwater tanks just for show and prestige and don't give a damn about the source of the animals?

One thing that did bother me with this article though was how it pointed the finger at the ornamental fish trade, yet it fails to mention the food fish trade where the use of cyanide is even more widespread.

reefwiser
03/10/2016, 02:37 PM
There are still fish caught this way but most of the large distributors of fish have a chain of custody and they know who and how their fish are being collected.

pinnatus
03/10/2016, 02:53 PM
I have been keeping fish for 42 years now. In the past, I think a lot of fish were caught this way. However, in the past 10 years or so, I have not seen signs of cyanide with fish that I have purchased, the exception being Blonde Nasos - I have had 5 or 6 that seem to exhibit signs of cyanide poisoning. They look great coming from the store, will eat for a while, then stop, then die. It may be 4-6 months before they finally die. It took me quite a few before I got the ones I have now which are doing great.

Timfish
03/10/2016, 05:03 PM
Undoubtedly and unfortunately there are still fish caught with cyanide and efforts to elliminate the practice completely need to be taken. Unfortunately Umberger and For the Fishes and other activist are taking the position ALL fish collection needs to be stopped without any consideration for the harm this would do to reef ecosystems. Many reefs have had sharks, groupers and large herbavores seriously over fished resulting greatly reduced fish biomass and far to many small herbavores and planktonvores. Having removed the apex preditors that control these fish leaves us as the primary method of control. An excellent example of this is the white tail deer population here in Texas, we've eliminated the natural controls for them and large ranches and farms are told by the state how many they need to kill every year to keep a healthy number that won't over graze the available food and end up with a large population of starving animals.

In Hawai'i where For the Fishes is very active harrassing the ornamental fish collectors and attempting to get fish collection banned they ignore the research by NOAA showing the Yellow Tangs are taking over the protected areas and pushing other species out. For example NOAA's data shows Achillis tangs have higher numbers in areas where they can be collected than in the protected areas where they have to compete with increased numbers of Yellow Tangs.

For further reading start with searching Rohwer and Northern Line Islands and Hawai'i Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR) reports to the legislature.

DLreef
03/11/2016, 12:34 PM
Yay the honest media strikes again :rolleye1:

ThRoewer
03/12/2016, 02:06 AM
That article is really some bad propaganda.

The only places where cyanide is still in use is Indonesia and the Philippines, and even there not all fish are caught with cyanide. And there are efforts to have the fishermen stop using cyanide.

Everywhere else aquarium fish are caught with nets, hooks or traps.

The most fish that get caught with cyanide are actually for human consumption (predominantly for Asian markets) and not for aquariums.

Alexraptor
03/12/2016, 10:30 AM
That article is really some bad propaganda.

The only places where cyanide is still in use is Indonesia and the Philippines, and even there not all fish are caught with cyanide. And there are efforts to have the fishermen stop using cyanide.

Everywhere else aquarium fish are caught with nets, hooks or traps.

The most fish that get caught with cyanide are actually for human consumption (predominantly for Asian markets) and not for aquariums.

Yes that is what my own research has indicated as well.
Its sad that National Geographic is no longer a trustworthy outlet. =/

KafudaFish
03/12/2016, 11:09 AM
Does this mean that NG will stop selling aquarium products?

Alexraptor
03/12/2016, 11:28 AM
https://www.reefs.com/blog/2016/03/11/national-geographic-checks-facts-door/

cyricdark
03/12/2016, 09:25 PM
Wow NG must be going broke giving in to propaganda stories, sad they used to be as reliable as it got when I was a kid.

Deinonych
03/14/2016, 06:30 PM
That article is really some bad propaganda.



The article lost all credibility when the author named the Center for Biological Diversity and Rene Umberger as sources.

travis9791
03/14/2016, 07:25 PM
natianal geographic, history channel, animal planet. All used to be truth based educational shows. Not so much anymore. I can't tell you the last time I have seen any history from the history channel.

Deinonych
03/14/2016, 07:51 PM
natianal geographic, history channel, animal planet. All used to be truth based educational shows. Not so much anymore. I can't tell you the last time I have seen any history from the history channel.

This. Don't forget TLC, which used to be The Learning Channel before it devolved into a miasma of reality-TV trash.

ThRoewer
03/15/2016, 12:45 AM
"... Cyanide fishing was initially developed to stun and capture fish for aquariums and collectors, but it was soon used for catching food fish as well. It is illegal in many of the countries in which it is practiced, although these laws are often minimally enforced.[1] Grouper, wrasse, and coral trout are among the more popular species of fish captured through cyanide fishing...

... The basis for this illegal fishing method is, among others, the rising demand for live fish in the higher-class restaurants of the big cities, particularly in rich, nearby countries, which pay increasingly high prices. The extremely low wages of the fishermen in remote, underdeveloped areas, where there are no alternative sources of income, drive them to endure the health risks and possible prosecution.
..."(from Wikipedia)

Not a primary source but faithful to the facts.
The primary driver for cyanide fishing today is the high demand of live food fish in affluent Asian markets (Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China,...).
I suppose if the people who select and eat those fish in restaurants knew that they also ingest a deadly poison, they would reconsider that meal.

DLreef
03/15/2016, 12:44 PM
[I]".
I suppose if the people who select and eat those fish in restaurants knew that they also ingest a deadly poison, they would reconsider that meal.

I doubt it, they don't mind breathing toxic smog 24/7 so eating cyanide is just icing on the cake

Reef Frog
03/17/2016, 12:42 PM
This article spread like wildfire among many different web "media outlets", all copying it verbatim without checking sources. The original article offered no insights as to how they arrived at this 90% figure. It didn't indicate if this 90% figure were for captured fish destined for the USA & Europe or other places.

I don't buy it. Especially in countries that have a strong tradition in enforcing their laws, like Austrailia, the USA & much of Micronesia & the Carib nations. Some outlaws in the Phillipenes...OK I can see that. (But I have no definitive proof either) If it were true, we'd have much higher mortality than we have now. The wholesalers would be up in arms and force a change. Many wholesales have agents working for them at collection sites and I would imagine they'd refuse any fish caught using these methods as it is not in their employer's interests.

pinnatus
03/17/2016, 12:56 PM
78.6% of all statistics are completely made-up.

ca1ore
03/22/2016, 09:48 PM
Poppycock

muttley000
03/27/2016, 06:20 PM
Well not to get political, but Fox News bought National Geographic. I know many feel Fox is right wing, but as a constitutional conservative I can tell you fox is left of center. This appears right because of other outlets being far, far left. This is crap reporting with no checking of facts. Renee Umberger or one of her associates probably submitted the article along with a check! RIP National Geographic

Fishfirst
03/27/2016, 08:37 PM
http://www.saltwatersmarts.com/aquarium-trade-battle-cyanide-collection-6448/

atreis
03/28/2016, 04:32 AM
I thought this collection technique was a larger issue today for fish caught for food - much less so for fish caught for the aquarium trade (although it was in the past).

atreis
03/28/2016, 04:33 AM
Well not to get political, but Fox News bought National Geographic. I know many feel Fox is right wing, but as a constitutional conservative I can tell you fox is left of center. This appears right because of other outlets being far, far left. This is crap reporting with no checking of facts. Renee Umberger or one of her associates probably submitted the article along with a check! RIP National Geographic

When everything appears to be to the left, what might look to be toward the center...

probably isn't.

alton
03/28/2016, 05:23 AM
http://www.saltwatersmarts.com/aquarium-trade-battle-cyanide-collection-6448/

Thank you for posting this

ThRoewer
03/30/2016, 02:47 PM
Well not to get political, but Fox News bought National Geographic. I know many feel Fox is right wing, but as a constitutional conservative I can tell you fox is left of center. This appears right because of other outlets being far, far left. This is crap reporting with no checking of facts. Renee Umberger or one of her associates probably submitted the article along with a check! RIP National Geographic

LOL - even US socialists are still right of the center when compared to Europe.

But this has nothing to do with party politics but rather with some totally misguided animal rights activists agenda.

If you leave the fish in the ocean or take them out hardly makes a difference since the actual issues are warming of the oceans and habitat destruction, like China paving over entire reefs to build military bases on the Spratly Islands.

The ornamental fish caught with cyanide are actually a minority these days and declining. It is the food fish industry that is reviving cyanide.

aaron1129
04/07/2016, 03:00 PM
I am happy that the community here spots stuff like this. When the big media sells out, we still have a forum of real reef keepers to search for knowledge and share ideas.

reef thief
05/07/2016, 11:59 AM
This isn't true. NatGeo falsifies a lot of their info to sell sell sell. I personally worked first hand throughout the Pacific catching these fish and have never heard of any large scale company using cyanide. Please quit spreading these rumors as it is apart of a movement to end the collection of marine livestock. The hippies that started it lack the courage to help other people so they throw a fit about animals.

Untamed Rose
05/07/2016, 11:59 PM
Well not to get political, but Fox News bought National Geographic. I know many feel Fox is right wing, but as a constitutional conservative I can tell you fox is left of center. This appears right because of other outlets being far, far left. This is crap reporting with no checking of facts. Renee Umberger or one of her associates probably submitted the article along with a check! RIP National Geographic

Rupert Murdoch bought NG, and yes owns Fox....how this old conservative can be considered left hell if I know. I mean we have SEEN what he did to fox. I'm not even that old I saw that, it went from a decent souce to what it is today.

Alexraptor
06/18/2016, 12:51 PM
*sigh* looks like this 90% BS is circulating through the media... again. Mainly under the moniker of "Killing Dory" or "Killing Nemo" and derivatives.