In a previous blog entry, I questioned some numbers regarding the collection of wild-caught Banggai cardinalfish that were printed in a recent article in Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine. This may have led some to think that I am not a fan of the magazine. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Tropical Fish Hobbyist is an established and respected aquarium publication with a reputation for informative articles, great photography and a track-record of unrivalled support of the hobby in general. I buy it, I read it, and I write for it. You should too.
While I have been somewhat frustrated with what I perceive as the magazine’s one-sided coverage of the Banggai issue, I should point out that Tropical Fish Hobbyist is not alone. Since Eric Borneman’s public call to boycott wild-caught Banggais at MACNA last autumn, it seems the entire marine aquarium hobby press has been on some sort of myopic mission. If you have been following my blog entries here, you know I think the mission may even have merit, but as journalists, I strongly believe we have an obligation to at least attempt to report objectively when we are covering a story such as this.
I should point out that I have shared my concerns directly with the editor of Tropical Fish Hobbyist, and I always appreciate the time he takes to talk through the issues with me (difficult writers can, of course, be the bane of the editor’s existence). Those “off-the-record” conversations are, perhaps, the best testament to the magazine, as they indicate the commitment of the editor to the well-being and health of the hobby.
So no, I am not promoting a boycott of Tropical Fish Hobbyist—I am simply advocating a wider ranging discussion when it comes to these very important issues that will have a lasting impact on the future of our hobby. Happy reading!