Each family of living organisms survives and belongs in a certain habitat which is called their native habitats. Based on that principle fishes also tend to belong to a certain native habitat and when they are exposed to a different habitat then this problem is called the problem of invasive or exotic species. This problem is very common all over the globe and believe it or not fishermen especially anglers play a big role in the spread of this problem.
BENEFITS AND HARMS
In most of the cases, it is very hard for the exotic species to survive in the new habitat as it is hard to adapt to new circumstances. In fact, undue transfer of these species is actually one of the leading cause of disturbances in the ecosystem. However, when it happens by the means of nature then it is not a bad thing entirely as it leads to the further evolution of that very species.
Exotic species find it hard to adapt to a new place but when they do then they multiply at a very fast rate. In a matter of a few days, their number can change tremendously and it often gets hard to remove them from the new place at that time. It is quite beneficial when it occurs at places where there is need of this transmission of non-native species but in most cases, it often turns out to be the opposite.
On the harmful side, invasive species are capable enough to destroy habitats of many native species resulting in the extinction of those very species. For instance, the exposure of the Nile Perch into Lake Victoria in the African region led to the extinction of many native species in a matter of days and is considered to be one of the most destructive cases in this phenomenon by far.
Moreover, the introduction of invasive species does not apply to fishes only. The harmful and beneficial cases also hold true in the case of other related aquatic animals and plants as well.
ROLE OF NORMAL FISHERMEN
Many fishermen are unaware of the fact that they actually play a great role in the introduction of invasive species. Although many don’t do it on purpose but their actions lead to this as an end result. This gives rise to the duty of the fishermen to make sure they take necessary preventive measure to ensure they are not introducing any exotic species. A fisherman should take the following preventive measures to make sure he/she is not participating in the introduction of exotic species:
- Exotic species often get transmitted through the bait. Thus, a fisherman should always empty his bait container before entering into a water body and he/she also must not transport bait from one water location to the other through the medium of water.
- Invasive species are often so small that they are hardly visible to the eyes even in broad daylight. Therefore, a fisherman should thoroughly clean the fishing gear as well as his/her outfit especially the places that are wet.
- It is important to clean up your boat if the probable transfer of any exotic species is detected or identified. In this case, a fisherman should wash and dry off the boat completely before leaving the water body.
By following these easy to follow preventive measures you can minimize the risk of transmission of exotic species to a great extent. There are certainly more preventive measures one can and should take. In some states, it is mandatory by law to inspect and clean up your boat before you leave the water body. Furthermore, make sure you get rid of any fishes and plants or any other visible organisms from your boat before you leave.