Re: NANFA-- RE: NET-OVATIONS & off topic posts

Christopher Scharpf (
Thu, 01 Apr 2004 06:53:29 -0400

>> Both represent imperiled freshwater faunas in North America and need all the
>> friends they can get?
> How about marine invertebrates?

It's all a matter of degree and relevance.

First of all, we're the North American Native FISHES Association. For the
most part, we're concerned with freshwater (or inland) fishes, since we all
have easy access to such habitat. Only those of us who live in coastal
states have access to estaurine and near-shore marine fishes. What fishes
fall under NANFA's imprimatur and which do not? There's no discrete barrier.
But I use this common sense rule of thumb:

If the fish (or invert, or aquatic plant) occurs in the interior portion of
the continent, or occurs in marine habitat but is easily seen and/or
collected by hand or net while standing in the water, then it's fair game
for this list and for American Currents. Therefore the marine fish that BG
catches in clumps of Gulf Coast sargassum are well within the interests of
the organization, whereas accounts of, say, open-ocean sharks, tuna and
marlin, in my opinion, are veering off topic.

AC occasionally runs articles on aquatic plants, crayfish, mussels, and
tidepool critters, just as the Audubon magazine occasionally runs articles
on fish, mountain lions, etc. After all, we're nature lovers and our
interests are catholic. But we are also a specialty society. We have a niche
interest. And I think there is sufficient diversity within our niche to keep
us happy talking about inland and near-shore fishes with only occasional
forays into other critters.

But hey, that's just my opinion. It's a rule *I* live by. As Stall
Brucesmith says, "Your mileage may vary."

Chris Scharpf
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