Re: NANFA-- re: policy on grey publication & collecting

Christopher Scharpf (
Sat, 18 Mar 2000 11:09:54 -0400

> I disagree in part...and this is where. Many of those scientist of
>other countries felt "cheated" (probably understandably so) but just how
>serious were they about doing the work?

I can only speak for Peru, where I have collected and met with Peruvian
scientists. But I gather the situation is the same for many third world or
developing countries -- the scientists are serious, but understaffed and
underfunded. The Peruvian rain forest is a BIG place. You can't walk two steps
witout encountering new species. And practically every pull of the seine
contains fishes that eludes identification. But it's Peru's resource to discover
and catalogue, not some tourist aquarist's. Recently, however, scientists from
many developing countries are collaborating with scientists from richer
countries. They write the papers together, they share the type material,
everybody's happy. Darter expert Larry Page and his staff at INHS have been
doing a lot of collecting in Peru and Venezuala, publishing some fascinating
stuff on loricariid breeding strategies.

> You have to remember, I am a bit
>leery of the academic world and know just how dishonest it can be and how
>large the egos involved are.

Dude, there are egos everywhere, in every field. Academia doesn't have an
exclusive on 'em.

And it's the egos of tourist aquarists who want to publish shoddy systematic
works in a sort of vanity press (to use Gary's term) that's causing some of the

> I feel probably much research that was done
>and is now cried about by others might not have gotten done at all and we
>have a case of "sour grapes" now. That is speculation.

No, this is not sour grapes. It's, as Bruce said in his email, all about good

> I DO agree that no one is outside the law and all laws should be
>observed...especially in foreign countries a long ways from home. I don't
>like this because like many things, it's only one small step up to the
>next level and the amateur scientist/collector/hobbyist in THIS (for
>emphasis only) country facing the same problems.

Hhmmm, I see where you're coming from now...and where you're going with it. But
I don't forsee any problems brewing in this country.

Unless you're a Peruvian aquarist trying to sneak a new species of darter back
to Peru! :-)

Chris Scharpf

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