Re: NANFA-L-- Niagara River gobies?

Peter Unmack (peter.lists at)
Tue, 5 Apr 2005 14:31:32 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 5 Apr 2005, Derek Parr wrote:

> But, with that in mind, are there not several varieties of fish and what
> not commonly in the aquarium trade that are just as dangerous? We all
> know about Florida and the Apple Snail as well as many other fish and
> aquatic plants they got infested everywhere.

You raise a valid and difficult point that brings up all types of diverse
issues such as how much control should government have over what people
keep-in-pets, what is acceptable risk, what about all those sport fish
stockings, what about ballast water etc etc, why should I be regulated
when they are not? Obviously there has to be some compromise, and not
everyone is going to be completely happy with that. And the other big
problem is, once they are in the hobby there is effectively no easy way to
ban them (although some states have tackled this, for instance, crayfish
are illegal to keep as pets in Nevada). And here is another wonderful
example of this issue involving Nevada that makes it plain how difficult
these things are to deal with, especially the way they get portrayed in
the media.

Oh, and btw, Australian crayfish will do just fine in many Nevadan
habitats. Their scientific name is Cherax destructor, note the second
half of that name, it is there for a good reason. I can't believe they
even let them into this country!

The other problem with the USA is, in most places most aquarium fish won't
survive if released, but they do in ~10% of the country. Do you stop
everyone from having them just because of Florida? You can't really
control movement across state lines very easily, thus it has to be
regulated-in-the international border. I don't have answers to any of
these questions, just raising them as issues.

BTW, in Australia some things are done a little differently now. They
have an allowed import list, if it isn't on the list then it isn't allowed
to be brought in. In most places, it is the opposite. Indeed, up until
the early 1980's Australia and a "not allowable" list, but changed it.
If it was already in the country then it was ok, but no more could be
brought in. One can petition to get species added to the allowable import
list, and I know an individual who did achieve this, but it does take a
fair bit of effort.

Peter Unmack
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