which do you save?

a hagfish - not the prettiest face in the world it has to be said
@jb78000 (15163)
December 3, 2009 5:32am CST
out of 3 fishes two are going to become extinct and you get to decide which. the choices are the great white shark, the bluefin tuna and the hagfish (photo at end if you are not sure what this is). so which do you save, which do you abadondon and why? the second set of sea beasties you have to choose between are fur seals, bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales. same question. why do you think you, or people in general, might consider one species more valuable than another - intelligence, edibility, the aww factor, relative importance in its ecosystem, what?
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12 responses
@Torunn (5298)
• Norway
1 Aug 10
Great white shark, the bluefin tuna and the hagfish Hmm, definitly the great white shark. Predators are important in any ecosystem, and the great white is very predatorlike. Fur seals, bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales Hmm, more tricky this one. According to one of my fathers friends, seal taste like whale. I've never tasted seal, so I don't know if that's true, but if it is, we'd only need one. However, I don't know it this applies to all kinds of whales and seals so I'm really not sure. The fur of seals is apparantly important to the inuits and eskimoes, but the Brits are eating all the cod as fish and chips so there's not a lot of fish left and thin seals are caught in the nest of fishers in norhtern Norway. (as for overfishing, lets not mention the neighbours in the east) But, bottle-nosed dolphins, aren' those the ones they think have very sophisticated echo-location? Can't remember correct name for the algorithms they supposedly use, but I'm pretty sure they should be preserved. They use second degree something, I'm quite certain that if the whales and seals use something similar, they only use first-degree. So I'm saving the dolphins. I'm not quite sure the great white shark would agree, doesn't it prefer seals to dolphins?
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@jb78000 (15163)
1 Aug 10
tuna are predators too. i think sharks probably prefer seals, dolphins are a bit big and have a nasty tendency of ramming sharks. i think great whites would like meals that are less bother to be honest.
@Torunn (5298)
• Norway
1 Aug 10
Yes, they probably lazy just like almost everyone else. Like when people send stupid white sheep out into the forest and wonder why the bears eat them, I'm pretty sure the sheep don't defend themselves more than a blueberry does whereas a moose calf will have a moose mother that kicks bear. I still go for sharks instead of tuna. I don't like the small of tuna and mayo, and the friend I usually travel with always eat tuna and mayo. And I just saw a program where someone tried to take pictures of sharks which where jumping after their prey, I want to take pictures like that. I've seen some good tuna shots too though, schools of fish form very nice patterns :-)
• United States
24 Dec 09
In general the lower down the food chain the more important the animal is but on the other hand it has been proved that taking out the top predators will be detrimental as well. I am looking at the top predators of the land like the wolf that used to cull diseased animals but with out them the animals reproduced so much that the have become overpopulated in their own right. With that in consideration, I would go with the top predators of the ones that you gave us to chose from.
@jb78000 (15163)
24 Dec 09
there are places where deer populations have gone out of control because of this so well thought out choice. several of these animals are quite high up the food chain (tuna, dolphins and seals) but closest to the top are the great white shark and the sperm whale. i'd have probably chosen those two as well if i was forced to make this decision but for other reasons.
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• United States
24 Dec 09
Most animals go for the easiest prey animals to kill and eat but not the humans, they go after the best and healthiest which leaves the weaker and sicker to breed. This leave a weaker strain of animal to survive (if you can call it surviving).When humans are trying to breed food animals (or almost any animals) they strive to get the best of the best to breed for them.
@jb78000 (15163)
24 Dec 09
completely agree with you. with animals that are regularly hunted you start to see changes fairly quickly (for example there tends to be more deer with smaller antlers).
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@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
3 Dec 09
I'm not up on all these varieties jb so whilst I was going to say get rid of the nasty man eating shark I was distracted by the gross ugliness of the hagfish. What on earth is its purpose, where does it live, and is it edible. I'll need to be filled in here before I can make an informed decision but I definitely don't fancy having a hagfish sidling up to me in the sea.
@jb78000 (15163)
3 Dec 09
to answer your questions, hagfish, aka slime eels, are scavengers, live in water and are i think edible or at least not poisonous. not endangered like the other two fishies and i think their role is fairly important if a bit icky.
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
4 Dec 09
I was really meaning what part of the world would I be likely to encounter a hag fish, I'd rather guessed they might live in water. But water where, American waters or Eurpoean ones, or perhaps somewhere near Japan? I also wouldn't like to turn up in a place where a hag faced slime eel was part of my dinner.
@jb78000 (15163)
17 Dec 09
pretty wide, but mainly colder waters. i think. and i think you can eat it.
@celticeagle (123432)
• Boise, Idaho
4 Dec 09
I am glad I am not God or anyone who has to make these decisions. I would save the bluefin in the first group but I will probably get heck for it because the shark helps keep alot of fish down in numbers and so forth. The hagfish I know nothing about it and will probably find I should have chosen it. Haha. In the second group I would really be perplexed because of the aww factor. I would think there are alot of fur seals so maybe not such a problem with them. The bottle nose dolphins I think get hurt by motorboats and so they make may go to number one. The sperm whales have been a problem for years so it would be them or the dolphins I am thinking. I am probably way off.
@jb78000 (15163)
17 Dec 09
it is tricky isn't it? do you save the tuna for practical reasons?
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@celticeagle (123432)
• Boise, Idaho
18 Dec 09
I am not usually practical but I think in this instance I am being so, yes.
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
9 Dec 09
In most cases, I'd go with importance in the ecosystem. Certain animals are just too special to allow to go extinct though, tigers for example. Maybe I'd go out and rally more support so that we could save all of them.
@jb78000 (15163)
17 Dec 09
first point is reasonable but as you say doesn't take the emotional reaction onto account though. second - nice cunning get out there dawn....
• India
4 Dec 09
its simple!!! the one which is going to get extinct....
@jb78000 (15163)
18 Dec 09
ok
@alem433 (60)
• China
4 Dec 09
haha,it is very interesting!
@jb78000 (15163)
18 Dec 09
thanks - what is your choice then?
@jewels49 (1783)
• United States
3 Dec 09
Why are they going to become extinct? If the reason is environmental you might not have to choose since most of these share the same environment. Fix the problem for one and save them all. I couldn't pick one over the other as more valuable I believe each thing has it's purpose from the ones with aww factor to oh my god that's ugly. I also think sometimes we intervene when we shouldn't. If we had left the gypsy moths alone in this country we wouldn't have the problem we have now. They have a built in cycle that makes them ill every 7 years, it also prevents them from repeoducing for a certain amount of time..we had to get involved in trying to eradicate them and have screwed up that cycle. So I guess unless the reason is environmental caused by something we as humans caused and should correct..I wouldn't mess with mother nature, maybe she knows what she is doing. For the record I don't hate cute little seals.
@jb78000 (15163)
17 Dec 09
well a few go extinct through natural causes, but most it is caused by us. incidently the great white shark and the bluefin tuna are endangered but i don't think any kind of hagfish is. anyway i think leaving nature to its own devices is generally a sensible approach, even when it is tempting to interefere
• Australia
3 Dec 09
It is 6.30am here and while this is normally my best time of the day, I find this sort of question too much. I conclude that if I am powerful enough to decide which two are to become extinct, I am also powerful enough to determine a way to keep all three. I know nothing about the hagfish but I presume its reason for existence is as a cleaner, and therefore necessary. Tuna is a popular canned seafood, especially with dieters. The great white shark - well, here in Australia and elsewhere, it is known as a killer of humans, but all three have their place in the ocean, but I will exercise all my power to preserve all three. Fur seals, bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales. Well, I've been kissed by a seal. I've watched whales perform. Dolphins are delightful. No, I'll have to exercise my power again and keep all three. Sorry, but those decisions are not mine to make.
@jb78000 (15163)
4 Dec 09
cunning get out there cloudwatcher. i've seen you being kissed by a seal before - great photo.
@PeacefulWmn9 (10424)
• United States
3 Dec 09
This is a lousy way to decide, but I shall let the hagfish become extinct simply because I don't know what it is. Of the mammals, hm, this is really a hard decision. Since I cannot decide amongst them, I relinquish my choice to another. Wimpy, I know, but there you have it.
@jb78000 (15163)
4 Dec 09
hey that is a cop out karen . anyway i agree it is a very difficult decision
@opalina143 (1237)
• Morristown, New Jersey
3 Dec 09
While Tuna are probably more important to the ecosystem, and I love eating tuna besides, I would rather give up tuna for life than consign to extinction great white sharks. These animals are just so powerful and majestic, and I wouldn't want to go though the rest of my life not eating tuna, but I would always miss knowing the sharks were out there. I love dolphins. But that is a tough one too. I would have to say dolphins even though seals are cute rand more important to the ecosystem and sperm whales are the worlds largest predator (not counting blue and balleen whales that eat plankton) so it would be a loss whatever went. It's a tough question, but I would have to save the sharks and the dolphins
@jb78000 (15163)
3 Dec 09
a lot of other species depend on those lower down the food chain, like tuna, so them disappearing will indeed have a huge impact (btw, slipping in conservationist evangelism, i hope you check that the kind of tuna you eat is not from at risk stocks ) but emotionally i'd go with great white sharks too.
@Wizzywig (7858)
3 Dec 09
Hmmm, that's a difficult one! I'd have to do a bit of research and a lot of weighing up. It seems wrong (albeit practical) to consider them on their edibility and I wouldn't eat any of them anyway. Again, practically their effect on the ecosystem and benefits or detriment to other species would have to be considered.... & seals are pretty cute.... white sharks pretty majestic... dolphins intelligent... whale song soothing - no sorry, have to ponder on that some more.... but we definitely need to keep rabbits and penguins!
@jb78000 (15163)
3 Dec 09
it is extremely difficult. if i was just going with emotions then it would be sharks (impressive and also brighter than your average fish, which makes it easier to identify with them) and sperm whales (who i think are the probably the most intelligent mammals on earth and utterly fascinating). anyway i think you are safe with rabbits (no real danger of extinction there) and penguins (cute enough to get plenty of support from conservationists and the general public).