Tang police = ethical husbandry and propagation of marine life

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by Roc, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    I still want a tazer!
  2. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    I hate Tang Police.

    I think we need Tang Police Police!

  3. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    I Poo on the Tang Police!
  4. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Yes. Being new, that's one of the things I've most appreciated - The amount of knowledge available and readily shared but at the end of the day, it's still your decision. There's that saying...maybe it comes to mind because I'm in the freakin desert right now...but 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink'...

    Tazers? I just tagged along with a guy to 'exercise' his 50cal machine gun. :D
  5. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    The issue is the tang police often telling people they are wrong in a manner that is aggressive and disrespectful. A lot of them even go further and will harass the person even when they respectfully reply that they disagree. Not only is this annoying, it's usually completely ineffective.

    I grew up in the commercial fishing industry, and had to come home from my summer's fishing and listen to people say untrue things about the industry I worked in. I have been screamed at by a date because I have killed so many fish and supposedly should feel terrible about that. (I even once got to watch Greenwarmongers blockade a fuel dock. This type of environmentalism is terrorism, and only harms the environmental lobby's agenda in the long run.) Since I have owned an aquarium, I occasionally meet people who think it is wrong. Especially for a reef aquarium. With all the press regarding the "endangered reefs" that is out there, the vast majority of people have been so misdirected it's impossible for them to believe this can be a sustainable hobby. Even people who haven't told me it's wrong have often asked me if I feel bad about taking "endangered animals from the ocean and driving them to extinction."

    There is no problem with people asking these questions in general. I think it's a good thing that people are concerned about these issues, though a bit sad that they have been fed so much misinformation. I politely attempt to explain how I feel, because I honestly feel that a properly managed harvest is actually beneficial to the reefs. I think the practice of creating unpatrolled or lightly patrolled "national parks" in economically unstable areas is a total disaster, and people need to be given a financial incentive to keep the reef alive or they will destroy it with remarkable apathy.

    Occasionally, of course, I will meet people who are rabidly anti fishing, anti marine wildlife harvest of any kind, and refuse to listen to facts but simply spout their own rhetoric over and over. These people I view as idiots, and try to get away from them as cleanly and quickly as possible. Their intended effect, if you asked them, would be to convince me that I was a horrible person and needed to stop fishing or enjoying marine life in a glass box. Their actions do nothing to actually achieve that goal, however. I still occasionally go to Alaska and fish a salmon season now and then, and the other fisheries I participated in were also well managed and sustainable. While I might not have any interest in going king crabbing again I still don't have any moral objection to it. I still think that well managed commercial fisheries do LESS damage to the environment than farming does, especially considering a HUGE portion of the reason salmon runs in the lower 48 have failed is because of agricultural develpoment and the taking of water for agricultural uses. Much more so than fishing itself. I still also keep marine life in glass boxes.

    This extrapolates out to the tang police situation. If you politely tell someone that they have a tank that is too small for a tang, and they politely tell you they disagree, you've done your part and continuing past that point to try to force the issue, especially in a degrading manner as most of the tang police do, will simply anger the person and cause them to view you as an idiot. Possibly, the person might even go on their own personal crusade to prove you wrong by stuffing 50 tangs in a 5 gallon bucket. Certainly it will not convince them they are doing something wrong. An additional result of your attack on the person will be that they begin to actively avoid you, while continuing to do exactly what you objected to. I don't think the club wishes to be regarded as a group of idiots or push prosepective members away into an environment where they have less sources of information about their chosen hobby. If they avoid the club, think for a minute about where else they might go to get their infomation? Many LFS will sell you a tang for a small tank, and tell you it's perfectly alright. Their opinion also carries more weight because the person is often in a store full of beautiful display tanks.

    Since I originally joined BARE, the way they handled these issues was one of the things that drew me to the club. BARE's founder Matt S. passionately believed in captive propogated corals, yet I never once heard him attack someone who bought wild corals. He simply maintained a tank with all captive grown corals, and kept it beautiful. He would excitedly explain to anyone interested where each of his corals came from, and that it was a captive grown fragment. That was his argument, and it was more effective than any screaming match.

    When I came to my very first BARE meeting, I brought with me a goniopora baby that I had bought, and wanted to hand over to a more experienced reefer because I had read how challenging they were. Matt took it and put it in his own tank, and didn't say more than a very gentle recommendation of a book I could borrow from the club's library to read up on some of the corals that don't do well in the hobby. The book was "Aquarium Corals" by Eric Bourneman. I ended up buying my own copy of that book, and it was an extremely helpful resource.

    As I got to know Matt more and learned how passionate he was about captive propogation, I was struck by how effectively he handled the situation. My purchase of a wild coral with a very poor track record was the very issue that annoyed him about the reefing hobby, yet he handled it in such a manner that it took me several months to realize how much this must have bothered him. The way he resolved the situation may not have made me a full on captive coral convert, but it did make me respect him and through that respect I paid much more attention to his opinions than I ever would have otherwise.

    By founding BARE, Matt did more to advance the responsible keeping of marine life than the tang police ever have, ever will and are ever capable of. By keeping his own tank to his standards, and promoting coral trading as much as possible he pursued his goal much more effectively than simply being vocal and aggressively arguing that people shouldn't buy wild corals. The act of being nonjudgemental and simply being an example is very difficult for people to see as effective, but it is often the most powerful method you could use.

    If you object to tangs in small tanks, then maintain a small tank without a tang in it. Make sure it's beautiful, well kept, and healthy. If someone new to the hobby amd has a tang in a small tank because their LFS told them it's ok, make a simple comment directing them to a well written article about the subject, make a comment that you don't think it works well, and leave it at that. Many times, people will check out your tank thread on their own to see what kind of hobbyist is giving them advice. If they like what they see, they will desire to have a tank like yours and copy your methods.

    This pattern of leading by example is an order of magnitude more effective than any aggressively confrontational tactic. It also has the added bonus of not making you look like an idiot.

    Sorry for the book, this is something I've always felt strongly about.
  6. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    Tang police needs a badge.
  7. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    And he knew how to milk the last drop of syrup out of the BARE snowcone machine!
    (And if you remember that inside joke, then you're a confirmed Bay Area Reef Enthusiast survivor!)
  8. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

  9. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    Worth quoting.
    good read with the personal anecdotes.
    Almost as good as reality TV.
    I agree.
    I want a tazer.
  10. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    Why are there no corals with 'tazer' in the name?
    And if I name one, can I still sell it for $10 or would I be forced to raise it's price?
    Just some random coffee musings...
  11. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    What, never heard of green and yellow tazer eye zoas? J/k
  12. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    So I heard on the interwebs that's it's $5/polyp/word in the name.
    So are the 'green and yellow tazer eye zoas' $30 a polyp?
    I'd buy one if you can guarantee it'll grow 20 more in 6 months that'll all sell for $30-$35 a polyp?
    Got pics?
    Will you deliver?
    If I buy 2 polyps can I get a deal?
    Can I paypal you 2% of the price to hold them for a few weeks?
    I texted you and left a message on your VM and posted on your FB wall and it's been 35 seconds and still no reply. You're gonna force me to leave bad feedback on RC!

    (sorry, the coffee is very strong today!)
  13. Raddogz

    Raddogz Guest

    Certainly if you come across an unknown coral you got to name it that :)
  14. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    Dunno, but here is the Don't Taze Me! bromeliad :D

  15. Thales

    Thales Past President

    Anyone have any examples of a marine ornamental properly managed harvest that is more that someone saying its properly managed? :D
  16. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Love bromeliads! Had quite a collection umtil mom killed them all when I went to college. Got most of them at Shelldance in Pacifica before they went to orchids. The only one that survived is a Vrisia hieroglyphica that's 20 years old now and sits in a japanses maple. Never has bloomed.

  17. tuberider

    tuberider Guest


    Just throwing that one out there....
  18. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    I don't know...Pacific Natural Gas is full of airheads.
  19. Thales

    Thales Past President

    Yeah thats the current goldenchild - but I am not aware of any actual followup on their claims. I am very interested to talk to Ret and the SS guys at MACNA this year. Also, IMO, the real test will be 1 and 2 and 3 years from now. I am pretty skeptical because we have seen so many outfits say they are managed properly, but it is unclear if any of them actually walk the walk they are talking. :D
  20. bookfish

    bookfish Guest


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