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Re: borrowing fish/catching your own

 >> Also I know that releasing
 >> fish that have gone into a home system after they come out of the 
wild is not
 >> the greatest idea in some minds.
 > I'd like to hear "real" evidence to support these claims in Florida.
 > I've dealt with public health issues in the past. This is a fish 
 > issue. So let us look at the risk.
 > They might want to start with the Mosquito Abatement folks, then nail 
 > sport's fishing groups and their addition of bass/trout/panfish from 
 > over the country, the Army Core or Engineers, the Cement plant they 
 > planned here right in the middle of the most pristine water shed in 
 > state, the wastewater treatment plant discharge permits allowing 2ppm 
of MCL
 > of NH4 levels and all the development issues. Then those pond owners 
 > their introduce species all available to the bird populations (great 
 > BTW), the last 50 years worth of tropical fish that already exist 
here in FL
 > (We have plecos doing quite well in the St John's, Oscars etc).

So it's OK for aquarists to contribute to the problem too?

 > The disease/parasites are _already here_ and _are ubiquitous_.
 > Get over the disease introduction idea here in FL in this area. It's 
 > here.

Florida's semi-tropical climate makes the problem of non-
indigenous species introductions to the wild especially insidious.
Many pathogens are on the loose, but they're not necessarily
everywhere. So there's still hope for keeping them out of the
remaining bodies of freshwater that have not been affected.

 > But let's ask another basic question: why do fish get diseases?
 > Diseases of fish are much like algae/poor plant health. When the fish 
 > not been given good well balance diets, low stocking levels, good 
 > quality, etc, they get sick.

According to that logic, those of us who are in good health
will never catch the flu.

We can make an infinitely long list of things that humans are
doing to damage the environment. But each of us has the
power to make a small difference, be it driving more fuel
efficient cars, to recycling, to supporting conservation causes,
and even by keeping privately-owned captive fish (even if
they're indigenous natives) out of wild ecosystems. It's a small
gesture in the large scheme of things. But if enough people do
it, we could make a difference.

Meanwhile, I'm going to gather all my birding friends together
so we can sit in a large circle, hold hands, hum, and transmit
a psychic message to all those big bad birdies in Florida,
"please wipe your feet before entering the pond."

- shireen

Shireen Gonzaga
Baltimore, MD