[Announcement]: Ceph Care Ethics

Thales

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As some people have been asking, it seems best that I clarify the reasons for the 'soft delete' request.

I asked that the thread be removed from the supporters area because I think I am uncomfortable with the idea that people would need to pay to read the thread.

I believe I disagree that the information in the Fontanelle/wunderpus thread is appropriate only for a restricted audience and have at least temporally moved the information to another site. I am not posting the link right now on TONMO because doing so would seem to violate the code of ethics, so feel free to contact me if you are looking for it.

While I agree with the spirit of the TONMO code of ethics, I am not sure I agree with the code in its current state or how it relates to the TONMO mission, and I am not sure I agree with the practical application it has had.

My opinions on the matter are currently and clearly in flux :biggrin2: and I want to make it very clear that I fully and completely respect and support TONMOs right to manage content of this site however TONMO sees fit.

RR
 


cthulhu77

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Well, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, Thales, and I do respect your experience in regards to the maintenance of captive cephalopods.

That being said, why is it o.k. to keep animals that may be on the brink of disappearing? I don't understand the rationale. The excitement brought on by the panderment of these animals has nothing to do with understanding them as wild animals in a specific habitat, and yes, I can agree that they are indeed beautiful and interesting, but what cost are we paying for them to be brought to the wholesaler's? As stated before:

are we asking ourselves "can I ? " rather than "should I?"
 

monty

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Thales;91369 said:
As some people have been asking, it seems best that I clarify the reasons for the 'soft delete' request.

I asked that the thread be removed from the supporters area because I think I am uncomfortable with the idea that people would need to pay to read the thread.

I believe I disagree that the information in the Fontanelle/wunderpus thread is appropriate only for a restricted audience and have at least temporally moved the information to another site. I am not posting the link right now on TONMO because doing so would seem to violate the code of ethics, so feel free to contact me if you are looking for it.

While I agree with the spirit of the TONMO code of ethics, I am not sure I agree with the code in its current state or how it relates to the TONMO mission, and I am not sure I agree with the practical application it has had.

My opinions on the matter are currently and clearly in flux :biggrin2: and I want to make it very clear that I fully and completely respect and support TONMOs right to manage content of this site however TONMO sees fit.

RR

Thanks for the explication. With hindsight, I am a bit dismayed that it could be interpreted as arbitrary, draconian, or "out of the blue." We've actually been involved in discussion for some time... in fact, one of the main motivators for the decision that it would be a good idea to adopt an ethics policy is that we frequently find that since TONMO has become a rather well-known site for various things cephy, we have both opportunity and unsought responsibility to try to figure out how to influence the world in a positive direction, or at least not accidentally cause harm. I think I can safely say that the staff as a whole is clear on the statement of ethics. I think, though, that we're open to suggestions on how to apply this ethical position to running the site...

I would very much like to involve the community in determining how this code of ethics should be communicated, implemented, and spread. I don't believe it is our intention to say that wunderpuses should be a taboo subject for discussion outside the supporters section, just that we need to make sure that we don't contribute to overcollection of these animals in the wild to the point of endangerment. In general, I see the code as something that should inspire people to be responsible in ceph-keeping, such that they help teach others about how to keep animals in responsible ways, and tell their LFSes when they are selling potentially endangered (or dangerous) animals.

Frankly, I find your pictures and videos of all your cephs are so well-produced, amazing, charismatic, well-paced, and entertaining that they're among my first choices for showing my friends how cool cephs are, and the Fontanelle pictures and videos are no exception. Obviously, this is largely a good thing for entertainment, and perhaps for raising the issue of a need for wunderpus conservation to the public, but there is a valid and worrisome concern that it will also lead to increased demand for these animals that could drive the collection of them to disastrous levels.

I think it's still an open question how best to address this concern. I've largely put my wunderp.us site on hold as well, because I'm not sure how to make a web site devoted to how amazing these critters are while also making it glaringly obvious that any demand for these animals as pets puts them at terrible risk for overcollection. I think the concern about the thread in question is that a lot of cocky people will say "that guy kept a wunderpus in his tank at home, and I'm a l33t F1sh Xpert, so I can do it" (or "I'm rich, so I'll pay my tank tender to keep a wunderpus in my bedroom tank to impress chicks").

I'm not sure how this works, but apparently there is frequently a "perfect storm" in the exotic/ornamental animal trade that leads to people living near the native habitat to suddenly realize that there is a resource that can be exploited for short-term profit, and if the animal doesn't have good natural defenses from over-collection, it can rapidly become endangered or extinct. I don't know how we can influence collectors directly to avoid this danger, but I believe that TONMO has an opportunity to have some influence on people's willingness to pay for these animals. I'd vastly prefer to have your cooperation to leverage this influence rather than to make you feel alienated or obligated to take your stories, pictures, and videos elsewhere.

Speaking only for myself, not for the whole staff, I think there must be a way that we can include the content in that thread in such a way that it can be enjoyed but that it is tightly bound to a message that it is vital that we remove the incentive of collectors to devastate the wild population, and this is incompatible with having any sort of demand or profit trickle back to them. If your biggest concern is that moving it to the supporters area would require people to pay to see it, perhaps other options could work instead: having a separate area where viewers must see a statement in order to view the images and videos, for example. Or, perhaps, tagging all the images with "wunderpuses should never be bought as pets" or similar. Again, this whole paragraph is my own ideas, not an official staff position, so Tony may well think that is not sufficient, but I'd very much like find out if there is an appropriate compromise that is consistent with the goals without needing to alienate, frustrate, or gag anyone, and that won't drive reasonable, enthusiastic participants away.

:twocents:
 

Tintenfisch

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monty;91384 said:
(or "I'm rich, so I'll pay my tank tender to keep a wunderpus in my bedroom tank to impress chicks")

Just clarifying on Monty's behalf, I'm sure he means 'rich [$]' not 'Rich.' :roll:
 

cthulhu77

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I think that the ethics statement of Tonmo is quite correct.

Animals such as wonderpus and mimics have absolutely no place in the private sector, any information gleaned from captivity is way offset by the damage caused by collection.
 


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I've been concerned from the very beginning about posting all the stuff about wunderpus on the open side of the forum because of the very reasons stated above. We all have vivid memories of trying to convince cocky wanabe ceph owners that no, it isn't ok to keep a vulgaris in a 10 gallon tank and feed it goldfish, and having them argue belligerently that everything will be fine, even though they just got the tank, have no live rock and are getting the octo next week. Do we really think that any statement about not buying wunderpus or mimics will have any effect, and do we really believe that the average lfs will refrain from ordering them if they get requests? Thales is an experienced ceph keeper who may have saved his octo from an untimely death by rescuing it before it was picked up by an lfs, but we don't want to encourage casual readers of Tonmo to attempt the same thing.
Thales, I'm sorry you feel like you have to remove all pictures , etc from Tonmo, but you are really an exceptional ceph keeper, and you should be aware that very few people can match your skills. We really don't need to be encouraging the collection of animals who's viability in their natural habitat is possibly already compromised.
Sharon :twocents:
 

Michael Blue

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As a longtime enthusiast (though from a distance) but a new member here; let me add my :twocents: ...

It only takes a new member here a few moments reading any of the information listed on this site to realize the staff here (and most of the members) are intelligent, honorable, dedicated people who care first and formost for the species described here, and secondly for the hobby. It only takes a few days to begin to see who the major contributors are, and what the overall stance in on specific species (flamboyant, blue ring, wunderpus, etc).

There has to be a way to convey care information and media of these animals while also informing the public of your stance on collecting and husbandry. So far I believe this site has done an admirable job of that, and I have NO doubt you will find a way to continue that.

One thing to consider since it appears you're considering allocating information on non-advised species to the "paid" area (where I will soon also be a member)...There isn't a single species here that can't be viewed as beautiful, exotic and highly desirable to collectors and hobbyists; whether it be S. bandensis, which is readily available here in captive-bred form, or the wunderpus, which is ill-advised for collecting. If you're going to restric information regarding certain species "to protect them" from over-eager and ill-informed collectors; the entire site may as well be made "paid only".

I'm not saying I know what the answer is, but I am saying I believe you'll find a way to include all information provided by members here in the non-paid site while also converying that certain species kept by certain responsible, highly experienced members are not recommended for others, and in fact are highly discouraged.

I hope that says what I mean to say, and that I haven't overstepped any boudaries. Just the thoughts of a relative outsider new to the site.

KEEP UP THE AMAZING WORK!!!

:notworth:
 

cthulhu77

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Michael, I think you will find that all of us agree with you in point...but the evidence that posting articles glorifying the keeping of some species, even though the wild poplulation numbers are not known, has indeed resulted in a huge upsurge in interest in these species of cephalopods. Last year, the keeping of wonderpus and mimics was unheard of...now, how many new threads do we have?

As I have stated before, personally, I don't agree with keeping captive cephs, but that is indeed my choice. I used to, and it would be throwing rocks at glass houses to say that I am right, and other's are wrong.
 

Thales

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cthulhu77;91693 said:
Michael, I think you will find that all of us agree with you in point...but the evidence that posting articles glorifying the keeping of some species, even though the wild poplulation numbers are not known, has indeed resulted in a huge upsurge in interest in these species of cephalopods. Last year, the keeping of wonderpus and mimics was unheard of...now, how many new threads do we have?

What evidence and what articles?

A search of 'wunderpus' and 'mimic' turns up very few threads about their husbandry, and most of those are from people new to TONMO who bought the animals at aquarium stores, asking for help in how to keep them alive.
 

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