NANFA-- poaching

Christopher Scharpf (
Fri, 01 Jun 2001 12:08:59 -0400

>Collecting is probably the least admirable thing that this group does. It is
>poaching, whether it is legal or not, doesn't matter.

Poaching is a strong word, Lee. Taking a few minners for the aquarium is a long
way from slaughtering protected elephants for their ivory.

Besides, collecting doesn't always mean taking. For me, collecting is just a
catch-all term for the activity of entering a body of water with a net to see
what's living in it. The objective isn't always to take fish home. It's just to
see the fish ... and to continue that childhood fascination of turning over a
rock and seeing what's living underneath. (To paraphrase E.O. Wilson, "All kids
go through a bug period. I never grew out of mine.")

For a growing number of NANFA members, collecting means snorkeling.

Yes, some people collect to take fish home. But usually it's an insignificant
amount of unprotected fish that will not harm the fish population as whole. If
collecting was significantly harmful, then books like FISHES OF TENNESSEE
wouldn't devote a section to natives in aquaria, and recommend them to tropical
fish hobbyists.

>Understanding the fish and becoming an activist for environment
>and species preservation is much higher in the priorities in my view.

I agree with you 100% on that one, Lee. However, if it weren't for my initial
enthusiasm for collecting -- i.e., getting my sneakers wet -- I wouldn't be as
focused on biology and conservation as I am today. In fact, I hardly go fish
collecting anymore. Haven't even been out this year.

Chris Scharpf

/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,