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Re: collecting fears
I think that the discussion has not addressed a couple of pertinent
points. As long as the habitat is preserved, normal reproduction will
more than compensate for harvested individuals if the take is limited in
scope; in fact, in studies of terrestrial populations, regulated harvest
actually decreased the incidence of diseaser.
The problems associated with overharvest tend to affect a rather small
proportion of the species, which tends to be due to limited reproduction
due to habitat degradation, which coupled with increasing demand,
continually raises the price to the point where such species are being
in effect exterminated. A good comparison is the fisheries on the Rio
Negro and the Rio Xingu. The Rio Negro habitat is being preserved and
millions of neon and cardinal tetras are harvested each year, without
damage to the ecosystem. The Rio Xingu, home to a variety of rare
plecos, is slowly being destroyed by gold mining, which encourages a
rape and pillage mentality, as the high priced fish are slowly dying out
from siltation and pollution, which is limiting or eliminating
reproduction, so the motto is to get as many as you can, while you can,
because they will be gone soon.
Many of the problems of overexploitation can be resolved through captive
breeding, which makes fish species available to hobbyists that otherwise
would need to be taken fron the wild. At the same time it tends to
limit the price, which decreases the take of wild stock. Also, given the
problems involved in transporting fish over long distances, domestically
reared fish are often superior in quality to wild caught, as they are
not subjected to as many stressors, carry few if any parasites and are
used to living in an aquarium setup.
While one may question whether legislators should be making fisheries
decisions, it remains that the legislators make the laws, including the
ones that apply to fishes. That is their job. They can make laws that
either allow or prohibit various activities, including recreational
collecting, based on what interested parties convey to them in terms of
information. Personally, collecting here in VT would be a LOT easier
with a collector's license than trying to get a Scientific Collector's
Permit, which is turning out to be a real pain in the butt to get in VT.
A collector's license makes a great deal of sense, as it not only
legitimizes the activity, it also generates revenue that can be used for
matching Dingell-Johnson funds at the Federal level. In order for funds
to be used to help nongame fish, the money must come from somewhere.
The best part about a stamp or collector's license is the payment of the
fees also gives us a voice in the decision-making process.
>From owner-nfc at actwin_com Tue Sep 1 14:10:09 1998
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>Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998 16:09:05 -0500
>From: Herb Harris <top_side at geocities_com>
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>To: nfc at actwin_com
>Subject: Re: collecting fears
>References: <6c7accea.35ec5e49 at aol_com>
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>Definitely a way to get money on the table from the non game/food fish,
>and fer sure, money talks!
> Wonder how many fish collectors would support such a plan right now?
>Bet most the readers of this list would be more than happy to! Might
>even be a way to get this going on some level through a charitable
>donation to some deserving aquatic conservation organization whenever
>go collecting, sort of let our money do some of the talking for us on
>where we really stand. :)
> Even I would find a way to afford a $1 donation when I go collecting!
>Those of you that know me knows even that small amount means something,
>fer sure! In a month of the usual sort, it would be at least $10
>the goals we all hold in common. :)
>Moontanman at aol_com wrote:
>> License for collecting sounds like a great idea to me.
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