Re: NANFA-- Re: Snakeheads in SC
Sat, 14 Sep 2002 15:37:01 EDT

In a message dated 9/14/02 12:54:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< >People who have snakehead fish will have a 30-day amnesty period to turn
>the fish. Violations could bring a $200 fine or 30 days in jail.

You know, that makes me kinda mad. I don't own any snake heads and don't
plan to, but the fact of the matter is some types are kept as pets. I don;t
know what kind of fishy personality they have. For instance, I have an oscar,
if they made it illegal to keep him, I would never give him up. I do realize
that oscars and snake heads are two totally different types of fish but maybe
instead confiscating them, they could make the people that have snakeheads as
pets get a permit for them, OR turn them in. You know that if you give them
your pet snakehead, they aren't going to give it a good home! Would you ever
give someone a pet you love, knowing they are going to kill it? I think not!
My soapbox for the day
Traci Mount
I was waiting to see if anyone would catch the fact that many if not most of
these fish are loved pets. Hitler would ice skate before they would take away
one of my pets! Just because most people don't think of fish as pets doesn't
mean the people that own them don't love them. Yes, someone allowed a snake
head to become a problem, I don't dispute that at all but does the government
have the right to take away my pet because I might commit a crime with it?
Try to take away a mans property because he might commit a crime with it and
you will fall into a legal quagmire you might never hear the end of. Once
again our loving big brother has decided for us what we can or cannot own as
a pet for our own good. Fish keepers as a group have virtually no political
power, if one of us makes a mistake we pay for it as group and we pay for it
in any way the powers that be see fit. It doesn't even matter if the fish was
let go by an aquarist or by a restaurant or by a citizen trying to reenact
"Born Free" But if a local DNR decided to turn loose fish non native to the
local watersheds do we get consulted? Does anyone care what we think? Hardly
but when the statistics concerning nonnative releases is publicized more
often than not releases made by the DNR are not separated from releases from
other sources. Accounts of disease releases, disruption of local ecology, and
other bad effects are often reported as thought aquariums are the only source
of such problems when in reality aquarium release is seldom the source of
most problems. Yes, it's true that some nonnative fish have become
established from aquarium related releases but if you research these fish
releases very seldom are the problems reported more than possible problems,
usually worst case scenarios that never come true. No, I don't think fish
should be released into the wild by hobbyists but I think that a real effort
to educate people about the problem is better than another law enacted knee
jerk fashion. I would like to see a report of the problem of nonnative
release with a more truthful assessment of potential problems and the truth
about where most releases originate. Other than in the State of Florida most
fish released outside their home ranges are released by local DNR trying to
promote recreational fishing! Real threat assessments of fish releases
usually only occur after the fact and the threat of tropical fish is always
greatly exaggerated and the damage done by DNR releases is often ignored or
at least down played. Education, information, and a little common sense in
badly needed. Often laws against keeping native aquarium fish are enacted out
of ignorance, misunderstanding, and out right lies. I promote the keeping of
native aquarium fish simply because I think the hobby can raise the concern
for native fish habitats and the need to preserve such habitats. I would love
to see native fish in petshops along with tropical fish. But the powers that
be seem to be more interested in eliminating the aquarium hobby altogether. I
know many of you are thinking paranoia has taken me over but I honestly think
there is an effort to eliminate the keeping of all wild animals as pets. Any
excuse that supports this cause is fodder for the people behind this idea. At
one time I didn't think that the keeping of wild animals as pets had
organized opposition. I now think that not only does the idea of keeping wild
animals as pets have an active opposition I also think that captive breeding
doesn't help these people see that the keeping of fish and herps can be made
less damaging to wild populations. In fact captive breeding seems to be
somehow even more threatening to the "green movement" Every time a law is
enacted that prohibits owning pet or breeding of a particular pet the day
draws nearer that any such pet will be illegal. I think that the prohibition
of fish and herps as pets should be actively fought by all of us. Even laws
that seem reasonable can be interpreted in a way that would eventually hurt
us all. We should actively try to get laws overturned. Even when a law
doesn't concern you personally the next one might and if we don't stick
together we'll loose our rights one at a time. One law that bothers me
greatly is the law against selling baby turtles. At the time this law was
enacted it was a knee jerk reaction to parents who bought baby turtles for
children too young to keep them. The risk of salmonella was used as an excuse
even though the chicken you buy for supper is a far greater threat than baby
turtles are. But even though turtles are fairly easily propagated and captive
breeding of turtles would take some of the pressure off wild populations. As
new varieties of turtles that don't occur in nature become more available
like is being done with snakes now the demand for the captive breed varieties
would also keep wild turtles in the wild and domesticated turtles would be
more desirable. No, I don't think that captive breeding would solve all the
problems of fish and herps as pets but I think it's a better plan than the
eventual outlawing of pets other than dogs and cats. There are at least two
possible paths to take, one path cuts us off from the wild as completely as
possible. Another path would allow us to enjoy the wild as much as possible
while preserving as much as possible. I suggest that people interested in
preserving a connection between people and nature start now. Don't agree to
knee jerk type laws enacted to limit your enjoyment of nature. Support the
distribution of information at all levels to give people the knowledge to
make intelligent decisions without big brother deciding for us. I know it
seems a little early in the game to claim a conspiracy against us but nipping
problems in the bud is always easier than getting back rights after you have
lost them.

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