Re: NANFA-L-- Releasing native fish back to the wild -- EVER

Peter Unmack (peter.lists-in-)
Wed, 23 Aug 2006 19:46:31 -0500 (CDT)

On Wed, 23 Aug 2006, Jase Roberts wrote:

> Remember I'm asking about releasing natives into the same geographical
> area they were collected. Sure, there's a real risk of spreading
> disease if you're talking about assembling wild-caught fish from widely
> separated regions (think of the virus suspected to be wiping out
> amphibians). But if you're *only* collecting locally, is it *really*
> plausible that some horrible pathogen is waiting to be spread from one
> pond to another -- and hasn't already been spread by natural or
> human-aided processes?

I think Dave summed up everything pretty well. But one point I'll make is
that many diseases may be present in aquaria, but not obvious to us, since
if the fish are not stressed then the disease does not become obvious.
Fish TB is a perfect example of that. You probably can't buy a
rainbowfish that hasn't been exposed to fish TB. As long as you keep your
fish happy then you never have a problem. But if you release them, then
you risk spreading that disease, even if they've never shown symptoms.
Technically speaking, if you only kept fish from interconnected water
bodies, and never had anything from outside that area then you would
probably be ok (technically speaking), but very very few if any people are
ever in that situation in the aquarium hobby.

Irrespective of what anyone says though, some folks are going to make up
there own mind and do what they want, there is no way to stop that. But
at least if we can make people aware of these issues, who weren't aware of
them before then we can reduce the incidence of this occurring.

Peter Unmack
Provo River, Utah
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