Re: NANFA-L-- Fw: NAS Species Alert - Piaractus brachypomus

Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Fw: NAS Species Alert - Piaractus brachypomus
Date: Wed Nov 03 2004 - 23:43:51 CST

In a message dated 11/4/04 12:16:28 AM Eastern Standard Time,
peter.lists-in- writes:

> If that is the case then (and I agree), then how can we be scaremongering
> people unnecessarily or overstating the case by telling them not to
> release fish? I think a lot of this problem is the media reporting.
> They tend to over simplify things and often get important details (to us
> anyway) a little bit messed up.

the media is indeed the one who usually give the info out to the public but
it's people like us that give the media their info. I am not saying that
tropical release isn't a problem just because they don't take over the country I
just think that by trying to get people to believe that exotic release is going
to somehow compete with the native population is false in most locations and we
should be concentrating on the disease aspect of the problem.

I generally agree to some extent to most of what you said. However "one
of those few small areas" happens to be one of the areas that I hang out
in a lot of the time. Warm springs in the southwest are extremely tiny
habitats, but exotic tropical fishes do very well in them, usually to the
detriment of natives that usually occur alone or with-in-best one or two
other native species (and usually often fairly segregated by habitat too).
Despite the fact that few people live in these areas, quite a number of
springs have exotic aquarium fishes. It might only be a few small areas,
but fishes that occur in those spots have extremely limited ranges.

I understand what you are saying but you have to admit these fish are not
wiping out native populations on a large scale. I hate to see the fish you like
lost to exotics but again these are limited habitats that have very little
bearing on North America in general. Even in places like south Florida it is
beginning to be clear that the exotic releases have not had the catastrophic
effects that were expected to take place. Release of Flat head catfish have had a
far more severe impact on Florida fish than all the dozens of non North American
exotics released there put together. Even the walking catfish that was
supposed to be the last call of Florida fish haven't had much of an impact. I think
if we are to look credible telling people that if they release their neons
they will take over the native fish populations isn't a good idea. People are
smart enough to know when they are being shined on! This causes people to loose
their respect for people who tell them things like this. Another angle that
might be better than the exotic take over myth would be that people who release
their pets are subjecting their pets to cruelty by releasing them to die of the
cold or to be eaten by predators. Many people have the idea (probably from
movies and TV) that releasing their fish is somehow a noble thing something like
Born Free or other shows were animals are returned to the wild. I'm not
trying to cantankerous I would really like to see this type of thing stop before
the government steps in with even less information and more emotion and shuts
all fish keeping down for our own good. Aquarists are constantly getting a bad
rap for exotic release. Some people would have the general population think we
are public enemy Number one and are steadily destroying the environment on a
large scale. All the crazy hype on the snakehead is a good example, even though
the releases were probably connected to food fish and not the pet trade we
got 100% of the blame for it. This type of thing will come back to haunt us
eventually and we as a group play into the hands of the people who will be
shutting us down by agreeing that we are creating the largest part of the problem and
not pointing out that we do not cause the lions share of damaging exotic


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: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 12:42:45 CST