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Article
The Aquarium Trade as an Invasion Pathway in the Pacific Northwest
Fisheries
  • Angela L. Strecker, Portland State University
  • Philip M. Campbell, University of Washington - Seattle Campus
  • Julian D. Olden, University of Washington - Seattle Campus
Document Type
Post-Print
Publication Date
4-22-2011
Subjects
  • Biological invasions - Pacific Northwest,
  • Aquariums,
  • Ornamental fish trade,
  • Fisheries
Abstract

The aquarium trade moves thousands of species around the globe, and unwanted organisms may be released into freshwaters, with adverse ecological and economic effects. We report on the first investigation of the ornamental pet trade as an invasion pathway in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, where a moderate climate and a large human population present ample opportunities for the introduction and establishment of aquarium trade species. Results from a regional survey of pet stores found that the number of fish (n=400) and plant (n=124) species currently in the aquarium trade is vast. Pet stores import thousands of fish every month, the majority of which (58%) are considered to pose an ecological threat to native ecosystems. Our propagule pressure model suggests that approximately 2,500 fish (maximum 21,000 individuals) are likely released annually to the Puget Sound region by aquarists, and that water temperatures in many parts of Washington are suitable for establishment of populations. In conclusion, the aquarium trade may be a significant source of past and future invasions in the Pacific Northwest, and we recommend enhanced public education programs, greater regulation of the aquarium industry, and improved legislation of nonnative species in the ornamental trade.

Description

This is the Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the February 2011 issue of Fisheries. Copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1577/03632415.2011.10389070

DOI
10.1577/03632415.2011.10389070
Persistent Identifier
http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/11384
Citation Information
Strecker, A. L., Campbell, P. M., & Olden, J. D. (2011). The aquarium trade as an invasion pathway in the Pacific Northwest. Fisheries, 36(2), 74-85.