Dan Woodland wrote:Bigger more intrusive government or regulations are not the answer. Self regulation or common sense is, too bad common sense isn't all that common.
I agree with you Dan. I am all for smaller less intrusive government. Sadly, common sense is not all too common. Thus, the abundance of Burmese Pythons and Green Iguanas running loose in Florida not to mention all the introduced fish found there as well.
Heck, governments introduce fish all the time. Example: Tilapia, Cichla, Black Bass and trout are still being introduced to places where they do not belong (much to the detriment of local fish populations) by all knowing and wise governments. Some states even refer to native "less desirable" species as "trash fish" even going so far as to advocate catch and don't release of species such as Bowfins and Freshwater Cod (Burbot) in favor of nurturing unnatural fisheries of introduced species. Very sad to say the least. I live in the North East and Brown and Rainbow Trout are systematically introduced by state fisheries here every year. Rainbows hail from the Pacific North West and Browns are from Europe.
That said, if the aquarium trade was overly regulated, our only options as fish keepers would be what color beta fish we would be keeping. Red, Green or Blue? That would suck.
As far as regulations are concerned, I think as long as the species is not endangered or otherwise prohibited from a conservation standpoint, we should be able to keep what we like as long as the animal is properly housed.
Lets take P.dovii for example. I am fairly confident that if a large enough environment is provided for this species, it could be safely kept and bred without issue. What would the size of the tank needed for this be? I have no idea. I bet it's in the many thousands of gallons.
Alas, I did say "possible". Does "possible" equate to "should". That's a though one. I say no. Some fish are better left in the wild. I feel our efforts would better serve those species at risk from eradication from the wild, instead of some piscine status symbol meant to impress our buddies.