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Invasive fish (northern pike) threatens Maine lakes. Huh?

In the US our philosophy has changed greatly over the years. We started with the taming of the wilderness and making it safe for families, farms and orchards. It was the Exploitation Phase. Around 1900 and a little before we started the Conservation Era and invented bag limits and killed off predators. That was the time of major fish introductions of non-native species. By 1970, we had the Environmental Era and started to thiink more in terms of ecosystems and how they function. That is when the discussions of native vs non-native species got started. Now we are in the Protectionism Era. Native species are all the rage, but management decisions in the past will haunt us long into the future.
 
soo, you've never heard of the feral hogs that are decimating half of the continent, tearing up plants, watersheds, and forests, and killing small birds, animals, and insects???

I haven't argued that some non-native species don't turn out to be detrimental. I'm arguing four things:

1. Most non-native plant and animal introductions into North America have been beneficial or neutral.

2. Many of the non-native introductions that turn out to be detrimental ("invasive") were introduced by well-intentioned governments, scientists or other "experts" who, a priori, thought the introductions would be beneficial.

For example, kudzu: "From the 1930s through the 1950s, the Soil Conservation Service promoted it as a great tool for soil erosion control and was planted in abundance throughout the south. Little did we know that kudzu is quite a killer, overtaking and growing over anything in its path."

Another example is Asian carp, which "were imported to the United States in the 1970s as a method to control nuisance algal blooms in wastewater treatment plants and aquaculture ponds as well as for human food. Within ten years, the carp escaped confinement and spread to the waters of the Mississippi River basin and other large rivers like the Missouri and Illinois."

3. Many if not most of man's fiddling with natural systems, or attempts to control them via introductions or exterminations, are inherently unpredictable because there are too many unforeseeable links in the chains of these systems or because the natural systems are intrinsically chaotic.

4. As to the management of fish by moving species around into different regions of the same state or country, which was the narrow topic for which I started this thread, I think it's pretty obvious that the reasons for doing so are mostly anthropocentric--i.e., done because people want to catch, eat or make money more off of certain fishes than others. This is evident from government spending under the Endangered Species Act: "Of the roughly $1.2 billion a year spent on endangered and threatened species, about half goes toward recovery of just two types of fish: salmon and steelhead trout along the West Coast."

 
I haven't argued that some non-native species don't turn out to be detrimental. I'm arguing four things:

1. Most non-native plant and animal introductions into North America have been beneficial or neutral.

2. Many of the non-native introductions that turn out to be detrimental ("invasive") were introduced by well-intentioned governments, scientists or other "experts" who, a priori, thought the introductions would be beneficial.

For example, kudzu: "From the 1930s through the 1950s, the Soil Conservation Service promoted it as a great tool for soil erosion control and was planted in abundance throughout the south. Little did we know that kudzu is quite a killer, overtaking and growing over anything in its path."

Another example is Asian carp, which "were imported to the United States in the 1970s as a method to control nuisance algal blooms in wastewater treatment plants and aquaculture ponds as well as for human food. Within ten years, the carp escaped confinement and spread to the waters of the Mississippi River basin and other large rivers like the Missouri and Illinois."

3. Many if not most of man's fiddling with natural systems, or attempts to control them via introductions or exterminations, are inherently unpredictable because there are too many unforeseeable links in the chains of these systems or because the natural systems are intrinsically chaotic.

4. As to the management of fish by moving species around into different regions of the same state or country, which was the narrow topic for which I started this thread, I think it's pretty obvious that the reasons for doing so are mostly anthropocentric--i.e., done because people want to catch, eat or make money more off of certain fishes than others. This is evident from government spending under the Endangered Species Act: "Of the roughly $1.2 billion a year spent on endangered and threatened species, about half goes toward recovery of just two types of fish: salmon and steelhead trout along the West Coast."

you're the one that stated "Many introduced species are very beneficial or neutral. Just focusing on North America, chickens, goats, cattle, horses, PIGS, honey bees and thousands of other animal and plant species have been beneficial or neutral though non-native and introduced by colonists.", not me...
 
Just found this one, that really introduces some of the complexities of non-native species (primarily mammalian megafauna). It's a good read, summarizing a recent article in Science, probably the most pre-eminent science publication out there. It basically says that the effects of native vs non-native large (ish) mammals are the same.

"Introduced species such as feral pigs, horses, donkeys and camels represent a powerful force of “rewilding” — the reintroduction of wild animals into ecosystems where humans had eradicated them — according to a study published Thursday in Science.

 
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