Essay

Unintended consequences of using alien fish for human benefit in protected areas

Olaf L.F. Weyl, Bruce R. Ellender, Ryan J. Wasserman, Darragh J. Woodford
Koedoe | Vol 57, No 1 | a1264 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v57i1.1264 | © 2015 Olaf L.F. Weyl, Bruce R. Ellender, Ryan J. Wasserman, Darragh J. Woodford | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 December 2014 | Published: 07 July 2015

About the author(s)

Olaf L.F. Weyl, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa; Centre for Invasion Biology, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa
Bruce R. Ellender, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa; Centre for Invasion Biology, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa
Ryan J. Wasserman, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa; Centre for Invasion Biology, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa
Darragh J. Woodford, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa; Centre for Invasion Biology, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa


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Abstract

There is increasing pressure on conservation agencies to allow access to natural resources within protected areas for human benefit. Alien fishes are often seen as a convenient resource because their harvest does not conflict with conservation goals. However, allowing such access may have unintended consequences for managers. This opinion essay is intended to provide some insights into how promoting access to alien fish resources can add to the complexity of conservation interventions, may facilitate additional fish introductions and create dependencies on alien fish that could compromise potential eradication efforts.

Conservation implications: Management plans for the utilisation of alien fishes by external stakeholders must include clear exit strategies so that the ability to eradicate when necessary or feasible is not compromised.


Keywords

Alien Invasive Species

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