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Re: hybrid fish

Arthur wrote:

The ethics of hybrid fish are very interesting, I

It seems that very many of the fish in the hobby are
man-made strains (whether it be color, finnage, etc.).
 No one gets terribly upset about this.  But at the
same time, people get worked up about parrot fish, and
now this Flower fish.


I have always thought that people who are willing to keep fish in
captivity and yet are completely against hybidization are being a little
hypocritical. Keeping fish in captivity alters the genetic makeup of
that fish population anyway. Captive fish populations end up being
selected for aquarium conditions whether it is desirable or not. It's
not like after a 100 generations you will be able to return domestic
fish to the wild. With hybrids it is the same thing only dramatically
more so. I know it extremely problematic if one were to accidentally and
unkowingly aquire a hybrid but it is not so difficult to avoid if you
are careful about where one buys fish. I would say that any breeder that
passes hybrids off as pure stock is committing fraud and is definately
unethical but individuals should be free to make up their own minds
about the ethics of breeding fish for looks.

Another thing that bugs me is the assertion that hybridization does not
occur in the wild. It is very likely just a convenient argument against
crossing fish. Of course it occurs in the wild. I am sure there is
nothing about a glass enclosure that promotes interbreeding. Two fish
trapped in a pond in the wild with nothing else to do are just as likely
to look for ways to alleviate boredom as any other animal. Naturally the
offspring are unlikely to survive but on the rare occasions that the
offspring are better adapted to their enviroment than the competition,
they will survive and probably give taxinomist types one more mystery to
scratch their heads over. Maybe it only happens once every 100 years or
so but on the genetic timescale that is still a pretty short time.

Personally I don't allow hybridizations to occur in my tanks and I would
destroy the offspring if it did happen. However, I just can't see how
crossbreeding is ethically wrong.