RE: NANFA-- Freshwater Crab found in Nevada

Jay DeLong (
Sat, 19 Aug 2000 12:21:24 -0700

> > > I guess us hobbyists will take the blame for this one.
> >
> > How else did those crabs get there?
> There are a number of ways species are introduced. I am sure the comment
> was made as it is always a rush to judgment when a non -native species
> turns up that some careless, backwards, don't care about nothing hobbyist
> did the introduction. These accusers are the ones who lump everyone
> together, and fire up to get laws past to ban even more things for the pet
> hobby

> yet when a species
> turns up in a place it dont belong, right away, the cries of " there goes
> them aquarists/exoctic pet keepers again". I personally am sick of that
> myself! Like we are all a big band of eco-terrorists that can't wait for
> the newest species to test out and see if it can take over a new area.

Yes, I'm sure that's why he made the statement, but I don't agree with the
sentiment. I don't think the problem is usually that people are backwards,
don't care, etc. They're just uninformed and think they're doing what's
best for an animal they can't keep anymore, or they think release is an
option when they first get the animal. The number of environmental
disasters caused by aquarists is small compared to organized efforts to
introduce sport fish, transferring diseases like whirling disease, or legal
bait fish dumpings. But the aquarium industry has been unregulated for the
longest time, and there are established populations of exotic animals that
certainly came from unwise aquarium releases. The reality is that we're
just now seeing the onset of a national effort to deal with exotic plants
and animals, and as long as aquarists say "Leave me and my animals and my
rights alone" they'll be viewed as part of the problem. The President just
signed the National Invasive Species Act. There's going to be lots of money
sent to the states to address this issue. I'm sure the aquarium industry
(which generates something like one billion dollars a year) won't be
eliminated, but I think aquarists could acknowledge potential problems and
educate legislators and managers that they can be part of the solution. 99%
of aquarists may never get it and never get involved. But for the remaining
1%, the language in NANFA's mission statement and code of ethics is a good

> ( except the precious dogs that deposit there "presents" on my lawn,
> destroy my flower beds and ponds, eat driftwood out of my ponds etc.) and
> even with that instance, all dog owners aren't lumped together,
> usually you here how those are singaled out as a careless person.

Not the same thing. Exotic animal releases are silent, invisible deeds,
except when it's a government action, fish farm escape, or something like
that. It's easy to associate a bad dog owner with their dog because they
are seen with their pets or their pets return to them after doing their
deeds. Domestic dogs have had their wild instincts bred out, and they just
lick, eat and poop. But if dogs everywhere tended to go wild and kill
livestock and pets and wildlife, and stalk children, your right to keep a
dog would be affected as it is if you try to keep a wolf or lion.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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