Re: NANFA-L-- My apaologies to change the topic!

Derek Parr (
Wed, 10 May 2006 21:36:51 -0400

It's great to hear from you. I presume that you are the one selling the
chinese sturgeon we've been talking about? If so, there's a lot of
information lacking, and it would be great to hear where the fish came
from. We've been having a vibrant discussion on this subject and it is
great to get your input.


Steffen Hellner wrote:
> Dear members of NANFA mailing list,
> from a friend I received notice that in this mailing list recently my name
> was mentioned in a negative manner, discriminating me as a plunderer of wild
> fish for commercial interest. I didn4t follow this list for quite some time
> because I had to recognize that certain people don4t like foreigners to
> collect fish in the USA and - even worse - possibly breeding them. It was
> all about the Pteronotropis hubbsi, and welaka which I liked to get for
> breeding attempts.
> As I didn4t find archives for 2006 I cannot proof right or wrong what was
> colportated to me. However, putting me into the commercial corner or that I
> was or am plundering nature is more than utter nonsense, it is disgusting!
> I am aware there are people who are jealous upon my breeding successes
> particularly with killifish, my work in books, talks, magazines, the species
> named after me in honor of my fieldwork (keep belted, there is a third
> "hellneri" on the way), the new species I discovered or whatever. Can4t
> change this.
> But I can proof that all my collecting in the tropics or neotropics was
> legal, and under license of the appropriate authorities of the respective
> countries. Even last year when I was guest-in-the Northwest Killies in
> Portland, OR, all fishes I brought in and took out were checked and approved
> by F&W. So what, ladies and gentlemen?
> Many of you know that many people, and for sure as well members of this
> group, are violating federal or state laws over and over again when being
> out for collecting. Mostly unintentional, sometimes without doubt by knowing
> what the faults are. Or does everybody of you know all legislation for all
> states you collect fish in? Must be more than a lawyer. Even people who
> actively want to keep to any regulations are trapped by the constant change
> and additional amendments in several states. Even FWS and customs sometimes
> are not always up to date. Why are so many species endangered, particularly
> by introduction of exotic or competitive native species: Tigersalamanders
> throughout the USA, Gambusia elsewhere, snakeheads, catfish, Florida is full
> of everything ever offered in the pet trade. There are species sent across
> the USA which are prohibited to possess in certain states. Hardly anybody
> cares for. Many species are illegal to keep or even import into e.g. Oregon,
> and California, for example the Axolotl, snakeheads and others. Want to
> check some public trade sites to proof reality?
> It is easy, but not really friendly, to publically accuse people off line
> for things they never did or will ever do. I never have plundered any site
> where I collected. In most cases there are only a few fish of a seeked
> species to be found. If many, then a group of 50 out of 1000 is not
> plundering, or is it? Then many of you must be ashamed for the thousands of
> NANF collected every year in the wild for the only purpose to keep them in a
> tank without even attempting to breed them. I breed ALL of my fish, not only
> killis but as well SRBD with excellent success.
> And I am convinced to the bones that I alone have already bred more fish
> than those people who try to discredit me all together will ever breed in
> their life. So better try breeding simple fish before you fantasize about
> hubbsi or welaka.
> And regarding "commercialism": breeding fish not only takes time but
> resources. And if one has nothing to change I will sell my fish, of course.
> Anybody here ever payed 10.000 bucks for a collecting trip to Brazil or
> Gaboon? No? And after donated first ever imported and bred fish to friends
> or clubs? No? Well then, collecting fish for nill in front of your door
> instead of buying in a petshop is not commercialism. Yap! Including all
> honorars for books, articles, photos, talks or sold fish, I have spent way
> more than the prize of a good Merc for my fish hobby over the years. Maybe
> deficit spending works for states but without doubt not for private persons.
> My apologies to all honest people in this mailing list for my clear words.
> But I hope you will understand that I can not keep quiet if such statements
> are made in the public.
> sincerely,
> Steffen Hellner
/ 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 Please make sure all posts to nanfa-l are
/ consistent with the guidelines as per
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get
/ help, visit the NANFA email list home page and archive at