Archive for July 8th, 2014

Invasives: Aquarium Trade

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Aquarium fish

Aquarium fish

This is Passport to Texas

[Audio clip from Finding Nemo] 04—He’s gonna get out of here. He’s going to get flushed. What a smart little guy!

We love the scenario from the Pixar film Finding Nemo where a cute little aquarium fish escapes back into the wild. The problem is most of these captive species aren’t from Texas. Luci Cook-Hildreth is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Inland Fisheries Division.

18—Even really smart people sometimes don’t understand that a fish is not just a fish and water is not just water. They go, “I have a creek in my backyard, and I have a fish that’s too big for my tank. Well, why don’t I just set him free?” And they don’t understand that there’s a lot of biological and ecological ramifications to that decision.

When these non-native fish thrive, they out-compete native Texas fish populations.

Cook-Hildreth says the internet makes buying exotic species of fish easy and practically impossible to regulate. Despite state laws, there seems to be a constant supply – and demand—for illegal species…and for good reason.

16—Folks that are interested in selling illegal fish have the potential to make thousands of dollars on these fish. And we can slap a fine on them, for $200 or $300 dollars; it’s really just the cost of doing business for these folks.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restorarion program supports our series… and receives funds from your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.