NANFA-- Devils advocate concerning release of exotics.
Thu, 12 Dec 2002 00:12:04 EST

Allow me to play devils advocate for a moment or two (I know every just
gasped in surprise) We, and when I say we I mean everyone concerned with the
issue, automatically start jumping up and down and shouting NO! At the top of
our lungs. I am in general agreement on this. Most of the time exotics are
introduced for the wrong reasons or simply haphazardly with no thought to
what will happen the native fish. We even transport otherwise native fish
outside their range for the sake of fishermen with mostly disastrous results.
Even peacock cichlids have been introduced to "improve" fishing. I know I
don't need to bring up carp. But what if there was a small inoffensive but
nonetheless unique fish that was on the verge of extinction in it's very
small home range due extreme habitat destruction and pollution. Lets say this
fish was practically one of a kind highly unlikely to make any real
difference if it was transplanted and by doing so we could save a unique
species from extinction. I know this concept is new, nearly all exotic
introductions are to improve fishing or accidental and mostly without regard
to the exotic or the natives. Would anyone even be willing to look into such
a transplant? Or is the introduction of exotics only considered when
fishermen are to be benefited? I know it's practically blasphemy to suggest
that all the ecological niches are not filled in our native waters but it's
true, sometimes it's our fault. But would anyone be willing to make room for
such a fish? Maybe in a limited river system where any unforeseen damage
could contained (no matter how unlikely this may be) Are there any exotics
that have been established with no bad consequences? So many times fish have
been released with no real thought to the outcome or with just indifference
to the outcome I think we could consider such a release. At least research
the possibilities. How about it group? I have my armor on and my ducks in a
row. Lets have a controversial discussion about fish for a change.

Not another brick in the wall!
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