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Ethics of the Aquarium Trade

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Natures Talk Show

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Join Ray Owczarzak in welcoming an old friend Doug Ludemann.  Doug and I worked together a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.  (Sorry for the reference). Doug has years of experience in the public and private aquarium fields and currently owns and operates Fish Geeks. 

I’ve wanted to do a show on the ethical issues involved in the aquarium hobby and field for some time.  When I first began my pet trade career at the age of 16 at a small mom and pop shop in Illinois, I was wide eyed and ignorant to the dark side of the trade.  I sold snake head after snake head destined for home tanks without any thought about the possible impacts.  Now that I live in Maryland, where the snake head makes advances year after year in waterways, I wonder about my past actions.

What other dark secrets are there in the aquarium hobby?  I think, in retrospect, that any financial endeavor that requires the sale of live animals inherently has a few dark secrets.  In fact, they are too numerous to mention in an hour show, but we will give it a shot. 

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the industry and hobby have many ethical companies and the preponderance of hobbyists are top notch.  But as the saying goes, a few bad apples…  Hopefully the discussion will provide some food for thought on the businesses that listeners use.  Making ethical choices are up to the end consumer.  We as a people have the best chance at guiding the future.  So don’t just sit back be a Witness, but make a change for the better.  As always, I hope that people join in the conversation and call in with thoughts and stories.  

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