Archive for July 9th, 2014

Invasives: Aquarium Trade, 2

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Fish at Sea Center Texas

Fish at Sea Center Texas

This is Passport to Texas

How far would you travel to ensure the future of your favorite exotic aquarium fish?

06—We had some folks telling us that they would go as far as 50 miles to find an appropriate body of water.

You may think releasing your pet fish into Texas waters, when you no longer want it or can care for it, is humane. Yet exotic aquaria species disrupt natural ecosystems and out-compete native fish for resources.

Priscilla Weeks is a senior research scientist at the Houston Advanced Research Center. Her team used a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant to research why people release their fish into Texas waters.

14—I think there might be a stereotype where folks think that it is easy, emotionally, just to release a fish. But actually what we’re finding is folks are very attached to their pets.

Research shows whether a person gets rid of their fish depends on personal preference like a fish’s behavioral or physical attributes. Weeks says oftentimes if those attributes change, so does the owners’ interest in the fish.

Weeks says some people think releasing a fish is the only option, but, among the alternatives are euthanizing it, and the less drastic: taking it back to the pet store.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and is funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

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