Cyanide Awareness

Discussion in 'Wouldn't it be good if...?' started by nudibranch, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. nudibranch

    nudibranch Guest

    Wouldn't it be good if we had an always easily accessible section on the symptoms of a cyanide caught animal so we could better avoid them. This would mean that the demand for these animals would be less. If you agree reply with a yes and if you want to a reason why.
  2. GDawson

    GDawson Guest


    We all know the reasons as it pertains to animal health and environmental damage; however, I have a very personal reason to despise cyanide collection practices.

    Many moons ago when I setup my first tank I had never heard of cyanide collection. The net was in its infancy and there were few sources of REAL information I could get my hands on. I read the few books like Martin Moe, but those were really advanced stuff to someone setting up a simple fish only tank with rubble and dead coral skeletons. After putting everything together I purchased 5 blue damsels (the really mean SOBs) and dropped them in to cycle the tank. They immediately hid from view and cowered in the corner. Everything the books said these were really hardy in your face fish. I panicked. I talked to people, read the books over again, and tested everything. The fish just looked like hell and hid. As their digestive systems broke down they started pooping whole brine shrimp and turning around to re-eating them. They got thin and I couldn’t help them. Needless to say they all died within the couple of weeks. I was devastated. I had killed something that relied on me. The tank was drained and put up for sale.

    By chance I found another LFS and just happened to hear a sales person talking to a customer about cyanide collection. The sales person explained to me the whole cyanide story as well as the physiological effects of the collection process. So I dusted off the tank and tried again. This time with great success! If I had not walked into that other LFS I probably would not be in the hobby today.

    Cyanide collection is just evil

  3. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    I agree that cyanide collection is bad, real bad.

    There are issues that prevent us from knowing whether or not an animal was caught using cyanide, it is extremely complicated. For example, Gregory's situation could easily have been intestinal parasite related from a dirty collection facility or wholesaler, so in that case symptoms cannot be relied on as data. Cyanide is very expensive, so for collectors to use cyanide to catch a fish that they'll get 15¢ for is not cost effective, more likely your mid price fish that are difficult to catch are the ones that are going to fall victim to cyanide collection (dwarf angels come to mind). There is no accurate way to test an animal for residual cyanide, so to develop a baseline in order to determine which export facilities and regions where the juice is used in order to narrow it down is really not possible. In fact even some of the most reputable importers occasionally will wind up with juiced fish, it's not what they want of course, but demand drives the industry and if an importer runs out of a particular fish, then they often times will have to source from other places, that can go for exporters buying as well. Everybody wants to see selection and low prices at our LFS, which in reality is not the ideal situation for marine ornamental animals.

    If you want to steer clear of cyanide you can purchase fish from the Red Sea, Australia, or other areas that have a strict protocol when it comes to collection. You may think that Caribbean fish are a good option, but they like to use Quinine, which is fine, but the alcohol used to fix the quinine shreds the fishes gills.

    Feel good now? :D
  4. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    BTW, if it's any consolation, there are fish that are caught with nets by crowbaring apart coral heads in order to get them, they're healthy and cheap, so who cares about the coral.....
  5. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Aren't you just a ray of fricken sunshine! :p

  6. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Yeah, working the business for over half your life can make you an optimist :D
  7. To me ,which wholesaler the lfs getting their fishes from?i know economy is tough,but switching to less quality wholesaler is no no for me.i got lucky the fishes i got didn't infest my other fishs.I avoid at all cost.They're just as bad as cyanide caught.what piss me off is,they're deny about the whole thing and lie about it.:(

  8. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    There is hope. And there are CB fish of many varieties available. These are rarely caught with either cyanide or quinaldine!
  9. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Gregory, FAMA started running Steve Robinson's ( a local and some one that has spoken at several BAR meetins) CN articles in 1982 IIRC> He is the one that publicly outed the CN issue along with a few other poor collection techniques.

    There is no signs that are truly tell tale of being CN caught as every single sign is shared by a dozen other causes. Normally a CN caught fish will either die within a short period (usually prior to it hitting a LFS) or live a long time with out you knowing anything. Initially they are much brightly colored, but unless you are in the place of collection, you will not witness this. The CoC (chain of custody) IMO holds the true ticket to quality fish.

    CN is like using a nuke to catch fish, it destroys everything in it's path.

    I've spent my entire aquatic career in the fight against CN and I can tell you even net caught fish die if handled wrong.

    To me it's more about handling as CN is NOT something us stateside can fix. It's like us trying to solve global terrorism from our cozy little stateside homes :) IN fact, in the Philippines a group the US has placed on the Terrorist list, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILFs) is one of the providers of CN. They get it from the gold mines.
  10. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Umm CB has it's ill effects as well and you know this.

    Traditionally they (CB broodstocK) are removed from the place where they live (brought to a first world nation) and CB stateside leaving nothing for the nation they came from (bio-piracy). Furthermore, it strips the incentive the locals have to protect their reefs as it removes the highest value on the reef for them leaving them with activities like mining the reef, capturing all the predators and such. CB is good and bad in other words.
  11. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    Yes I agree and if I really thought the export of WC MO's (wildcaught marine ornamentals)was a sustainable trade then that argument would be much stronger. But I believe that there are many downward pressures acting against the WC MO trade. Whether it's legislation, rising costs of collection/ transport or the scarcity of available wildstock (even just from habitat degradation) I don't see that profession going on for more than 1 more generation.
  12. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Until then your happy taking food out of villagers mouths I guess :(

    Some of the same pressures face CB as well ;)
  13. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    Don't forget the displaced whalers and rhino hunters! ;) ;-) :wink:
  14. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Comparing endangered animals with fish that are not is a super wide stretch, beyond grand canyon :lol:
  15. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    Actually it was a comment about unsustainable professions more than anything else. If sustainable management of WC collection was the only issue, the trade WOULD have a chance for a longer run. On the other hand, "sustainable collection" in an already compromised environment (threatened from other sources but threatened nonetheless) might be hard to assess.
  16. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    Besides, you've seen me, I'm nowhere near limber enough for that stretch!
  17. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    O.K derailing the thread even further :D

    Back in my mollusk days there was no viable way to produce spat without an excessive energy budget, to the point where it made an operation that was not pumping NSW non-viable. In light of that if we were to bring large aquaculture operations stateside to breed MO, would the energy budget that is required to raise animals to a marketable size out weigh the impact of collection with oversight? To add to that, how about breeding the animals in their native areas pumping seawater then shipping them stateside. What method would have the least impact to the overall environment while being commercially viable?
  18. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    I would say stateside would have the least impact all around in that case, although, non will ever be able to pump NSW in Cali unless you have a real insane wastewater remediation. The regs here just got much tighter on that. If any medication was used you can probably kiss dumping that water away. You'd probably have to distill it, take that salt and dispose of it as hazardous waste. Dumping medicated water into the tropics isn't a great thing either.

    Funny thing is, you just hit on one of the differences between SA and ORA. ORA draws from a saltwater well. SA has to produce their own saltwater.
  19. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    Interesting questions. I believe the highest carbon footprint for import is produced by something like the SA T/R ("SI") fish. But it may also have less of a direct impact on wild habitat and wild populations. Commercial viability of anything beyond straight wild collection is always iffy as anything additional adds to the price of the fish. I think it's hard to weigh carbon footprint impact vs direct environmental impact (collecting).

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