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Author: Jennifer Forman Orth

Invading your brain since 2002.

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Nature Blog Network

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fish Take  

A few of you have written in to point out the recent media coverage of a possibly controversial take on non-native fish introductions. Noting that the risk of negative ecological impacts following fish introductions is typically less than 10%, Dr. Rodolphe Guzman, a biologist at Bournemouth University, posits that this means the majority of introductions are safe, and considers the risk of invasion to be only one factor in the decision of whether to bring non-native species into aquaculture. Read more in this interview from Reuters or this writeup in Practical Fishkeeping. You can also check out the Gozlan article, "Introduction of non-native freshwater fish: is it all bad?" in the journal Fish and Fisheries (abstract only).



I love theories based on closed system ecology. Yes, if you go to 1,000 villages around the world, and release 10,000 cobras in each village, less than 10% of the villages will experience new snake poisonings (the climate of most villages will kill the snakes instantly). However, in those <10% of villages with suitable climates and habitat, you can expect complete and total devasatation of the bird and mammal (including human) population. What an outstanding ecosystem management strategy!

In the <10% group of affected fish habitats are included such "minor" spots as Lake Victoria, Tanzania (nile perch), and Potomac River, USA (snakehead)....what happens when an invader DOES find ecological and bio-energetic traction.

This type of science is rubbish, and is the type of research that has brought us the intential invasions of kudzu, multiflora rose, russian privet, and many others. Rubbish.

By Blogger Swamp Thing, at 2/28/2008 11:29:00 PM  

Heh, tell us how you *really* feel, Swampy ;-).

By Blogger Jennifer Forman Orth, at 3/01/2008 03:37:00 PM  

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