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Re: Dealing with the real fish? problem
Thanks for the reply, good opportunity to explore this in more detail!
I'll take your approach with replies and use the quotes to highlight.
peter.unmack at ASU_Edu wrote:
> On Wed, 24 Jun 1998, Herb Harris wrote:
> A little Devil's advocate for you. :-)
> > So, it just could be that states that want to in fact do something
> > about the problem of ALL introduced species might consider spending
> > money on carrots instead of honing the hickory even finer. Really, who
> > can be expected to make real changes quicker, a person that wants to for
> > their own interests, or a person that does so while you are watching,
> > but as soon as the back is turned..... well, you get the drift.
> What would the carrot be?
Involvement on a personal level that gives positive incentives to do
what is needed to get accurate information, and act upon it. If a person
doesn't care about a problem, little can really be done to change the
What might this mean? Does the person like to fish? Does the person
have kids that are interested in learning about fish? Would the person
enjoy trying to keep some native fish at home for the kids to really get
Maybe, but if the law tries to force compliance of measures designed to
stop misguided attempts to release unwanted fish "to help them", it sort
of squashes that plan to say the least. And really, its easier for
people in general to say NO, DON'T DO THAT than to engage someone with
interesting educational approaches. Costs a good deal less to just write
a law and scare folks rather than educating them.
> Additional species tend not to be turning up except for aquarium releases of
> stuff in canals around Phoenix which typically don't make it through the
> winter or just don't make it in general. Pacu have started to turn up in one
> of the lakes in the Colorado River though, who knows if they'll take off.
> Most of the releases occurred early on and are related to either sport fish
> releases, bait fish releases, or mosquito control. The main expansion of non
> native fishes today appears to be bait release and people putting fish in
> stock tanks. It is near impossible to detect translocations of native fish
> (I'm defining translocation here as moving it within it's native range).
In addition, what of the problem of the fish introductions that are
already there? Just leave them and hope for the best? Eradication
measures? What measures will work that will leave the natives unharmed
for the most part? Could a campaign to remove the "unwanted"
introductions work? Who's to say if you can't move a living fish from
its place of capture? The same fish that's a pest and definitely
undesirable in one place and circumstance may be highly prized in
another. But so long as its easier to "Just say NO", and too costly for
a state to try otherwise, why bother? That is precisely where private
organizations such as NFC can have a role, by helping to eliminate at
least a part of the problem of the presence of the unwanted fish in the
wild, and facilitating a sound educational approach that does not cost
the state a dime in taxpayer money. But we need the cooperation of
informed people to get this message across where it counts.
I don't want this to misconstrued here. I am all for appropriate
control measures being in place. But they need to be effective even when
"big dude" has his back turned. The control agencies can't be everywhere
all the time. What is well in hand today might very well be out of
control by this time three years from now without either large sums
spent on enforcement, or cooperation of the states in at least
considering educational proposals. I don't mean educational in the sense
that they tell everyone how much trouble it will be to be a violator, or
essentially "just how big the stick is that I will beat you with is when
I get you, you devil fish worshiper you."
> How is it in the fishes (especially the threatened ones--which is many
> of them in AZ) benefit by allowing Joe Blow to take them and move
> them around? Many of the polititions in Arizona would probably rather be
> without any native fish.
Done right a breeders program may encourage the involvement of many
people for years to come in countless ways that you or I can't begin to
foresee specifically, but may be able to imagine, such as a future
legislator and advocate for habitat protection and environmental
concerns starting the long road with a love for some simple homegrown
fish from a nearby pool that a group of folks helped to save from
development pressures because they in their turn were encouraged to
participate because they cared about the fish they came to know in their
own home, where they live their lives, love their children, and
generally relax and enjoy life.
All without the threat of "the MAN" jumping them cause they moved a
fish from one spot to a home aquarium. And they enjoy it cause it was
made easy for them to enjoy it at school, at work, and at home. NOT just
in the heat of a long drive to a remote spot to sight see some fish for
a few hours and return all the more knowledgeable, but so much more put
out by the whole prospect of "wildlife" protection. If that's what it
takes to "protect" the "wildlife", most would just as soon leave it to
the "experts", thus giving over the power that is in fact a result of
the people's will for self government to the ones who claim to "know
better", whether they do or not.
So, it gets political any way you slice it. Just have to ask what
really works long range, and if it works, can it be improved to sustain
itself with less cost to the taxpayer? These are questions lawmakers
should consider, as there may be a time that fence straddling on these
issues becomes increasingly uncomfortable, as political winds change
with the times and environment they are formed from. Suppression only
works just so long before it costs too much. Don't believe it? Look at
the criminal justice system in general. But that is as they say, another
matter. Still, worth serious consideration at finding alternate systems
that work, before the bill gets too high, in the cost to the taxpayer,
and the cost to the fish.
Take care, and keep in touch,