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Subject: Re: Luo Han / Flower Horn

Although I don't like the "Flower Horn Fish" you really have to put it into 
perspective. Goldfish are a case in point. Many goldfish are truly monstrous 
when compared to the original wild fish yet most people accept them even love 
them. Direct genetic manipulation will no doubt bring many more odd looking 
fish at a greater rate that inbreeding does now. It also has the potential to 
give us many really great animals for our set ups that don't affect the 
natural world like collecting does and might even bring us things like 
miniature fish from species that are now far too big to keep in most aquaria. 
How about a 6" sturgeon or paddlefish? Or maybe a 6" real pelagic shark, tiny 
sting rays or very small bass or other game fish. The potential goes far 
beyond color and twisted forms. We just have to decide what we want by 
exercising our ultimate veto, our money. If people don't buy certain fish 
they will disappear from the market or if the first ones end up as a 
financial bust then other similar fish will not follow. Nearly all the 
animals we keep around us have been changed drastically by genetic 
manipulation, we call it breeding for desirable traits but it is no more 
natural than direct genetic manipulation and the results are the same. The 
reptile pet industry has benefited greatly by breeding reptiles that don't 
exist in the wild, not only has the pressure been taken off many wild 
populations but we get very fancy animals whose looks and behavior suit 
captivity much better than wild caught animals. Ultimately we decide the 
forms our pets will take.