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

Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Fw: NAS Species Alert - Piaractus brachypomus
Date: Thu Nov 04 2004 - 10:40:00 CST

In a message dated 11/4/04 11:05:56 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> Moon,-in-the risk of offending you, I do not think that referring to some of
> the most endangered habitats in the U.S. (small, isolated springs and pools)
> as unimportant, or in trying to minimize the perception of the exotic
> problem, you are doing the aquarium trade and hobby any good.

Dave I am not trying to minimize anything and don't worry about offending me.
This isn't a personal issue-in-all.

 When the industry that causes a problem (all those livebearers in Florida
and the
> SW, all those catfish in Florida, and on and on came from aquarium fish indu
> stry and hobbyists ) attempts to deny, the only thing it accomplishes is to
> engender distrust from regulators and the public.

All those fish you are talking about represent very small populations in very
small areas. This is the kind of exaggeration I am talking about. A breeding
population in one canal doesn't make for a state wide invasion. As long as we
accept exaggerated blame we are doing no one any good. the really damaging
introduction in Florida has been the North American Flathead Catfish (their words
not mine). Most tropical breeding populations have been highly localized and
not significantly damaging. Even the notorious walking catfish didn't have
much of an impact. I am not trying to say exotic release isn't a bad thing I am
just saying the aquarium hobby is getting far too much blame for far too little

 What kind of reputation does the oil industry enjoy as an environmental
> Could its reputation be better? Yes, the introduction of exotics to
> Florida is an ecological disaster, whether you agree or not. Considerably more
> than half the species of fishes in the state are exotics.

Florida official have backed off the disaster status for most of the releases
and the numbers you quote are misleading. if you have two dozen exotics in
one canal and no where else it looks bad when you figure just numbers of species
but it's like a drop of water in the ocean when you figure actual real-estate
colonized and actual numbers of fish. native fish occur all over the state,
the exotics occur in very limited areas. Not match-in-all on a one on one
comparison of species.

> The San Antonio R. in Texas is loaded with fish from the aquarium trade,
> including loracoriids, firemouth cichlids, and on and on and on. The endemic
> fish populations of the very remote Cuatro Cienegas in Mexico (I know, Mexico
> is not part of the U.S., but this trade is international) has been invaded by
> several exotics originating in the aquarium trade, to the detriment of the
> entire fauna.

This is very bad and I don't want to down grade the effect in this river but
again this river is a special case and not representative of rivers every

> We need to work to police ourselves, and we need to accept the regulation
> that is designed to help solve this problem.
 I agree but we should also make sure that regulations are based on reality
and not someone's perceptions of what is happening. Regulations that make
sense in South Florida have no meaning in South Eastern, NC. Any regulations
should be written with the reality of the area and the real possibility of
establishment of a specific fish. Blanket regulations would be detrimental to both the
aquarium hobby and the believability of the rules themselves. Banning
electric catfish in NC would be unnecessary, in South Florida it would be necessary.

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