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  #51  
Old 10/10/2007, 10:49 AM
Aussie_hippie_2 Aussie_hippie_2 is offline
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Why then, exactly, if they are so worried about the declining population, did they not just release the whale sharks are buying them? It seems like capitalism disguised as conservation to me...
  #52  
Old 10/11/2007, 01:17 PM
Lanceafer Lanceafer is offline
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Normally I never post on thread like this but I feel this needs to be said.

We are all here because we love the marine life that we keep. Those of you who say that Atlanta was irresponsible for creating this display need to get off your high horse. Have you ever bought anything for your tank that was wild caught? Think back because I know that many people have been in this hobby for years and there is no way everything they have ever owned was tank raised, and for that matter anything we have that is tank raised is only a few generations old. So why not take your tanks and release them because they were all wild once and some of the species we keep have since become endangered because of us. Just about everything we know about or hobby has come from trial and error. The deaths here were and error that I'm assuming will not be repeated.
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  #53  
Old 10/11/2007, 10:14 PM
fishdoc11 fishdoc11 is offline
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Unfortunately from I have heard through a fellow student that is going into public aquarium medicine and has first hand knowledge of the situation is the reason they are having the problems they are having now is because they have neglected to quarantine. I understand it is difficult to setup a display for whale sharks much less a QT to keep them but a cardinal rule for keeping any type of live animal is QTing them before being introduced into the general population. No matter how hard that rule is to follow in your particular situation it is still very important and should be done to prevent costly and even catastrophic results to the animals ones care. Apparently they have introduced a parasite (a type of fluke if I remember correctly) that is only susceptible to one type of medication. The flukes in the system have developed a resistance to this and the whale sharks that have died have been treated with much higher than normal doses of this medication to try and rid them, at least temporarily, of the flukes. This has ended up killing the whale sharks.
Unfortunately the Aquarium is now stuck with these parasites forever and they actually have to routinely physically remove them from several species every few days.
I also need to say I think the aquarium is a great idea and has some very nice points. It is obvious however from my visit and from what I have heard that husbandry issues are an ongoing concern.

Chris
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Last edited by fishdoc11; 10/11/2007 at 10:20 PM.
  #54  
Old 11/04/2007, 01:11 PM
Fishkeeper101 Fishkeeper101 is offline
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This is truly sad, and I could understand the outcry for them to stop keeping them.

However, it seems that the Public in general, needs to see something to conserve it.
I volunteered at a local aquarium for just short of 5 years (through most of my teenage years) and I saw that people had no idea about what was going on in the oceans, and cared even less, until they saw that 300 lb tuna swimming around, and the sharks that are caught in the nets and thrown overboard dying.
Its unfortunate, BUT I believe that in keeping these animals, and (even with good intentions) prolonging its death, if someone learned something, anything about these animals, its death was not in vain. It could have been a kid, who will grow up to be the next politician to cry for conservation. It could be an adult, who decides to tell all their friends about it, and in that stops the purchase of canned tuna, or the harvesting of whale sharks.

A marketing ploy? Perhaps. but in the end, even out of something as terrible as this, some good is bound to come out of it.

I know its been quoted already, but "In then end, you conserve what you love, you love what you know, and you know only what you have been taught..." holds true.
These aquariums are teaching something. And thats the only way that conservation can happen.

Just my 2 cents.
  #55  
Old 11/13/2007, 02:43 AM
hahnmeister hahnmeister is offline
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I said it when I saw them in person 'those things are dead'. I posted it here on RC as well, and got arguments from all sorts about how 'I know someone who works there and they have the most state of the art vet staff and scientists taking care of them'... yeah... like the Japanese didnt when they tried... lol. The record is 5-6 years in captivity... for a fish that lives many many times that.

All I can say is: told you so. That place reminds me of Petco every time I am there.

Its a shame, and all I can say is I hope they do not try to get another. Sharks in general shouldnt be kept in captivity, the electrical interference they endure to their sensitive electrical systems is equal to us trying to sleep at a party.

Maybe they can make better use of that oceanarium for something else. They should put jewfish in there, and some other wicked cool fish you dont normally see or hear about (Like that guitarfish... that thing is coolest thing in there). I wonder if giant squid could live in there... lol. A mola mola would be another one. Manta?
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  #56  
Old 12/05/2007, 08:08 AM
Cristina_j Cristina_j is offline
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I can't wait to go see the Georgia Aquarium. I've heard it's amazing. I'm going to Macnna XX in ATL and am staying an extra couple of days to be a tourist.
  #57  
Old 12/05/2007, 10:49 AM
mysterybox mysterybox is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cristina_j
I can't wait to go see the Georgia Aquarium. I've heard it's amazing. I'm going to Macnna XX in ATL and am staying an extra couple of days to be a tourist.

It is an amazing place. I've been there over 20 times, and I still get that same "butterflies in the stomach" feeling. You will not be disappointed.

Don't you find it funny at the hypocrisy going on in this thread coming from Aquarists? I mean, doesn't every aquarist have an animal die that maybe they shouldn't have kept? or the conditions weren't right? etc?

Anyway, pm me if you need any info.
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  #58  
Old 12/05/2007, 03:40 PM
hahnmeister hahnmeister is offline
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I suppose I hold public aquariums to a higher standard since I live near the Shedd.
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  #59  
Old 12/05/2007, 09:46 PM
TypicalNoah TypicalNoah is offline
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I think it's really cool to hear from all these perspectives, but it's difficult to keep the energy and emotions down and just take these opinions with a grain of salt. We'll just have to see how captive whale shark technology and medicine develops at institutions like this one. People's careers and public interests are based on this; much good work will come of it.
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  #60  
Old 12/06/2007, 12:04 AM
hahnmeister hahnmeister is offline
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Thats sort of the problem though... people's careers and public interest. It was people's careers and public interest that has resulted in the extinction of many species. The interests of the Whale Shark are not assigned a monetary value.

Now, Im not going all 'left-wing' here, but I think its stupid to keep a fish that rare and large in captivity when it will only live a small fraction of its natural life at best. Perhaps learning more about them in the wild before we try to kill them in our back yards is a better idea. There are 'critter cams' after all...
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  #61  
Old 12/06/2007, 12:46 AM
mysterybox mysterybox is offline
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you've already made your point numerous times, & obviously you're on the left side of "public opinion", however, those fish were about to be slaughtered. I cannot change such an opinion as closed minded as yours, but I do ask you how many million people have now seen those creatures and are now in "awe" of them? Don't ya think the first time a dolphin was kept in captivity there were issues? Don't ya think the first time a killer whale was kept in captivity there were issues? Don't ya think the first time that a home aquarist kept a acropora that there were issues? Sea Horses? Alligators? Pandas? etc?

Not all Zoo's are great. Not all Aquariums are great. Not all people are great. However, not everyone that differs in your opinion are evil either. 20 to 30 years ago, things like killer whales, dolphins and rays were getting the same comments from closed minded people like you. Now, it's "taken for granted"! What if we could get them to breed? WOW! 4 whale sharks that were going to be slaughted are saved, and now could save the species? Do you know anyone that works there? Does it really look, feel, & breath like a Petco? Come on, no one that has been there would "buy" your "CNN" point of view of the largest aquarium in the world. get a life. opinions on bloggs are a "dime a dozen"
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  #62  
Old 12/06/2007, 04:45 AM
hahnmeister hahnmeister is offline
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Wow, you really took that to the personal level, didnt you?
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  #63  
Old 12/06/2007, 06:09 AM
fishdoc11 fishdoc11 is offline
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[flamealert]

thanks, Chris
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  #64  
Old 12/06/2007, 08:19 AM
griss griss is offline
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Let's keep the thread on topic and not resort to personal attacks. Further violations will result in the thread being closed and the possibility of people losing their posting privileges here on RC.
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  #65  
Old 12/06/2007, 10:49 AM
mysterybox mysterybox is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by hahnmeister
Wow, you really took that to the personal level, didnt you?
sorry, didn't mean too! My writing expression sometimes comes across exagerated to make a point, and I don't realize that as I'm doing it. After I saw the unexpected responses, I realized that it probobly became too animated. I just reread it, and yes.......that was maybe magnified 1,000 X too strong & pointed. So, I apologize.
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  #66  
Old 12/06/2007, 06:08 PM
mysterybox mysterybox is offline
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Do you accept my apology?
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Quote:
Originally posted by mysterybox
sorry, didn't mean too! My writing expression sometimes comes across exagerated to make a point, and I don't realize that as I'm doing it. After I saw the unexpected responses, I realized that it probobly became too animated. I just reread it, and yes.......that was maybe magnified 1,000 X too strong & pointed. So, I apologize.
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  #67  
Old 12/07/2007, 01:32 AM
hahnmeister hahnmeister is offline
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Sure. No problem. I think people's response when written lacks the meta-semantics that goes with a real conversation, so some people's words get 'painted' as being rather extreme when they really arent... its just a person's candor being taken as apathy, extremism, etc.

In the next year or so, I will most likely be moving to Marietta, and then you will know Im not as 'extreme' as my posts may suggest.

I have taken the 'behind the scenes' tours of the Shedd, Georgia, New England, Baltimore, and Monterrey Bay Aquariums, and the Georgia was the most 'commercial' of them all. Granted, its the newest, but Marcus set the place up to make money as a self-sustaining entity... as in, its there for profit somewhat (at least more so than ones like the Shedd that get city/state funding FOR research). The place is deep in corporate sponsorship as well, and some of the displays just made me think 'this is wrong'. Im sorry it sounds so extreme, but it wasnt like when I visit other public aquariums. All I can hope is that I am wrong, and that its a work in progress.

Of course, the other thing I wondered is 'how can they build the worlds largest aquarium in a city that is supposed to run out of water in 7 years or less?'

Well, guess what... several of the displays are being closed down, and drained to eliminate water use this year.
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  #68  
Old 12/07/2007, 05:35 AM
SShindell SShindell is offline
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Actually, your facts are pretty off. I just finished writing the book on the Georgia Aquarium, have volunteered over 500 hours there, and am pretty familiar with the place.

No exhibits are closed down. We drained the water in the wishing well around the eating area to help during the drought.

Atlanta is not running out of water, and no reasonable person thinks that will happen in 7 years. This IS a drought, and it IS a large metropolitan area, but come on, hyperbole ala chicken little is not necessary.

I would LOVE to hear your ideas of how to quarrentine whale sharks.

All of the aquariums you mentioned are very good, and many of our staff come from there. You may also note that the main problem of most aquariums is debt load - something we did not want to be burdened with in the future. GAI does not make profit, but it does stay out of debt.

Look at the GAI website regarding our research, however it would be nuts to think that an aquarium that just opened would have research at that time. The first 1-2 years was devoted to opening and getting the exhibits in order, and now the research is starting more in full force. Shedd, while a great aquarium (built with Georgia marble, I might add, and also built by a big industrialist) has 100 years of history, so the comparisons are difficult, don't you think?
  #69  
Old 12/07/2007, 09:41 AM
hahnmeister hahnmeister is offline
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How to QT whale sharks... leave them be, lol. Its a large animal... most likely needs more than a football field to feel at home.

I heard that more than just the eating area water was removed... Ill have to recheck I suppose. I heard some displays were getting shut down as well. I havent been there since March though.

The Georgia water table is supposed to be 'tapped beyond capacity though' due to Atlantas rapid expansion... MSNBC, AP, and even CNN have reported on it. I dont know how unreasonable it is to believe considering every summer there is drought, Atlanta has a '3 month supply left'. Atlanta is part of the 30% that is supposed to be under "exceptional drought" territory now... so Id say its a matter of time. Sure, water conservation measures are in place, but that doesnt mean that building the worlds largest aquarium is a great idea. I thought Marcus might have run a pipeline directly from the ocean, and built a desalinization plant to sell water to the city when it runs low on water... but I guess not.

If an aquarium is new, and I agree... I wouldnt expect it to have much in the way of established research and 'getting the systems figured out'. But then wouldnt it be a good idea to wait on the 'tricky' species until a later date, when the aquarium doesnt have to risk as much?
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  #70  
Old 12/07/2007, 10:36 AM
SShindell SShindell is offline
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So, other than feeling that:

The Georgia Aquarium should not have been built the way it is (but you still go to it),

Should not accept corporate money,

Should not have had whale sharks,

Should have spent billions on a pipeline and a desaltation plant 350 miles away,

Should obtain only the animals you feel appropriate and exercise the care you feel necessary on your timeline,

and we should worry about running out of water (even though this does not appear to dampen your move to Atlanta).

You have no other opinions?

There are realities in doing a project of this scale. Critiques from afar with inaccurrate information from everything from whale shark husbandry to desaltation plants are not useful.

Last edited by SShindell; 12/07/2007 at 10:54 AM.
  #71  
Old 12/07/2007, 12:31 PM
TypicalNoah TypicalNoah is offline
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Thanks SShindell. Seriously, 'hahnmeister,' breathe man.
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  #72  
Old 12/07/2007, 12:33 PM
fishdoc11 fishdoc11 is offline
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The water problems in Atlanta are related to their being reliant on one water source (Lake Lanier) and unchecked growth. It would seem that city planners and developers are to blame for that.

As far as quarantining a whale shark I personally don't have any revolutionary ideas on that. The point still stands that a basic concept with the health of animals in our care, whether it be in a zoo, aquarium or wherever is that one ALWAYS quarantines.
I imagine not quarantining the sharks was a matter of money because of the huge space required and the aquarium choose to take that risk (you can correct me if I am wrong SShindell). The Ga Aquarium still choose to try and keep those animals.
When one takes a risk like that in a public setting on a large scale and the consequences are not good one should be willing to accept a certain amount of criticism. Is some (most?) of the criticism based more on emotion and unfair? Sure it is. That being said IMO some criticisms are valid and well considered.
I will state once again the Ga Aquarium seems like a place with a great deal of potential and hopefully over the years some of the problems it has had in it's infancy can be worked out. I know I will personally go back when I have the time and I expect things will be improved upon from my last visit

Chris
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Last edited by fishdoc11; 12/07/2007 at 12:39 PM.
  #73  
Old 12/07/2007, 12:56 PM
SShindell SShindell is offline
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Thanks for your comments.

The whale sharks were available when they were available - there happened to be two caught by fisherman for food soon before the GAI opening and they met the size requirements for transportation. Four more were added later under the same cirumstances. They were held in an outdoor enclosure to ensure they were eating and healthy, and then transported from Taiwan to Atlanta (a LONG trip). There was no where to put them that would be appropriate other than in their final destination.

The four whale sharks that are in the exhibit are doing great. The exhibit is 3 times the size of the whale shark exhibit in Asia. One of their whale sharks has been there 12 years.

Aquariums are always evolving. It takes a while to get them dialed in. It is not like you buy these animals off the shelf.

Steve
  #74  
Old 12/08/2007, 03:21 AM
steven_dean17 steven_dean17 is offline
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What's a Whale Shark?
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  #75  
Old 12/08/2007, 06:54 AM
SShindell SShindell is offline
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the largest fish in the ocean. Do a google search or look at www.georgiaaquarium.org and you will find a lot of information about it.


Steve
 

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