Invasive Species Essay

596 words - 3 pages

Snake-head fish (Channa/Parachanna) are the newest Aquatic Invaders to the United States. They are a non-native air-breathing fresh water fish. Snake-head fish are native to Asia and Africa. They started getting national attention in the summer of 2002 and then again in 2004 as being the newest invasive species to threaten native fish and wildlife resources and economic regions that depend on them. Four species of the Snake-heads were found in the United States. They were found in Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida and California. A few of these states had reproducing populations of the fish.

The Snake-heads were introduced into the United States two different ways. It’s believed that the Snake-head could have been released into the United States waters by hobbyists that kept them in aquariums and released them. The ...view middle of the document...

Snake-heads are aggressive predators when it comes to protecting their young also. One very dangerous change that could come with the Snake-heads is they can carry pathogens known as Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome and can transfer the disease to the native fish. Another way they can threaten Michigan’s ecosystem is the fact that they can use their pectoral fins to move over land to migrate between bodies of water because they can breathe air for extended periods of time. So they can spread without the help of humans which also makes it difficult to keep them under control. They could very easily change the balance of native aquatic ecosystems permanently. One more thing that could be a negative impact was the research on cost benefits. The best available data show that there is a trade-off between damage avoided by not letting snake-heads in the United States and the economic benefits received by the specialists that currently import these fish. Data indicated that $85,000.00 worth of snake-heads were imported into the United States over a four year period from 1997-2000. The potential damage that could be done by them if they become established in the United State waters would likely be in the millions of dollars and this significantly outweighs the benefits generated by the market.

One possible solution would be to eradicate the Snake-heads. Another idea would be to make them injurious species which makes importing or transporting them over state lines illegal without a permit and this has already been done. If you catch one kill it by putting it on ice for long period of time and notify the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Keeping track of size, number and location of any caught or seen could be vital to controlling this invasive species. In conclusion if we don’t continue to pull efforts together to keep this species under control as far as their population and growth, it could cause the already bad situation to become much worse.

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