Brian J. Torreano - Owner
Your on-line resource for American Darters and other native fish for the
small to medium-sized aquarium!
Phone: (262) 268-7489
> Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 14:53:14 -0400
> From: Jase Roberts <nanfa_list-in-jaseroberts.net>
> Subject: NANFA-L-- Releasing (or not releasing) Fish: Some Suggestions
> Thanks for all the discussion on this topic. There were lots of examples
> of potential problems when introducing non-native or non-local fish. My
> main question was about the likelihood of transmitting diseases if you're
> dealing ONLY with native and ONLY locally -- especially given all the
> other transmission vectors that exist. Maybe we just don't know how
> localized and isolated pathogens are?
> Based on the discussion and my own musings, maybe I could offer the
> following summary/suggestions:
> 1) I get the point. Careful, experienced native fish keepers who collect
> only locally and don't mix equipment with fish or live foods from other
> localities are PROBABLY okay releasing their fish back into the collection
> locations. However, the benefits of doing so are small (assuming you
> collected responsibly in the first place), and the risks non-zero. It's
> safer for NANFA to offer a blanket "Don't release, ever" statement, and
> let individuals decide whether they understand the many variables well
> enough to risk it. That said, I think it would be VERY valuable to have a
> detailed discussion of all these risks and factors available somewhere on
> the site. As Todd pointed out a while back, you need to have compelling
> information to back up any blanket statements.
> 2) We probably all ought to be paying better attention to how we clean our
> collection equipment between sites. I don't think there's anything to
> this effect on the NANFA site currently? Are there folks within the
> community who are qualified to comment on what *reasonable* techniques can
> be used to wipe out the various pathogens we need to worry about
> (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc.)?
> 3) There's NO question that aquarium fish or non-local native fish/herps
> should NEVER be released (this wasn't part of the original question, but
> of course came up). There may be something NANFA as an organization could
> do toward this goal (maybe in collaboration with the industry
> http://www.habitattitude.net effort Brian Torreano mentioned... but is
> that active / going anywhere?) I see two major issues here:
> A) Awareness -- As Todd mentioned, most casual fish keepers won't fully
> understand the problems of releasing their pet fish. This gets right to
> the "animal lover" vs. "environmentalist" issue I alluded to before.
> Most aquarists would fall in the "animal lover" category, and believe
> it's a positive thing to set their fish free rater than euthanize them.
> No matter what you do, you're NEVER going to convince a lot of these
> folks to euthanize their beloved fish.
> B) Given the above, there need to be viable alternatives to releasing
> fish. There are myriad reasons why folks will need to get rid of fish,
> and many/most will NOT euthanize them. So... then what? Some aquarium
> stores have "adoption" tanks, but I fully understand why it's risky
> business for retailers to take back stock that could be carrying any
> diseases under the sun. http://www.habitattitude.net/ has suggested
> alternatives to release under "Prevention", but no detailed info -- and
> are those alternatives enough? So... what *should* the average aquarist
> do when they can't (or don't want to) keep their fish anymore? How can
> alternatives to release be made readily available, and the average
> aquarist be made aware of those alternatives?
> Anything meaningful would have to happen through aquarium/pet stores
> (that's where you reach the folks with fish). Awareness should be pretty
> easy -- wouldn't be tough to convince your local pet store to put up a
> poster next to their live fish stock. Providing the alternatives to
> release would be tougher. Can you convince all aquarium stores to have a
> few "adoption" tanks (enough to keep non-compatible fish separate)? That
> costs them money, and introduces risk of disease. How about convincing
> them to offer a free "retirement" service to euthanize unwanted fish
> humanely? Again, that's time and money, and is likely to offend many of
> their customers (just as people protest shelters that aren't "no kill").
> Wow... what a can of worms...
> - -Jase
> - --
> Jase Roberts
> Lewiston, Maine
> on the Androscoggin River
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association (NANFA). Comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of NANFA. For more information about NANFA,
/ visit http://www.nanfa.org Please make sure all posts to nanfa-l are
/ consistent with the guidelines as per
/ http://www.nanfa.org/guidelines.shtml To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get
/ help, visit the NANFA email list home page and archive at