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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hi all,

Canadian Aquarium Connection is polling it's members about views
regarding dyed/tattooed fish, accurate size labeling and the sale of
deliberately-bred deformed fish.

These are the questions:

I would choose a store that did NOT stock dyed/tattooed fish over one that did.
I would choose a store that clearly & accurately indicated the adult size of fish over one that didn't.
I would choose a store that did NOT stock fish with deformities (such as 'balloon' forms) over one that did.

The poster of the poll introduces it this way:

"I'm borrowing the basis of this idea from Practical Fishkeeping Magazine.
When outraged UK hobbyists wanted to stop dyed fish, they voted in a
poll asking if they'd choose a store that didn't stock them. A whopping
90% said yes!

It worked! Stores all over the UK took the pledge not to carry dyed fish
and hobbyists everywhere were better educated about this horrific
practice.

Another hobbyist initiative resulted in chain stores across North America
paying more attention to their tank labels (fish size, tank size, etc.)
to ensure they were accurate.

We can make a difference.

Stores need to know what we want and numbers speak volumes. This is
not an attack on stores
, it's an attempt to work with them by showing
them something solid to bet their business on. If we can get enough
people to participate, we can send a message to stores across the
country that will benefit both their business and the hobby - everybody
wins.

I'm sticking to practices that involve most people's definition of pain-based cruelty, as well as tank labeling to ensure a proper environment can be
provided throughout the lifetime of the fish. This will hopefully
prevent some wild-release issues and result in a higher quality of life
for the fish.

If you want to be part of this proactive initiative to motivate change, please vote.

If anyone has questions about the definitions or practices, please feel
free to ask before you vote. If anyone would like to add good
resources for information about these issues, that would be awesome
too. "


This isn't an attack on monster fish keepers or sellers- in fact, I think BCA sponsors like Canadian Aquatics set the standard we'd like to see retail outlets adopt.

So, if you've ever bought a common pleco or a Chinese algae eater only to be horrified when it got huge and started sucking the life out of your other fish, check it out. If you've ever been at a fish store and felt disgusted at the sight of dyed fish, check it out. If you disagree with the inhumane treatment of wetpets as a general principle, check it out. You have to be a member to vote, but what's 3 minutes if it can help end pointless suffering?

here's the link:
Would you choose a store that didn't stock dyed/tattooed/unlabeled fish? Vote! - Canadian Aquarium Connection - Canada's Fish Community - Based in BC
 

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This is good to see. As many of you know IPU has never imported dyed fish. Unfortunately I don't think people in BC will be as dedicated to this as hobbyists in Europe. The hobby is very advanced there in comparison and the education of fish cruelty has been promoted for many years. I can tell you without a doubt that IPU is losing a lot by not selling dyed fish. Will I start? No. The point I am trying to make is although people in Canada will vote for ethical businesses, in general the average hobbyist will still shop all over for variety. Yes they will have their favorites but overall will not shop one store over another based on weather they carry dyed fish or not. IMO.

This is a great sort of movement, by all means push ahead. However, it will take many years unfortunately to get anywhere. I am a little curious about your Canadian Aquatics comment though. What is it that you feel other retailers should adopt? Canadian aquatics deals with mostly wild caught fish and tends to focus on very specific species. A business plan that would be fairly unsuccessful in an actual retail store setting. Home based on line is a completely different animal.
 

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For me, the first two points are pretty much no-brainers.

The third isnt quite as simple. Where do you draw the line on deformed? Are fancy goldfish, glo-fish, or fish with hugely exaggerated fins considered deformed?
 

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i think referance to how big a fish is going to get is important especially begginers.. when I was in IPU i noticed some signs saying that a paticular fish gets HUGE... i liked seeing that tho i still think that it would be better if they address every fish adult size so some poeple dont go over there head

as far as dyed fish, I dont think 1. i would notice the differance or even care
2. some poeple will want them anyways so theres always a
market

deformed ive never been a fan of, tho again its the same as the dyed fish ... there will always be a market. a lot of fish its directing strains and imbreeding to get the trait that one wants (same concept as dogs and cats.. reason why german shepards have hip problems and pugs have breathing issues)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For me, the first two points are pretty much no-brainers.

The third isnt quite as simple. Where do you draw the line on deformed? Are fancy goldfish, glo-fish, or fish with hugely exaggerated fins considered deformed?
the intro to the poll defines it this way: practices that involve most people's definition of pain-based cruelty

balloon mollies (and there is now a rainbow fish 'balloon' variety as well) have a spinal deformity that is believed to be painful to live with.
Long fins, fancy tails, and genetically modified fish aren't included in this survey because these are matters of taste, not conditions that produce on-going pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
....I am a little curious about your Canadian Aquatics comment though. What is it that you feel other retailers should adopt? Canadian aquatics deals with mostly wild caught fish and tends to focus on very specific species. A business plan that would be fairly unsuccessful in an actual retail store setting. Home based on line is a completely different animal.
thanks for your reply! My hope is that the poll over at CAC will spark a discussion on ethical fish selling/keeping. It's a start, anyway. And I have to say that your response DOES make a difference , for me anyway.

My impression of the various BCA sponsors is that they all (including Island Pets) make an effort to behave ethically. I used Canadian Aquatics for that example because 1) they carry a lot of big fish, and 2) I've done business with Charles a few times, so I have first-hand experience of his approach. Also, I wanted to reassure the many monster fish keepers on BCA that this poll is not an attack on their branch of the hobby.

I just meant that Charles (sorry for using you as an example, Charles) makes it very clear that you're buying a really big fish and tells you what it needs. He doesn't sell an alligator gar as a community fish to go in with the tetras.

Which is exactly the objective with the poll. Let people know what they're buying and what it needs.
 

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the intro to the poll defines it this way: practices that involve most people's definition of pain-based cruelty

balloon mollies (and there is now a rainbow fish 'balloon' variety as well) have a spinal deformity that is believed to be painful to live with.
Long fins, fancy tails, and genetically modified fish aren't included in this survey because these are matters of taste, not conditions that produce on-going pain.
A mutation is a mutation...

if someone "beleives" something to be painful it is not actually proven? Has someone asked the fish...

im not saying I agree with bringing in mutant fish.. its just one should look from both sides of the spectrum.. who is one individual to say that its bad if they do not have statistical evidance

also how can one weed out the ones we like and dont like.. in all acuatlity the swimming gets affected by the mutations with longer fin or forked fins and the plumper bodies oh and almost forgot the liquid pocket eyes

the mutations are all ornimental fish and how can one tell which is painful or not?

I not a fan of any of the modified fish what so ever but one has to look at all angles.. how can a group supposrt one aspect of the "mutations" and not the other with out viable proof... perhaps they have to further there study to figure out which are acceptible and what are not
 

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thanks for your reply! My hope is that the poll over at CAC will spark a discussion on ethical fish selling/keeping. It's a start, anyway. And I have to say that your response DOES make a difference , for me anyway.

My impression of the various BCA sponsors is that they all (including Island Pets) make an effort to behave ethically. I used Canadian Aquatics for that example because 1) they carry a lot of big fish, and 2) I've done business with Charles a few times, so I have first-hand experience of his approach. Also, I wanted to reassure the many monster fish keepers on BCA that this poll is not an attack on their branch of the hobby.

I just meant that Charles (sorry for using you as an example, Charles) makes it very clear that you're buying a really big fish and tells you what it needs. He doesn't sell an alligator gar as a community fish to go in with the tetras.

Which is exactly the objective with the poll. Let people know what they're buying and what it needs.
OK, I understand now. As stated by another member, altered fish is a tough one. Exotic goldfish is a classic example. I feel dyed fish is not in anyone's best interests and is the best topic to really enforce. No one can argue that this practice is cruel and because these fish lose their color quickly or their life it is an easy one to dissuade people from buying. Baby steps.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Baby steps.:D
indeed. What's that song?..."inch by inch, row by row...":)

I agree with your comment about European hobbyists verses BC hobbyists. Even on CAC where this poll was discussed at length before the final questions were posted, only a handful of people have voted so far.

As for the poll questions, each question is answered separately, so if you disagree with one of them... vote against it. Simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hi all,
A further explanation of 'balloon forms' from the poll's original poster:
"I'm seeing some confusion over the inclusion of 'balloon' forms, so I'll expand on my reasoning there.

I think the confusion is based on an over-simplified view of these balloon forms, leading people to believe that it is just another domestic fancy fish form of genetic origin. However, horizontal spinal curvatures are not simply a genetic mutation that produces a different appearance, it's a painful condition called scoliosis that is found in many vertebrates.

Obviously if breeders are producing balloon strains, it can be a genetic mutation. However, unlike a hobby mutation such as elongated finnage, there can be many causes of scoliosis, including genetic abnormality, nutritional deficiency, stress, environment, disease, parasites, age, injury, etc. It can also be a consequence of other conditions, including muscular issues. While someone may assume that if this condition is present from birth it is genetic, it can still be caused by injury or another issue. This is because it's a deformity/condition, not your hobby standard fancy domestic mutation.

There can be varying degrees of spinal curvature, from one so slight you wouldn't notice a fish that has it, to extreme curvatures that produce the 'best' balloon forms. The condition may be present in your population without you even knowing it, until it compounds itself to a more severe degree. Unfortunately, the more severe the curvature, the more likely it is to find consequential abnormalities in the nervous, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, urogenital and muscular systems. Restricted lung function and heart failure are common consequences in mammals, as well as digestive issues.

The fact that scoliosis is painful hasn't been established based on the condition in fish, it's based on how the condition effects vertebrates in general. Fish have been used extensively as a vertebrate model in the study of human spinal conditions, including Zebra fish, which demonstrates their similarity. There is no reason to believe that fish would somehow be the only exception to the pain factor.

This can all be verified through reputable sources of information about scoliosis, many of which are available online in the form of studies. I hope it clarifies why I included it in the survey."
 
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