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Biology project - ethics of GloFish
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Joined: 29 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.04.18(Mon)10:55    Post subject: Biology project - ethics of GloFish Reply with quote

I am doing a Biology project on gloFish, the red zebras. I know that there are a lot of ethical issues with them and I was just wondering if I could get some opinions. Thanks!
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life...
Gen. 1:20
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: 2005.04.18(Mon)14:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm honestly, not entirely sure what to think of these things. On one hand, the fish appear relatively unharmed and are said to be as healthy as other fish. These aren't fish with shortened lifespans or have had to suffer terribly by being injected with enormous needles or bathed in acid and dyed. So, it doesn't seem to be hurting them any...
On the other hand, it does seem a bit abusive in the sense that the eggs were genetically enhanced and it's a matter of humans once again using science to altar or create another species. How is playing with genetics different than cloning animals? Some people are extremely offended by that. Yet, we play with genetics all the time by breeding guppy A to guppy B to produce guppy C... It's all rather grey area, isn't it? I'm still in the grey until I find a reason to jump on either side. I think people oppinions are going to weigh on the side of our individual preferences and to what degree we feel man should interfere with nature.
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Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: 2005.04.18(Mon)15:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I see it, is that they were originally created for a scientific benefit. Now you can breed them to each other, and get glofish with no artificial means. I don't know if some are still engineered or if they are all line bred now. In anycase, I think that they serverd a valuable purpose, and if excess can be bred to make a pretty aquarium fish, its a nice bonus.

Its not like it was created just for profit. Plus, its not a hybrid, or a long fin varient that can hardly swim. The position is somewhat odd for me, I don't even like most albino varients. My mice had black eyes (very pretty, all white, black eyes!) my bronze cories are bronze, my convicts have stripes, and even my platies don't have mickey mouse on their tails.

If the prices would come down, I would have to get some, they look nice, and still act like the clowns that Danios are.
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: AZ

PostPosted: 2005.04.18(Mon)19:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand that these fish had a purpose in science and labs before they were released into the pet trade, and it's the last part that I have a problem with. Granted, these fish aren't hybrids in the sense of someone mixing the gametes of different fish together. They were genetically made to have this "glow" for a purpose of science....I simply don't like the general idea of someone deciding to make a profit off of this in the name of "pretty fish."
But if you tame me, then we shall need each other....You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: My imagination.

PostPosted: 2005.04.24(Sun)1:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just noticed this topic, hope it's not too late...
What about the possibility that some of these fish might be accidentally released into the wild? When non-native species are released into the wild, all sorts of unexpected and usually terrible ecological consequences can result. Could they out-compete a native species? How else could they mess up the environment? And if they were released into the native habitat of normal zebra danios, could they interbreed? What would this do to wild populations? This is the sort of thing people do not think about when "creating" a new type or variation of creature. I'm sure there are many other points I'm not thinking of right now, but that should give you an idea.
Also, I seem to remember an editorial in a TFH issue from a few months ago that talked about the ethics of glow fish. Check it out.
Pretty as a pictus!
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Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: 2005.04.24(Sun)10:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aside frome their glowing red color, they are exactly the same as all other Zebra danios. Our streams are not over run with danios, so I am not worried.

Now, for native habitats, I am not sure how they cross breed with normal ones. Nor am I even sure they are sold in those areas of Asia.
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