Re: NANFA-- Bluenose shiner news

Jay DeLong (
Sun, 21 Sep 2003 11:14:39 -0700

At 07:40 PM 9/20/2003 +0200, you wrote:
>Perfect example with the invaders! Nature is strong, stronger than we
>suggest and that shows in this example. Captive bred fish can well survive
>in the wild if a population of sufficient numbers in set out. It even works
>with little numbers as inveders show.
>Captive bred fish in general still keep the ancient potential inside, except
>for very high bred mutants like black angelfish or lyrateil forms etc. A
>bubbleeye goldfish won4t make it long, sure. But a Danio will most prabably,
>and a bluehead shiner as well.

I don't see how instances of the havoc created by introduced fishes suggest
that an "ancient potential" (?) exists, or that fish introductions are
successful because Nature is that way. There are numerous examples of
failed attempts to release and establish wild populations of non-native or
captive reared fish. Take the Atlantic salmon mess in the Pacific
now. For years fishery agencies deliberately tried to get Atlantics in the
Pacific northwest, but efforts failed time and time again-- eggs, fry,
adults, everything. It's ironic that when everyone was kind of on the same
page that it was a bad idea, it happened accidentally and now there are
Atlantics established in Pacific rivers. I understand your optimism but
this notion of "ancient potential" overlooks genetic science and the
problems with captive breeding such as domestication-- reducing the
population to small number then breeding those individuals resulting in the
permanent loss to the whole species of rare genes, because it's these rare
genes that allow for adaptation and survival of the species. The biggest
disservice we can do for fishes is talk about individual animals as though
they hold some magic secrets to their species. Fish species are about
populations, and populations are defined in the context of their
environment and the selective pressures under which they came about:
chemical, biological, physical, whatever. Habitat conservation is the way
to save species and species diversity.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA
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