[Coral-List] non-native Milkfish (Chanos chanos) bait, invasive species risk to Palau coral reef ecosystem?

Crawdaddy Hale crawdaddyhale at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 10 20:42:04 EDT 2007

October 11, 2007
Dear Coral-List:
1.  Do you have any research to support the contention that parasites or diseases associated with non-native milkfish (Chanos chanos) live bait (stored in on-board livewells with open circulation systems while in port) pose an invasive species risk to Palau coral reef ecosystems?  Research from other geographic areas on milkfish or similar species?
Additional facts -  Bangus-sized fish (5-30 cm).  Most likely source: Mindanao, Philippines.  Other sources include Taiwan and Sulawesi, Indonesia.  Not inspected by Quarantine.  Some fish escape.  Some live fish bought for local use.
Longline fishing vessels based in Palau make routine trips to Davao, Philippines (mostly unauthorized) to offload catch and pick up live bait.  Vessels are in port for less than five days.  Palau is in the process on formulating a marine invasive species plan.  Because of the popularity of scuba diving and its importance to Palau tourism, Palau government is trying to identify pathways for coral-damaging (coral reef system-damaging) invasive species.
Thank you for any information you could provide.
Best regards,
Christopher L. Hale
Republic of Palau Assistant Attorney General
crawdaddyhale at hotmail.com 

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