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collecting fears

This conversation sounds a little like which came first the chicken or the
egg.  Humans are part of the ecology, we try to think of ourselves as being
above it or somehow apart from it.  But in the end we are just another animal
(my apologies to those whose religion denies this analogy) Humans interact
with the environment in all the same way as other animals.  Sometimes this
leads (because of our huge numbers and technology) to extreme environmental
damage.  We are not the only animals that do this, the first example that pops
to mind is elephants in the dry season, they destroy hundreds of square miles
of habitat due to the lack of food.  This has been made worse by humans to be
sure, but it would still happen without our help.  Collecting fish is much
like predatory behavior, the fish we catch are removed from the water they
lived in.  Admittedly it they were the eaten by a fish the recycling of
nutrients would be more direct but it still occurs as we dump sewage (treated
or untreated) back into the water.  We affect the environment, it affects us,
we are part of the environment as surely as any animal.  The real problem
humans create is the pollution we add to the environment in amounts too large
for the ecosystem to handle, or as chemicals the ecosystem cannot breakdown.
Catching fish is just as natural for us as it is for any other animal, we are
the only ones I know of smart enough to not remove fish that are in danger of
becoming extinct.  I think the positives of showing people what lives below
the shiny surface of the water far out weighs any impact we might have on fish
numbers.  I am also a big fan of captive breeding of desirable but rare fish
for aquarium use, this is a very unnatural, but I think positive, thing to do.