aquarium concerns

Charles Delbeek delbeek at
Sun Nov 4 19:10:08 EST 2001

At 12:20 PM 11/2/2001 -0500, you wrote:

>Speaking of invasive species, here is an excerpt of today's news from
>PFP SeaSpan ~~ The bi-monthly electronic newsletter of the
>Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation. Note that there are many ways
>other than through aquaria that species are introduced. I think we should
>seek to limit all sources.

John: Not to say your point is without merit but in Hawaii tropical marine 
fish have been imported into this state for decades, and there have been 
numerous releases over that time span, however, there has not been a single 
incident of any aquarium fish forming a reproducing population here that I 
am aware of. I would hazard to guess that the same may also occur in 
Florida. Yes you do occasionally see sightings of Centropyge flavissimus in 
Kaneohe Bay and elsewhere around Oahu and the odd damsel here and there, 
but that's about it. Where there has been catastrophic changes have been 
when the state government, despite advise from scientific consultants 
released fishes here such as the bluestripe snapper, Lutjanus kasmira, and 
the peacock grouper, Cephalopholis argus, the snapper in particular has 
been implicated in the decline of local snapper species. There have also 
been attempts in the last few decades to seed reefs with giant clams and 
some corals from the south Pacific, none of which survived.

In contrast, the freshwater streams and lakes on several of the islands are 
almost completely dominated by aquarium fishes such as cichlids and 
livebearers. In this case, the lack of any competition in the local 
freshwaters probably played a significant role.


J. Charles Delbeek
Aquarium Biologist
Waikiki Aquarium
2777 Kalakaua Ave.
Honolulu, HI, USA 96815
808-923-1771 FAX

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