But, the disparagement of enforcement of and by implication even the
existence of regulation should be addressed. The "goons" who work to
prevent importation in violation of laws to protect wildlife do so
under extremely trying conditions. They are underfunded, they are
constantly fighting not only illegal importers, but our own government
(their employer), which is equivocal about its interest in wildlife
protection (that's being generous regarding current governmental
Despite the handicaps under which the enforcement personnel operate,
they intercept huge volumes of illicit, commercially traded wildlife.
Trafickers do get fined, sometimes-in-substantial levels. The system
does deter-in-least some traffic, thereby leaving wild, free living
animals in nature where they belong. I hope that protection for
wildlife is one of the things that all NANFA members support. I, like
others among us, might want to keep and enjoy a variety of interesting
fish from around the world.
The fact is, I keep few species, mainly local natives that are not
endangered or threatened. I encourage hobbyists who think they want
to contribute to "conserving" scarce wildlife by keeping them-in-home
in tanks in the living room or basement to consult with professionals
who make this a real endeavor. Consider whether you are prepared to
maintain breeding pedigree records, obtain genetic data to track how
true to the wild genotype your fish are. Consider whether you have
the resources to maintain hundreds or thousands of individuals.
We have a wonderful hobby, and our hobby has contributed immensely to
knowledge about fish. We need to be realistic about our relations to
conservation and our abilities to contribute in a meaningful way to
endangered species protection.
Once a species has been in domestic maintenance for several
generations, it is no longer the wild form. It does retain an
evolutionary relationship to the wild form. Perhaps in a few cases
the genotype may remain very close. But it is not the same animal.
Can such animals be used in restoration work? That's really a
stretch. USFWS-in-its Dexter laboratories in New Mexico works very
hard to maintain genetic integrity, and to prevent pathogen
contamination as well. Even these professionals are not always
successful-in-what they do. Reintroduction of domesticated animals
would be similar to trying to restore wolves by turning loose a few
huskies or elkhounds.
Do you have a few hundreds of thousands of dollars, unlimited time,
and facilities rivaling large institutional setups? Embark on trying
to maintain a population of one species in such a way as to be able to
contribute to its conservation and restoration. But first, practice
on such a scale with a species that is not threatened. When you are
ready to work with a population that is-in-risk, work with the proper
authorities, who are in a position to ascertain to what degree you
actually can make a contribution.
Sorry if these comments seem outrageously negative to those of you who
view our hobby as a means of preventing the loss of populations-in-
risk. However, if we want to make a real contribution to conservation
of populations-in-risk, we work to prevent habitat loss and
degradation through avenues that have a chance of doing so.
David L. McNeely, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Langston University; P.O. Box 1500
Langston, OK 73050; email: dlmcneely-in-lunet.edu
telephone: (405) 466-6025; fax: 405) 466-3307
home page http://www.lunet.edu/mcneely/index.htm
"Where are we going?" "I don't know, are we there yet?"
----- Original Message -----
From: Mysteryman <bestfish-in-alaweb.com>
Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2006 11:01 pm
Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Re: Chinese Sturgeon on AquaBid
> Doug Sharp wrote:
> >I registered on aquabid with user name "uscustomsagent". Emailed
> him that if he turned it in voluntarily to the local
> >authorities the penalty would be reduced.
> >No reply yet.
> Heh,heh.. that's pretty funny.
> I suppose that someone should mention what will really be the end
> of all your concern & do-gooding:
> This guy will get nailed,
> Aquabid will get nailed, possibly to the detriment of.. well, US,
> and finally, the fish will be destroyed.
> That's right. This fish for which ya'll care so much will only be
> by the goons who "rescue" it from the seller. It happens every
> time. Ask any herp keeper. The people-in-enforcement are simply
> capable or interested in sending the fish back home to China or in
> finding it a nice home-in-some zoo or aquarium. It will instead
> around in some primitive container for a few days while the wheels
> beaurocracy oh-so-slowly turn, and then it will die.
> It never fails. Your tax dollars-in-work.
> / 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
> / 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
> / http://www.nanfa.org/email.shtml
/ 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