RE: Aquarist involvement in species conservation

Adrian R.Tappin (atappin at ecn.net.au)
Sat, 30 Mar 1996 09:52:23 -1000

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On Wed, 20 Mar 1996, Andrew Boyd wrote:

> At 09:11 AM 3/18/96 -0700, Peter Unmack wrote:
>=20
> (chomp)
>=20

I think that the only way one can begin to remedy this is to get=20
aquarists out in the field. How many people ever check out what fish=20
occur in the creek that passes through there own backyard? More=20
aquarists need to experience looking at fish through something other=20
than a glass aquarium. One needs to try and organise a legally=20
acceptable local field trip to collect or view local native fishes (fish =

watching is one of the most under rated forms of enjoying fish, but it=20
can be incredibly educational and enjoyable). Within a club special=20
awards could be set up for people who breed local native fishes=20
(providing they were collected and kept legally) and especially for=20
those who maintain the fish over several generations and publish their=20
observations on the fish (otherwise the significant benefits of this=20
undertaking are largely lost). It is important to stress that=20
once aquarists begin to go beyond the law they lose considerable=20
credibility. Persistance and patience with local authorities will=20
usually pay off. =20

The Australian New Guinea Fishes Association in Queensland is very =
active in the area of field trips and have discovered new habitats and =
different coloured forms of many of our native species. I remember many =
years ago we approached the Qld National Parks Service for permission to =
survey one area under their control and were refused permission.
When asked if they had a list of freshwater species occurring in the =
area the person concerned said that they did not have a list and showed =
no interest in wanting to know.

The efforts of Aquarium Hobbyists and Commercial Collectors throughout =
the world are responsible for the discover of many new, unknown to =
science species. I know that many Conservationists out there would =
comment in the Negative about such activities and some may say that the =
aquarium hobby has contributed to the decline of some species, but I =
think the record stands for itself! =20

Adrian Tappin.=20

=20

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