Because people dont eat fish that are inches long...? Fishermans objectives are to catch large, healthy, i.e adult fish. I'm not going to argue with you. If you're confused about why messing with natural populations is not a good thing, try google and educate yourself.
Like I said, I'm not going to argue with you. No one's frowing anything. If you look at what humans messing with natural fish populations has done historically, you will understand. Until the time you've decided to do some reading, I'm leaving the thread and can be reached by private message if you feel it necessary. And yeah, if a fisherman catches a tiny fish, its going back in the water, if they're following laws regarding the species.
This is an interesting debate, and one I've thought about. I myself, feel guilty for contributing to fish being caught, transported, with many dieing, only to go to people who don't care for them etc. I feel better knowing I'm getting a fish that is captive bred, as they've never experienced being "wild" etc. Others here would prefer wild caught, as they are a stronger species. I don't agree with taking that fish out of it's habitat, it should have been enjoyed there. If it is going to be caught, all efforts should be made to recreate it's natural environment, and knowledge about this fish and the commitment should be understood before hand.
But each of us have to know that our interest in fish, is what keeps fish from being bred, caught etc., and appreciate how many fish do have pretty doomed lives (in many cases) but not all, of course.
I don't eat meat, because I don't want to support and be a part of the horrible conditions these animals are raised in. That doesn't mean they are still not in bad conditions, but the more people move in that direction, the better for changing how we practice and care for animals in the industry of food.
My 2 cents. The fish can't go back now, unless this person does live close enough to get it back. The effort now is giving it the best habitat. A stark tank, by himself doesn't seem in the fish's best interest. IMO
My 2 cents - the way we get captive bred fish is by capturing wild fish first and encouraging them to breed in the tank. It prevents fish populations in the wild from being totally destroyed and can be used as part of a conservation programme. Personally, as long as the OP can provide for this fish's needs, I don't see a problem with it. He's now in a tank with no predators, regular food and a controlled environment. I don't think fish really make the distinction between "free" and "captive" the way humans do. After all, this isn't a children's movie.
Sure, I wouldn't do it, but I don't have a 75 gallon tank and the means to do it. I wouldn't try and catch a kangaroo and raise it in my garden. I wouldn't cage a native bird. But this is a fish. I'm not saying it is a lesser being because of that, but I also don't think it's going to be weeping in a corner at night because it is in a tank instead of a river.
When it comes to animals like fish and reptiles, often times all they care about is their needs. My ball python was wild caught--I didn't know at the time, but I know now. But since he is well cared for and recieves his proper food and heat and water..he's happy. Not dreaming of the past when he was free to...well, sit in a termite mound until food walked by, lol!
There have even been studies showing that even wild caught animals have less stress than their wild counterparts--if they are properly cared for. Now I'm not saying everyone should go grab a wild fish or snake as a pet, as it DOES cause unneeded extra stress(and it's good to support responsible breeders who are producing these animals in captivity safely), but this is how the fish hobby started. Someone put a fish in a private enclosure, and along the years we figured out how they should be kept. Now we have the benefit of knowing the proper care of most fish, and knowing what size aquariums to keep them in.
I think it's our responsibility as keepers to keep our fish in the best conditions we can. I think if he can provide for this fish properly and keep it healthy, he should be allowed to keep it. It's the animal's health that is important here.
If the fish cannot be cared for properly, than it shouldn't be kept--be it wild caught or a petstore bought betta!