On the afternoon of August 26, 2022, Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary-General of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), participated in the online discussion on the topic: Is It Worth the Loss of Draining the Lake to Round up Strange Fish – Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) in the Red Star News Live Room.
In this live broadcast, three guests participated in the discussion: Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary-General of CBCGDF; Dr. Gu Dangen, a post-scientist in the prevention and control of invasive alien species in the modern agricultural industry technology system (bulk freshwater fish system); and Zhou Zhuocheng, deputy director of the China Fisheries Association’s Native Water Biology and Water Ecology Committee.
During the discussion, Dr. Zhou Jinfeng talked about the control, supervision and utilization of the alien species with the Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) as a starting point.
Control of Alien Species
For the control of alien species, we are very supportive of biological control and nature-based solutions, such as the Pomacea canaliculata just mentioned. It is an alien species. Due to its widespread presence in Chinese waters in recent years, a large number of native Chinese species have begun to feed on it. Therefore, we might as well actively cultivate local controlled species, and form a new ecosystem food chain with Pomacea canaliculata to achieve effective prevention and control of this troublesome invasive alien species.
Of course, not every alien species can implement biological control, but in general, biological control can be regarded as a very active and effective means of prevention and control. For alien species such as tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) that were originally introduced into China as food, we advocate actively exploring solutions for safe consumption. While this does not solve all problems, we always believe that biological control, as a nature-based solution, is the preferred option.
In addition, I would like to emphasize that species migration is a natural phenomenon. Migration of species and localization of alien species are natural processes. For the prevention and control of alien species, we believe that the “four principles” of ecological restoration should be adhered to, the principle of saving, the principle of nature, the principle of limitation and the principle of system.
If alien species have a direct and major impact and threat to human safety, production and life, then we can take human-based solutions (HbS) and immediately take effective measures to prevent and clean up.
For the invasive alien species water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) growing in natural waters, we believe that there is no need to carry out too much manual intervention and chemical disinfecting, because the power of nature is very powerful, and there is a process for the balance and adaptation of the ecosystem. With the increasing frequency of climate change and human communication, and the increasing number of alien species, we believe that limited response is also an important and worthwhile solution.
Supervision of Alien Species
There is no doubt that species migration has occurred since the beginning of life on earth, and birds are one of the important migratory species. With the growth of population and the development of human industrial civilization, the biggest factor causing species migration is human activities. Human factors are a very important factor causing species migration. A considerable part of the invasion of alien species is also caused by human causes, such as the invasion of alien species caused by the trade of exotic pets.
The regulation and supervision of alien species is very important, such as the aquatic animal harbor seal. Some aquariums boast that their animals are naturally born here. After being reported by CBCGDF, the relevant departments went to identify and found that they were not born naturally, but were purchased illegally. So, after improving and strengthening supervision, will this matter improve? Of course, an effective supervision mechanism and legal system are very important, but no matter how you supervise these aquariums, especially the newly opened aquariums, the market mechanism of industrial civilization will continue to drive people’s demand for it, and supervision is actually more difficult. Yes, we also have a good understanding of the work of the regulatory authorities.
For example, the supervision of illegal electric-shock fish is not easy. A county has a large water area, but there are only a few staff members in the fishery administration department, and there are not even basic motor boats and other facilities. How can they be able to effectively supervise the whole domain? This is actually difficult. Fundamentally, this requires the active participation of all of us and changes in personal cognition, awareness and behavior. We should constantly reflect on whether there are still so many resources for us to consume arbitrarily. Of course, some people have the money to buy all kinds of exotic pets. The improvement of consumption level has brought about the rapid development of emerging industries such as exotic pets. So we must make changes so that everyone can advocate and understand new production and lifestyles, understand new civilizations, and jointly build and promote the development and progress of new ecological civilizations.
Utilization of Alien Species
For the issue of exploitation, all our protection is for utilization, for survival. We have never been extreme wildlife conservationists. We are only the watchmen of human habitats. We are very active in supporting the utilization of various resources. The premise for the utilization of natural resources is not to damage the ecological environment. As long as it does not cause damage to the ecosystem, we support it. We protect the ecology in order to make better use of natural resources, for the survival, reproduction and sustainable development of human beings.
Original Chinese Article: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/Y52FwNR35RYVMEwMQtbopw
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