> Good idea, but also, what about fishermen? They put non-native species
> (and along with them diseases) into lakes by using non-native bait. Like,
> around here, the rusty crayfish and goldfish. Fishermen, if not for any
> other reason, care about lake health because they wouldn't want the
> numbers of game fish to decline. I don't know about other states, but
> here there are signs stating to wash your boat when you leave, and remove
> any snails, mussels, or plants on it before you leave so that they are not
> taken to the next body of water you might take your boat. If the state is
> that concerned about the aquatic ecosystems, why don't they also post not
> to release pet animals or use non-native bait? At least some more people
> would see it, which is better than none. For at least some people, it
> would only take that sign for them to re-think what they're doing.
Well, there are a couple of really big problems involved in raising public
awareness about the hazards of introducing exotics ( and captive natives )
into local waters that so far none of you have mentioned, so I will.
The first one is the risk posed to the pet industry & fish hobby itself.
There are quite a number of groups rather fanatically devoted to the cause
of wiping out the pet trade altogether, and they have an annoying habit of
taking any scrap of ammo they can find and turning it into a major headache.
What's worse, the politicians, looking to satisfy these squeaky wheels and
maybe impress the voters with their apparent concern for the environment,
more often than not are far too easily led into passing really stupid laws
when nobody is looking. We've been lucky so far, ( unless you like birds,
case in point ) but if too much buzz gets generated among the public at
large which otherwise has no clue or care about any aspect of the issue,
then I can easily see one heck of a sudden backlash against fishkeeping by
everyone duped into thinking that we fishkeepers are somehow destroying the
environment and must be stopped.
Then there are the states themselves, and their respective fish & wildlife
divisions, which would be highly annoyed to find that their cash cow
sportfisheries had suddenly become very unpopular among the masses,
prompting waves of lawsuits & injunctions & such. As many of you know, the
monies generated by those fisheries are very critical to the management of a
whole lot more habitat than the lakes & hatcheries.
Just some things to consider before running off to try to save the world.
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