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Re: Daniel Logan's comments re: NANFA position paper

Daniel Logan wrote:
 < How does NANFA deal with this legal ambiguity?  Is the statement included
 < in
 < most versions of Trading Post that all traders should obey federal and
 < state
 < laws sufficient guidance for prospective traders?  Why wasn't there any
 < mention of legal requirements in the Trading Post section of the Fall
 < 1996  issue of American Currents?
 I'd agree NANFA needs a position on following all applicable laws.
<  What is the connection between aquaculture and stream restoration? 
< Instead,
< how about saying "With their strong interest in the well-being of native
< fishes, NANFA members would be excellent partners in stream restoration
< projects."?

If one is re-stocking a stream with fish raised in aquaria, or "cultured",
there is obviously a connection. 
 >6.) The danger of introduction of non indigenous species  to
 >new  watersheds is minimal when compared with  the  risk  of
 >existing  stocking programs, bait collections etc..  Who  is
 >more  likely to introduce a  new species to a watershed  the
 >bait  farm/ stocking program with 1,000,000 fish  and  a  3%
 >species by product  (i.e. unintended species in the mix)  or
 >an Aquarist with a few dozen shiners or darters ?
< Is there any evidence that NANFA members would behave any differently than
     < other aquarists?  I doubt it.  Also, just by virtue of NANFA members
< temperate species, they are at greater risk of "successfully" introducing
< exotic fish, than are typical aquarists.
Am I missing something?  If it's not self-evident that those of us who love
and keep our native fishes are MUCH less likely than your average aquarist to
release exotics into our waters, perhaps we are not making the point we need
to make.  Yes, our fishes are largely temperate.  If there is a history of
exotics being introduced through mail plane crashes, I've not gotten the
    Honestly, Daniel, I don't think any NANFA members are going to release
ANY fish at any place other than the actual point of collection, if only to
avoid muddying genetic studies.

< T&E protection is very expensive, particularly for the people living in the
<  area of the protected species.  In Oregon, there are eight species of T&E
<  fish - in every case, exotic species are listed as a contributing factor
<  the decline of the species.  Typically, the exotic species are game fish
< (either introduced by the state or do-gooding members of society), but not
< always.  In Oregon, there are two species of T&E suckers.  Exotic fathead
< minnows have been cited as a potential reason for the endangerment of the
< Oregon suckers.  
Certainly T&E protection is very expensive - almost anything driven by the
federal government is very expensive, and by its very nature T&E protection
is not invoked until it's almost too late.  But aquarists collecting may be
able to tell when a species is in trouble (at least in a particular location)
if collection becomes difficult.  Similarly, if we are collecting non-T&E
fishes from a stronghold of T&E fishes, and find dead and/or dying fish or
other signs of biome trouble, we might prevent loss of that location's T&E

<  I have tried to do my part.  I am currently composing a Position Paper on
the       < release of unwanted aquarium pets.  I hope that when I am
finished, that the Board < would sanction the Position Paper as an official
document.  I'll keep you posted    < with its progress.

I think a position paper on releasing aquarium pets would be a great idea,
and hope it goes through this same process.  It might also be good to do a
survey in the darter of the proposed papers, to get the views of members not
on line, before it becomes official.  We also need some mechanism for
reaching and speaking to mainstream aquarists (I have to think the average
aquarist is much, much more likely to release "Felix the Oscar" when he has
outgrown the tank."  The fact that so many temperate and/or semi-tropicals
are sold today only underscores this need.

< The system in Oregon and Washington seem simpler.  Collectors just need to
< fill out a simple one-page form to get a permit and then send in a short
< end-of-the-year report.  In Washington there is an $11 fee for the permit
< (refunded if application is rejected) and in Oregon the permit is free.

I'd buy that system.  I hate paperwork, but we all need to be keeping logs
anyway, and this might yield something valuable to the wildlife staff.

Mike Whitfield