Introduction of non-native freshwater fish can certainly be bad

Authors


Dr Daniel Simberloff, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1610, USA
Tel.: 1-865-974-0849
Fax: 1-865-974-3067
E-mail: dsimberloff@utk.edu

Abstract

In this paper, we respond to Gozlan’s views of the introduction of freshwater fish, as we strongly disagree with his view and approach. We demonstrate that many real-world examples of freshwater fish introductions have catastrophic ecological consequences. We detail a few noteworthy examples, such as those of the Nile perch, carp, tilapias, catfishes, and the zebra mussel. We discuss within-nation introductions, and we explore several related problems, such as hybridization and spread of pathogens and parasites. We propose that Gozlan’s analysis is biased, as more reliable data on impacts that are already widespread are urgently needed, mainly in the biologically richest areas of the world. Thus, we continue to advocate the precautionary principle, because species introductions, once established, are largely irreversible.

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