End Production of Genetically Modified Glow-in-the-Dark Fish

Electric Green Glo Tetra

Target: Yorktown Technologies

Goal: Protect native species by ending the production of glow-in-the-dark fish

Yorktown Technologies first marketed a glow-in-the-dark fish in 2003. Due to its popularity, the company has introduced a new fish called the Electric Green Tetra fish that turns neon under a black light. The fish, which normally don’t change color or glow, have been modified with genetic material from coral that do glow. Genetically modified organisms are a hot topic in the agricultural industry, and are now raising concerns in the pet industry. The new Electric Green fish are raising concerns for environmentalists because they are very capable of surviving in US waterways, particularly those in South Florida. If they interbreed with fish that are genetically similar, the fluorescent gene could spread throughout the ecosystem, potentially changing its entire dynamic.

Although these fish are never meant to see open water, many will be set free when the novelty of owning them wares off. The introduction of the Burmese python in South Florida is an example of what can happen to an ecosystem when pets are released. While the Electric Green fish is not as threatening physically as a python, it still has the potential to become an invasive species and threaten the balance of the ecosystem. There is always the chance that its added characteristic could give it an advantage to out-compete the native species for food and mates. No research has been done on this, so the outcomes are unknown and not worth the risk.

No matter the species, pets are a large responsibility that should not be taken lightly. They should also not be created as a novelty item. Please sign this petition to end the creation, through genetic modification, of the Electric Green Tetra fish, and thereby stop any risk for it becoming an invasive species.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Yorktown Technologies,

Your new fish, the Electric Green Tetra fish, is following on the heels of the popularity of the GloFish. However, the Electric Green fish poses a threat that the GloFish did not. Environmentalists are concerned that the Electric Green fish is very capable of surviving in US waterways. Genetically modified organisms are a large source of debate in food and agriculture because of their negative environmental impacts and unknown effects. The Electric Green fish will pose a similar problem if it becomes an invasive species. If they interbreed with genetically similar fish, they could disrupt the entire ecosystem.

Although these fish are not meant to see open water, inevitably some will be abandoned as pets and make their way to the wild. Catastrophic effects of this phenomenon were seen with the introduction of the Burmese python on South Florida. While the Electric Green fish does not pose a physical threat as the python does, it still has the potential to spread the coral gene it is modified with to other fish, the effects of which are unknown.

Pets should not be a novelty item. Please end the creation, through genetic modification, and sale of the Electric Green Tetra fish before it threatens native freshwater species.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: somethingsphishy.com

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3 Comments

  1. I’m sorry but this argument is beyond weak. I agree production should be stopped but such a juvenile argument is only hurting the cause. Please, educate yourself and find some facts to back you up. You sond like a 14-year old without a clue of how anything works.

    • In an open forum perhaps a more productive comment would have included your own views and reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the content. The fish has potential for becoming an invasive species in freshwater habitats which are often fragile and support a wide diversity of life at many different stages. A more fundamental problem with the fish is the use of genetic transformation for the purposes of making a novelty pet. These, and perhaps other arguments, support the cause, while unsupported criticisms that divide the supporters do nothing to help.

  2. The glofish lay millions of eggs, and only some of the fish exhibit the commercial “glow” and shiny color qualities the company eventually sells to pet stores across the country. The fish that do not exhibit the right colors are discarded and emptied into ponds where they quickly die because the water temperature and living conditions are not always appropriate for tropical aquarium fish. Also, many predators such as birds quickly pick off and eat the live fish as soon as they are discarded in the ponds. If this company was running a puppy mill for golden retriever dogs, they would likely feed any puppy to alligators that did not meet their fur color requirements.

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