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Re: NFC: Re: Collecting issues /sales o fish

Luke wrote...

>I think that is why we are, as an organization, calling for specific
>collection regulations.  If a liscensed "dealer" is only allowed "X"
>number of fishes and goes over that...he loses his liscense etc.  and
>their is probably an argument concerning enforcement capability, but that
>occurs now in all industries and wildlife programs.  >

I agree with you, Luke, but don't you think that we should have regulations
in place before commercialization and before the damage can occur ?

>Ever heard of Ducks Unlimited?  Quail Unlimited?  The Big Game industry?
>They are all trying to preserve the resources they commercialize.  And if
>not for them, some of these resources would have been lost. And much
>public awareness lost too.

    They are not commercializing or profiting off of the resource, per se.
Wild game isn't supposed to sold. They hunt for their personnal use, much
like the members of NFC and NANFA who collect wild fish for their personnal
use or to trade. These groups raise money to buy land and protect the
species and habitat and to get regulations passed that will benefit the
resources they are trying to protect.  Much like the very same goals of the
NFC, but they don't have to sell or comercialize the resource to do it.
They have been very successful at achieving their goals. Most of the species
that they are attempting to protect are at or near record levels, due to
their intervention.  The duck and geese populations are getting to be so
large , due to the smaller bag limits and habitat protection, that longer
seasons and larger bag limits are being proposed to thin the flocks out
some. Populations of Whitetail deer , due to wise management, are higher now
than when the white man first came to North America - and on less of an
amount of land.  Turkey populations, once nearly totally decimated, are
rebounding in record numbers.  Regulated thinning of the populations
(Hunting) becomes necessary to keep the populations in check, so that
disease won't run rampant and to assure that there is food enough to
healthfully support the population.  This is not commercialization !  The
same practices occur in some sports fisheries management.  On pro bass
lakes, fish that over populate and hinder the bass production, (such as
sunfish, etc.) are thinned out and removed.  It's all part of wise
management.  There is currently no managenent plan for native non-sport fish
(ie: minnows and shiners, etc) and commercialization would only tend to harm
    These groups have other ways of raising money.  I worked for Ducks
Unlimited for 2 1/2 years, working their Bingo games here in the New Orleans
area.  Each chapter has an annual banquet  and auction.  They also sell
organization related paraphenalia, such as hats, patches , mugs, t-shirts,
etc.- they have an entire catalog full of goodies.  The one thing that you
won't see for sale is DUCKS !!  NFC is still in it's infancy and there
hasn't been enough time to raise the money to do all of the projects that
have been proposed.  Over time and with a little hard work, these goals can
be achieved and it can be done without the exploitation of the resource that
we are trying to protect.  It has been done by the very groups you

>But what about the bait fish industry now?!?  Seems to me that in certain
>parts of the country that more bait fish are being taken from the wild
>than any commercial collector ever would.  Yes, a lot of bait fish are
>raised in captivity, but just as many aren't.  It would be a great thing
>to get breeders to start raising some of our natives in ponds for the
>aquarium trade...but it ain't gonna hapen until a demand begins to come

    Again Luke, I agree with you. I don't support the collection of mass
numbers of wild fish for bait.   But,  this is a prime example of what
commercialization can do.  Louisiana has vast areas of fresh, brackish and
salt water for fishing.  Most of the live bait used in fresh water is tank
raised.  Live bait used in other areas becomes a different story, as most of
it consists of wild caught fish.  Saltwater live bait consists of shrimp
(the kind you also eat) and what natives here call "cacahoe minnows".  This
is a generic term for the various killifish species used as bait, the most
prominent being Fundulus grandis.  When I was a kid, I used to see and catch
these fish in the 5" - 6" range.  They were everywhere !  They have been so
overly fished that you rarely see one over 3".  Where these fish used to
reside in schools of 20 - 30 - 40 + fish,  you are lucky to see any schools
at all now , mostly individuals.  At times, they are so scarce that even the
bait dealers can't get them.   Why ? -Commercialization !!!  Put a price on
their head and it's a sure way to decimate the species.   With all of the
artificial lures on the market, people still insist on the "natural" way of
fishing.  I am a sportsman.  I like to make my own lures, it's all part of
the sport and the fun.

>And what about the guys who catch dozens upon dozens of wild fishes simply
>to feed to their bigger fishes? (I don't have a problem with this mind
>you...)  these fish go right down the throat of another and are gone both
>from the wild and the potential of a the pet trade.  Hmmmmmm....
   I personally don't keep any fish big enough that require live fish as
food.  There are other alternatives such as earthworms, insects etc.  If a
person used the resource wisely and fed other foods as well, I don't think I
would have a problem with it.  Especially with fish such as gambusia.  Here
in Louisiana, we can catch gambusia, green sailfin mollies, and Heterandria
formosa by the thousands - literally.  It wouldn't bother me that these fish
were being caught as food.  In other areas where fish weren't available in
such vast numbers, I think that I would tend to worry about it a little
more.  Especially species that had a more limited range.  The three species
that I mentioned can be found across the entire Gulf coast area, from Texas
to Florida.  Gambusia can be found over a greater portion of the North
American continent and tend to be a nuisance where it is found.  This is a
good feeder fish, much like the guppies found for sale in the pet shops.

a.k.a. Phishhed        <*(((>{
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