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NFC: Too much awareness?
My fellow fish-heads,
We have all claimed that what the world needs is more awareness
of our native fishes, etc. That way, people will stand up and say,
"Hey, we need to make efforts to keep this resource available for
our children's children's children, etc." But my friends, there is a
sinister side to this too. I recently had an interesting conversation
with my friend Mike Stegall, currently the head aquarist at the
Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (whom I have enlisted as
my official "leaflet-hander-outer"), and former NANFA member. He
stated that several years ago an article appeared in American
Currents detailing the exact location of several collecting sites in
the Okefenokee, and what the author found there. Shortly after this
article appeared, "caravans" of collectors invaded these exact
spots (no others) and severely depleted those populations. I said I
wouldn't have thought that many people would have taken an
interest, to which he replied "Nobody did. I guess the fact that it
was the Okefenokee had a lot to do with it."
Now, there was no survey done here, so you can take this
anecdote for whatever you think it's worth. But, to quote the old
Eagles tune, "...call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye!"
Can you imagine what would happen if our native fishes became
commercially important (e.g. a sharp increase in popularity)?
Good, bad, or ugly? I'd like to hear opinions on this.
"If you want to save Flipper, EAT Flipper!" - Rush Limbaugh
Greater American Freshwater Fishes Resource Site (GAFFeRs): http://www.localink4.com/~archimedes/
"Fie on thee, fellow! Whence come these fishes?" - Scheherazade
"Any fish with good teeth is liable to use them." - Wm. T. Innes