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Fish Non-Release Notice

Here's a notice that I include in shipments of fish I send out.  Feel free
to use it with the exotics shipments and anything else you ship:

begin document -

Dear Aquarist:

These fishes have come from a specific geographical region, watershed, and
population.  This makes them unique animals with a specific genetic
constitution.  They are not the same as the fish that may live in your
local waters.  Consequently, these fish must not be released into any
natural body of water or to any body of water that connects to another body
of water directly,  by overflow or by flooding.

The release of fishes into different habitats can be destructive to the
naturally occurring fishes of those habitats.  Once introduced, it is often
impossible to eliminate the exotic species from the environment without
killing all the fishes who live there.

Your aquarium receives fish from all over the world.  Diseases not found in
your area may be introduced along with fishes from the aquarium.  Though
your fish may not appear to be sick, they could be a carrier of some
dormant parasite, bacterium, or virus.  Many diseases go undetected until a
fish becomes stressed, lowering it's defenses against disease.  This is why
you should never release a fish after it's been in captivity.

In many places it is illegal to release fishes into any body of water.

Even if the species you want to release is native to your area, the new
fish are likely from a different population with different characteristics
from the native populations.  When scientists study native fishes, they
need to know whether they are studying fish that naturally occur there or
whether there has been an introduction from outside that area.  Introducing
exotic fishes can hinder the cause of ichthyology and species conservation.

Please handle these animals responsibly.  What you learn about their care,
behavior and breeding can be valuable to agencies and researchers who are
working to preserve wild fishes.

Enjoy your new fish and pass this message along to your fellow aquarists.

What to do with unwanted, sick or dead fishes

Excess live fishes can be shared with other aquarists by trading, selling
at club auctions or to pet shops.  Many aquarists will be glad to accept
gifts of unwanted fish from time to time.


Fish may be painlessly euthanized by putting them in a plastic bag of water
and placing the bag in the freezer.  Alternatively, carbon dioxide from
carbonated water or Alkaseltzer may be used to kill unwanted fish.  The
freezer is a good place to store fish waiting for disposal.  Dead fish
should then be disposed of by putting them out for your regular garbage
collection, or they may be buried or composted.  Again, fish should not be
introduced into water via the sewage system or otherwise.

This note may be freely copied and distributed

- end document