Beyond ballast water: aquarium and ornamental trades as sources of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems

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Abstract

Although ballast water has received much attention as a source of aquatic invasive species, aquariums and trade in aquarium and ornamental species are emerging as another important source for species likely to invade aquatic habitats. These species are spread throughout the world in a generally unregulated industry. The recent focus on the aquarium trade as a possible mechanism for environmentally sustainable development poses an especially dangerous threat, although this has so far escaped the attention of most environmentalists, conservationists, ecologists, and policy makers.

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