I got something very important wrong, and I apologize

By Jeremy Gosnell 5 years agoNo Comments

On March 11, 2016 I published an article entitled, National Geographic checks facts at the door. It was in response to a Nat Geo article, The Horrendous Ways Fish Are Captured for your Aquarium, with Cyanide. In the article, a Nat Geo staff writer claims that 90% of all marine aquarium fish are collected using sodium cyanide, a process that is known to both kill fish, corals and devastate natural reefs. After reading the article, I was shocked to think that 90% of marine aquarium fish are collected with cyanide, as it’s well known among aquarists that cyanide collected fish often die shortly after acquisition. In my experience as an aquarist (which spans over 15 years) I certainly haven’t seen 90% of my fish die within a short period of time. This however is entirely anecdotal, and only based on my own personal experience.

I began looking through the evidence Nat Geo used to compile their articles. At the time, it appeared to me that there was a misrepresentation of data, used by Nat Geo. Since the article was published, I’ve spoken to several people far more aware of the situation with cyanide collection than I. I am formally rescinding the statements I made, in the article referenced above.

After several months of researching and dialogue with various individuals, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s difficult to know with any certainty, just what percentage of marine aquarium fish are collected with cyanide. I have also come to accept, that I am unqualified to make statements about the use of cyanide in the collection of marine aquarium fish. Without any first-hand knowledge of the situation, I cannot determine with any accuracy, percentages of fish collected with cyanide. Is it 90% as Nat Geo suggest, I simply do not know.

To conclude, I am attaching two films. The first is a hippo tang’s journey from the coral reef to a home aquarium. It is produced by the Sustainable Aquarium Industry Association, which is a European non-profit. The other is a film entitled Deadly Spray in the Archipelago, produced by Nanang Sujana, an Indonesian filmmaker and marine biologist. It was after reaching out to Nanang, that I decided a formal retraction of my statements was in order. I apologize for the confusion.


[vimeo 48282625 w=640 h=360]
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/48282625″>Deadly Spray in the Archipelago</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user2512259″>Nanang Sujana</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

MAT from A to Z / Dory’s way to home aquaria (Finding Dory)

The Sustainable Aquarium Industry Association (SAIA) has launched an extensive campaign to protect the palette surgeonfish on occasion of the release of Disney’s animated feature film “Finding Dory” on June 17th, 2016. Find more information: www.saia-online.eu


 Jeremy Gosnell

  (127 articles)

Jeremy Gosnell has been an aquarist for nearly all of his life. While studying sociology in college, he began writing for Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine, moving over to Fish Channel and Aquarium Fish International in 2005. In 2008 he began composing feature articles for Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine, and today serves as TFH's monthly saltwater Q&A writer, and is a member of the peer review content editorial board.After becoming a PADI certified dive master and specialty instructor, Jeremy trained with the Beautiful Oceans Academy as a science diver, specializing in coral reef biology, ecosystems and food chain hierarchies. He worked with Beautiful Oceans to promote scientific diving and underwater GPS coral reef mapping and bio-diversity studies for both scientific study and recreational dive charters.He holds various scuba related certifications including PADI master scuba diver, dive master, specialty instructor, DAN dive emergency specialist, marine wildlife injury specialist and several TECH REC technical certifications, including deep water diving, re-breather diving and cave diving.In his spare time Jeremy is a science fiction writer, and his debut novel Neptune's Garden was released in 2010. His second novel is being released later in 2015. Both books are oceanic in nature, exploring the existence of the mythical kingdom of Atlantis, from a scientific viewpoint.

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