Invasive species are plants, animals, and other living organisms that are not native to an ecosystem, and whose introduction is likely to harm that ecosystem. Often, they thrive because they have no natural predators and because they ravage local prey species that do not have apposite defense mechanisms. In 2013, the University of California, Davis published a study showing that 82% of 121 local fish species will face extinction within a century, while only 19% of 50 invasive species face the same risk.
Humans introduce invasive species through carelessness—ships carry invasive species in ballast water, people release pets, or homeowners grow trees and plants for aesthetic reasons. These individual actions are very problematic, but it’s inexcusable on a different level when a government intentionally introduces invasive species. That’s the case with the Largemouth Bass, which are stocked around the country to support a massive, recreational fishing industry. According to the Coastal Watershed Council, Largemouth Bass have several characteristics that make it an “excellent invasive species.” The bass are “resistant to poor water quality,” and they are “voracious predators.”
It’s bad enough when the government ignores mounting environmental catastrophes, but with this practice of stocking Bass, the government is earning money through fishing licenses and tourism by sacrificing biodiversity.
Sign this petition to stop harmful, invasive fish stocking.
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