>"....If our waters are going to be a mishmash of exotics why shouldn't a few of
>those exotics be in need of a home instead of just expanding their already
>huge and healthy range? I've got on my asbestos suit so fire away dudes!"
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled MINNOWS yearning to swim free?
To tell you the truth, I think it's probably already too late for many
of the species on your list. Our own Paddlefish have their own problems,
and making them compete with the chinese ones wouldn't be good for
either them OR the chinese ones. Somehow I doubt that Mekong Catfish
would be anything resembling "benign" given that they must be pure
eating machines. Besides, our own anglers would wipe them out in no time
flat, assuming that we could even get enough of them to feasibly start a
colony. The sturgeons might be okay, assuming once again that we could
even get enough of them to make a go of it, and also assuming that
whatever is wiping out our own native ones doesn't just wipe out the
exotics as well, which would of course wind up doing more total harm to
these species than good.
However, there is some room for a few big "ifs."
IF you could find a place to put them that didn't have similar native
and IF that place hasn't already seen decimation of other species,
and IF that place was isolated from hazards and other waterways,
and IF you could keep anglers away from them,
and IF you could get enough to form a viable colony without causing any
real damage to their native population,
and IF someone would pay for it all without receiving any monetary
benefit in return
then it might just have a chance to work.
That's a lot of ifs, and I'm certain that I left out plenty of other ifs
just as important.
Don't get me wrong. I agree that somebody somewhere oughta do something,
and it bugs me when a species in some third world country gets decimated
on account of something stupid ( african gray parrot, anyone? ) when it
doesn't have to. Short of building some sort of huge fish reserve park,
I don't have any answers to the problems that don't cause more problems.
On another hand, "they" have been saying lately that some 1/4 of all
earth's remaining species will be gone in 50 years. That's staggering.
In the face of that, it's easy to just give up or say "What the heck,
they're all gonna die anyway. Let's go for it!"
Your question was whether introducing these exotics for a noble purpose
would be any better than just bringing some in for sportfishing. At
first impulse I'd have to agree with you in that it would, but the more
I think about it, the more I see nothing but trouble coming from it.
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