Although captive-bred fish are often slightly more expensive than wild fish, this can often pay off in the long run. For instance, buying a captive-bred fish means that the fish that would be brought in from the wild to be kept as pets are left in the wild. Because divers bring in fish regularly, the amount of fish in the wild regularly goes down faster than it would naturally. This can cause many species of fish to go extinct when they would have survived if we had left them in the wild and bought captive-bred fish.
Types of wild caught fish and methods of capture
It is mainly saltwater fish that are in danger, as many commercial fish farms breed captive freshwater fish. The fish
are not the only ones in danger, many corals and invert species are also being caught or possibly even destroyed. One of the more popular practices to catch wild fish is called cyanide fishing, and it uses cyanide to suffocate the fish until they pass out. Cyanide can also have harmful effects on the habitat, such as bleaching the coral or even causing death to corals, depending on the amount of cyanide used and the exposure time of the coral to the cyanide. The long-term
effects of the cyanide on the fish that survive this method are unknown.
Advantages of captive-bred fish
Additionally, captive-bred fish have spent their whole lives in an aquarium and are much more accustomed to living in a glass container and are much easier to feed than their wild counterparts. They are also much less aggressive than fish in the wild. Species that are caught in the wild have to go through quite an ordeal to get to the local pet store, which cause many of them to die from stress. Captive-bred fish have a much higher rate of survival since they only have to travel from the local pet store to your aquarium. Wild-caught fish may also have potentially deadly diseases that come from parasites and pathogens that are not found in an aquarium. Captive-bred fish are much more likely to be healthy and disease free as long as they are kept in the proper conditions and are not placed in an aquarium with a diseased fish that was caught in the wild.
Captive-bred fish means that once-wild fish were caught, bred, and then raised under the care of experts in special facilities over generations, although some species can possibly be bred in your aquarium. To see how you can help the spread of captive-bred fish, please contact your local aquarium.