• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

Responsibilities associated with keeping and breeding cephs

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Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
Dallas Texas
([Edit by tonmo]: I moved this from a thread over in Marketplace. What ensues is a discussion / debate related to responsible cephkeeping and breeding)

If you can't sell all of them, will you be able to put them back in the ocean, in a place where bimacs are found?

Nancy;82742 said:
If you can't sell all of them, will you be able to put them back in the ocean, in a place where bimacs are found?


thats not a good idea!!
hvant you ever heard NOT to put things BACK into the ocean!!! They have prob. come across alot of other parasites and other things that arent native to where he would be letting them go!
not a good idea IMO
FF218, I'm not a ceph-keeping expert but I know the Seattle Aquarium has done this with their cephs in the past.
Right. I didn't say they didn't. Virtually all life forms harbor parasitic animals, but not all are harmful, or deadly. He could have used NSW, then the same parasites would be on the wild animals as well.
Captive bred animals are not allowed to be released into the wild. Period.

The only times that they have been have met with mixed results, and usually a failure. The problem is, why are these octopus being produced if there is no where for them to go?
This reminds me of the "burmese python" problem....people just bred them willy-nilly, and when they couldn't sell them, released them.
Now we have breeding populations of them in the wild. Nice job.
well, a not-so-minor difference is that bimacs are native to southern California. But the points about picking up parasites and pathogens and whatnot from other animals in tanks are still valid. It's not clear whether it's cruel to release a tank-raised bimac into the wild, either... I know it's questionable to release a cat that's lived indoors and been fed cat food for its whole life and expect it to learn to fend for itself, although I think most of the time they can adapt; I'm not sure where octopuses would fall on that aspect...

Anyway, releasing the burmese pythons in Burma would seem like a better idea than, say, Wisconsin. Likewise for those Snakehead fish.
I firmly believe that once an animal is removed from the wild, it is genetically "dead". Rehabilitation sometimes works, if the animal is released exactly where it was taken, but the mortality rate is over 75% for all of the rehabed animals in Arizona that are released back.

The big problem was addressed quite well by Crichton a few years back, when he stated that: "scientists only ask themselves can we, rather than should we." (to paraphrase)

I don't breed all of my captive animals. There is no market for Kribensis here, or for albino garter snakes...what would I do with the young? Cull them or release them? Better to not breed them at all until I have a buyer. The same goes for the dwarf octopus we were working with...I checked with all of the aquarium distributors, and none of them were interested at all. So we cancelled the effort.
Better to study them in the wild, and it gives me another excuse to get down to Mexico more often.

Animal Mother;82810 said:
To be fair, I don't think a lot of people "choose" to breed octopus...

Hmmm. It sounds like several of us have though, doesn't it? Responsibility for the animals you rip out of the wild is not light.
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