December 1, 2000
RIDNIS Workshop Summary
Note: This summary is for informational purposes only. Please do not distribute without printing the complete summary.
*RIDNIS Workshop 1 Summary
*Reducing the Introduction and Damage of Aquatic Nonindigenous Species through Outreach and Education
Ted Grosholz, Project
Erin Williams, Outreach Coordinator
Department of Environmental Science and Policy
One Shields Avenue
Davis, California 95616
December 1, 2000 in Oakland, California
Ted Grosholz, RIDNIS Project Director and UC Cooperative Extension
Specialist, kicked off the day with a general introduction to
the issue of non-native aquatic species and a general overview
of the RIDNIS project goals. He discussed the agenda for the days
meeting as well as the expected goals and products. He emphasized
that this was the first attempt at bringing together the diverse
interest surrounding this issue and that although much would be
learned today, there was still much to do in the future.
Mark Sherfy, a Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) discussed the "International Trade in Live Bait: A Potential Source of Aquatic Nuisance Species Introductions." Mark has put together a very quantitative analysis of live bait species being imported into the United States (US) from different countries. By surveying the US Customs declarations, he was able to put together the numbers of different bait species being imported from specific countries on an annual basis. He was also able to break this down by US cities into which the different bait items were being imported. His findings included several striking conclusions. First, although many major US cities led the list in numbers and types of bait species being introduced, there were many smaller cities with large numbers of bait species entering. Second, these species were coming from a larger number (literally dozens) of countries including many Asian countries, such as Viet Nam for instance. Third, the number of species is difficult to determine because taxa are listed according to tariff codes like "live crabs" or "worms." Many new species like the 24-inch "nuclear worm" are of uncertain origin. His results also indicated that these customs estimate are low, based on other measures of bait sales, and emphasized they only have data for "declared shipments." Lastly, access to shipping data is limited to documents older than six months.
Sharon Gross from the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and US Fish and Wildlife Service gave a presentation entitled "A Perspective from the Federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force." Ms. Gross reviewed the recommendations from the Intentional Introductions Policy Review completed in 1994. She also discussed unintentional introductions and the need at the Federal level to have pathways of introduction prioritized based on results of risk analysis. She also emphasized the need for both regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to dealing with these pathways. One major point she stressed is the need to communicate to the Federal level the needs at the state and regional level and how the Task Force could help fill in gaps in invasive species issues.
Allen Clark, a Program Supervisor with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Pest Exclusion/Plant Quarantine, discussed the "Effectiveness of State Quarantine Laws." Mr. Clark gave an overview of the 5 CDFA mandates: Exclusion, Detection, Control & Eradication, Plant Pest Diagnostics, and Education as well as quarantine activities of the CDFA including border stations, terminals, nursery inspections, airport and maritime checkpoints. He also gave an overview of two CDFA cooperative projects that are trying to close off pathways of non-native species introduction in California. He also reviewed the legal authorities available to CDFA as well as plant quarantine challenges facing the agency. He discussed the difficulties with screening packages carried through the US Postal Service (USPS) and progress in working with USPS to screen parcels for non-native species.
Tim Torbett, a Botanist/CITES Specialist with the US Department of Agriculture, APHIS, presented his "Perspectives on Federal Regulatory Efforts." Mr. Torbett gave an on-the-ground account of his duties as an Agricultural Inspector. He emphasized they rarely looked at marine organisms, since their focus is on agricultural products. This has only recently become an issue for them as their authority changed under the Plant Protection Act. He emphasized that marine species were now on the radar screen, but their efforts in this area are just beginning.
Marshall Meyers from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and National Invasive Species Advisory Council gave a talk entitled "Aquarium Industry and Invasive Species - Industry Involvement and Views." Mr. Meyers covered some of the activity on the international front regarding pet imports and the activities of National Invasive Species Advisory Council (NISAC), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) and other national and international bodies. He noted that over 1500 species are currently being imported into the United States. Mr. Meyers discussed the industry concerns of invasive species and steps PIJAC is taking to help reduce the risk of new introductions. These include distribution of information to their member stores, providing guidance to stores, and involvement at the state and international level in invasive species issues. He summarized the level of awareness of ANS issues in different segments of the industry (hobbyists, consumers, large and small retailers, wholesalers). One program being discussed is the creation of "Surrender Centers" for unwanted exotic pets. A primary PIJAC concern is the lack of communication between PIJAC and Garden Centers. Mr. Meyers also discussed the Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) and the role that MAC can play in preventing non-native species introductions.
Eric Cohen, Secretary of Sea Dwelling Creatures, Inc., gave a talk entitled "Reinventing of the Aquarium Industry." Mr. Cohen discussed the Marine Aquarium Council's role and funding support for research and what is being traded. He discussed some of the smaller trade groups and their level of awareness and activity including the American Marine Dealers Association (AMDA), the Florida Tropical Fish Farmers and others. He also discussed Sea Dwelling Creature's reporting of items sold in California as well as general procedures followed for importing items into the United States.
Jim Kidder, President of Columbo Bait in California, presented a view from the bait trade. He provided personal anecdotes including several foreign suppliers that attempted to secure his help in distributing new bait species. He provided some very frank and honest insights from the point of view of a bait distributor, and the highly independent nature of individual bait dealers. There is absolutely no industry organization or avenues for communication among different bait dealers. Mr. Kidder assured us that each and every fisher dumped their entire bucket of live bait into SF Bay after every fishing trip. He suggested it would take a substantial effort to change this. He suggested that rather than "waste" time putting fliers in bait stores that he felt no one would read, that we should focus our efforts on articles in local newspaper fishing columns (the weekly column at the back of the sports page) and in magazines and journals that fishers really read like National Fisherman.
Karen Norman-Boudreau, Ph.D., President and Owner of Living Aquatic Resources, presented "A View from the Aquascape Trade". Dr. Norman-Boudreau had several personal anecdotes detailing the uneven enforcement of laws concerning aquatic plants. Her feeling was that the regulatory environment was becoming too restrictive and not focusing on species she thought would be a problem. She was not supportive of the idea that consumers could be directed towards using more native species in place of exotic aquatic plants.
*For in-depth discussions of nonindigenous aquatic species introduction pathways and dispersal, three breakout sessions were held in the afternoon. The summary of each discussion is listed below.
Breakout Group 1: Information
Acquisition and Management: Important Data Needs for Regulators
Topics discussed: What information is needed? How should this organized? How can industry and the public contribute to the development of this data structure? Should this become part of an existing database? How can these data be used to assess risk? How can new funds be generated for data acquisition and management?
1. Comprehensive list of sources/pathways (mostly identified)
and priorities (not identified).
2. What is coming across each pathway and from where?
3. Species-specific tolerances for both plants and animals.
4. Numbers being sold? Imported?
5. List of natives, non-natives, not sure
6. Standardize data sets: # permitted or shipped?
7. Permits need more information, such as taxonomy.
8. Past history of invasions: what data do we already have? Is it computerized?
9. Target audience = regulators
10. New data needed: surveys; self-monitoring by industry; permit data; expanded habitat monitoring for detection of new species/species proliferation; centralized reporting system
11. Feedback from regulators and educators: what do they need?
Breakout Group 2: Regulation and Legislation
Topics discussed: What are the weaknesses in existing laws and regulations? Is there a need to modify existing laws and regulations? How can current regulations be better executed? How can the concerns of industry and the public be integrated into new laws and regulations? How can we measure the effectiveness of new laws and regulations? What are the current plans for national and/or international laws and agreements?
1. Existing regulations are hard to understand, sometimes inconsistent,
spread out across many agencies and leave gaps in regulation.
Compliance is difficult.
2. Various agencies have limitations (personnel, etc.) that do not allow for follow through of existing regulations.
3. How can we simplify or coordinate?
4. Need Latin names for all organisms. Not all were in agreement on this issue.
5. Exemptions for food items, not wildlife, are a problem. Food items need to be permitted similarly by Fish and Wildlife Service.
6. Inspector Personnel.
7. Enforcement gaps.
8. Better species identification needed, as it is sometimes unknown or inaccurate.
9. Need recognized and accepted list and rapid means of identification for field agents.
10. Coordination of inspection procedures.
11. Standardize data gathering between agencies.
12. Evaluate effectiveness of inspections.
13. Identify risks geographically of particular organisms and disseminate to agencies.
14. Need database of all species and relevant regulations.
15. Information dissemination.
16. Coordination/communication between agencies needs improvement.
17. Growing industry of "reef building". They predicted a dramatic future increase in import of marine plants, which provide improved growth of aquarium corals.
18. Address live food industry.
Sources of existing data:
USDA: Port entries
CA Department of Food and Agriculture: Port entries, Inspection stations
Industry: Products they import/export
Academia, State Agencies, Local, Federal, Non-profits: Environmental Monitoring
Department of Fish and Game: Aquaculture database
US Coast Guard: Ship Inspections
Breakout Group 3: Public and Industry Awareness
Topics discussed: How can we better educate the consumer public and the industry about the risks of introduction? Can we use past efforts for terrestrial pest control as a model for nonindigenous plants and animals? How can we measure is the current level of public and industry awareness? How can industry and public concerns be incorporated into education? How can new funds be generated for additional public and industry education?
1. Work directly with retailers, such as PETCO, Wal-Mart, PETsMART,
to distribute message.
2. Use a generic, simple, catchy message such as "If you buy it, don't release it" with a sub-message of proper disposal.
3. Promote "Surrender Centers" if available (some retailers are taking back unwanted pets).
4. Use same message but talk to different groups (aquarium, pet, bait, etc.) to determine best medium approach (brochure, receipt message, stickers on containers, magazine advertisements, etc.).
5. Who should deliver idea? Collaboration with PIJAC, government representatives, and trade magazines in addition to NGO's.
6. Funding partnerships between industry and government agencies thought to be most effective and industry is more likely to cooperate with a government entity rather than an educational project.
7. Evaluation of efforts: Perhaps conduct surveys at stores?
RIDNIS Workshop Agenda:
December 1, 2000
9:00 - 9:20 a.m. Ted Grosholz, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, UC Davis, and UC Cooperative Extension
Welcome and introduction to the issues
9:20 - 9:40 a.m. Mark Sherfy,
Fish and Wildlife Biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service
International trade in live bait: a potential source of aquatic nuisance species introductions
9:40 - 10:00 a.m. Sharon Gross,
National Invasive Species Task Force, US Fish and Wildlife Service
A perspective from the Federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force
10:00 - 10:20 a.m. Allen Clark,
Program Supervisor, California Department of Food and Agriculture,
Pest Exclusion/Plant Quarantine
Effectiveness of state quarantine laws
10:20 - 10:40 a.m. Tim Torbett,
Botanist/CITES Specialist, US Department of Agriculture, APHIS
Perspectives on Federal regulatory efforts
10:40 - 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 - 11:20 a.m. Marshall
Meyers, Executive Vice President
Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and National Invasive Species Advisory Council (ISAC)
Aquarium Industry and Invasive Species - Industry Involvement and Views
11:20 - 11:40 a.m. Eric Cohen,
Secretary, Sea Dwelling Creatures, Inc.
Reinventing of the Aquarium Industry
11:40 - 12:00 noon Jim Kidder, President, Columbo Bait
A view from the bait trade
12:00 - 12:20 p.m. Karen Normand-Boudreau,
Ph.D., President/Owner, Living Aquatic Resources
A view from the aquascape trade
12:20 - 1:30 pm Lunch (a catered lunch is provided)
1:30 - 3:00 pm Breakout Sessions
Session I: Information Acquisition
What information is needed? How should this organized? How can industry and the public contribute to the development of this data structure? Should this become part of an existing database? How can these data be used to assess risk? How can new funds be generated for data acquisition and management?
Session II: Regulation and
What are the weaknesses in existing laws and regulations? Is there a need to modify existing laws and regulations? How can current regulations be better executed? How can the concerns of industry and the public be integrated into new laws and regulations? How can we measure the effectiveness of new laws and regs? What are the current plans for national and/or international laws and agreements?
Session III: Public and Industry
How can we better educate the consumer public and the industry about the risks of introduction? Can we use past efforts for terrestrial pest control as a model for nonindigenous plants and animals? How can we measure is the current level of public and industry awareness? How can industry and public concerns be incorporated into eduction? How can new funds be generated for additional public and industry education?
3:00 - 3: 15 pm Break
3:15 - 4: 30 pm Summary Session
Synthesize results from breakout sessions and plan next steps for work in these areas
4:30 Have a nice weekend!
Project Workshop 1 Summary Page, September 2000 - September 2002
(*Reducing the Introduction and Distribution of Nonindigenous Species through Outreach & Education)
University of California Cooperative Extension, Department of Environmental Science and Policy
|This project is funded by the CALFED Bay-Delta program in cooperation with the University of California Cooperative Extension.|