What’s your opinion on the collection and import of wild caught cichlids? These fish have long been part of the hobby. In fact, they may be becoming easier to acquire.
Whatever your views, see the American Cichlid Association’s official position statement on the issue below (from the ACA website), which was released back in September.
Official Position Statement on Wild Collection of Fish (23-Sep-2017)In light of recent controversies regarding the wild collection of aquarium fish, the American Cichlid Association (ACA) wishes to clarify the position of the organization on this subject.The ACA is an organization comprised of aquarists, scientists, educators, and conservationists. The ACA recognizes the need for both wild collection and aquaculture of fish for the aquarium hobby and research. Wild collection of fish is integral to ensuring genetic diversity in captive populations and promoting the introduction of new species and variants for the aquarium hobby and research.
As an organization dedicated to conservation, the ACA, in line with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), recognizes the conservation and economic necessity of sustainable-use fishery resources. Fishing for aquarium species generates sustainable income for fishers and ensures incentive to conserve habitat required to sustain the fishery.
It is the position of the ACA to support the continuation of sustainable aquarium fisheries worldwide, in addition to aquaculture.
Regardless of your personal or professional position, I believe it is important to consider all parts of the issue. As for me personally, I don’t purchase wild caught fish. However, I recognize and respect the conservation values of those who are proponents.