By Tim Campbell
Early in the Great Lakes BIOTIC planning process, I noticed that our steering committee was very interested in risk assessment. We wanted to know the potential invasion risk of specific organisms in transit pathways. We wanted to know the potential for certain species to establish if they were to be released in to the Great Lakes. We wondered how different levels of management, from local to national, were applying risk assessment protocols. We even asked if anyone was looking at how the internet changes the availability of certain species.Read More...
By Tim Campbell
I grew up in rural Iowa and my dad was a game warden in Muscatine County. His county included a section of the Mississippi River, a long stretch of the smaller but still big Cedar River, some ponds and a handful of old quarries. Part of his job was to educate and enforce the numerous hunting and fishing regulations. When he was teaching me how to fish, he of course taught me how to tie my hook on and bait hook, but he also put an equal emphasis on the different regulations that applied to different bodies of water in the county. At first, my younger self was just irritated because I didn’t understand the seemingly arbitrary nature in which these regulations were applied.Why could you take more largemouth bass or bigger bass out of different bodies of water? Why did you need a special stamp to fish in certain places? Why could you only fish with two poles? I need all the help I can get! It took a few years,earning my fishing merit badge and a handful of fishing clinics, but I eventually grew to understand why fishing regulations were in place. I even grew to appreciate the fact that they were protecting the resources that I cared so much about.Read More...
By Tim Campbell
The outreach panel may be the most exciting panel of the Great Lakes BIOTIC Symposium. Of course, as an outreach specialist for Wisconsin Sea Grant, I may be just a little bit biased, but I stand by my statement. I enjoy my spot between the worlds of science and those who need and use it, and I think a lot of great things can happen when we bridge the gap that too often exists between them. Many of the presentations that are lined up for outreach panel are doing just that – taking some great science and making it accessible to those that need it.
It would be impossible to start an Organisms in Trade outreach panel without a presentation on the fun-to-say, easier-to-have Habitattitude campaign from Doug Jensen of Minnesota Sea Grant. There is a lot we can learn from the successes of this community-based social marketing campaign that provides alternatives to pet release. We’ll then move into specific efforts that are addressing OIT pathways. A University of Wisconsin researcher has enlisted the help of bait shops to spread the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! message, while a North Carolina State University and Illinois/Indiana Sea Grant project is looking at what water gardeners need to help prevent the spread of invasive species. A representative from the Wisconsin DNR will present on efforts to work with nurseries to phase out NR-40 restricted plant species and we’ll wrap up with the Habitattitude and pet amnesty work of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, and yours truly. And now you know why I’m so excited for the outreach panel.
In all seriousness, we’re hoping that these presentations will not only allow others to apply what has been learned in other states, but also that sharing ideas and perspectives will foster new ideas to apply the great work that has been done to prevent the spread of invasive species through OIT pathways. There is plenty of interesting work being presented at the Great Lakes BIOTIC Symposium, so hopefully the next great outreach project can trace its roots to Milwaukee!
By Tim Campbell
Without industry, there would be no organisms in trade—there would just be organisms and no one to trade them. We would all be left to fend for ourselves and go collect whatever organisms we wanted, could find, and—here’s the tricky part—could catch. While in my boy scout years, I may have been both all for this and also really good at it, these days, I’m happy to let others go collect most of the organisms I want. Letting the professionals do it provides me with choices from across the nation and world when I’m looking to buy plants for my yard, fish for my dinner table or bait to catch some fish of my own. Aquaculture operations in the Midwest can now grow African fish, and I’m sure someone on my block has an ornamental plant from the other side of the Pacific. Having these organisms in trade provides us all with a convenient way to access a wide variety of organisms, whether they be for food, aesthetics, or just enjoyment, while also supporting a huge number of jobs and businesses.
If you’re reading Great Lakes Takes, you probably already know that there is risk associated with moving all of these species around to all these different places. Some of these species that are desirable for one reason may have an overall detrimental impact on the environment and economy. The other three topic panels at the Great Lakes BIOTIC Symposium highlight ways we are reducing that risk through regulations, risk assessment, and outreach. This topic panel provides an opportunity for industry representatives to provide us with their perspectives and see what things are like from their side of the table. Representatives from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and AmericanHort (the American Horticulture Industry Association) will provide us with national views on how these organizations are working to prevent the spread of invasive species. On the other end of the spectrum, the fish room manager for Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets right in Milwaukee will be providing us with some thoughts on how local industry can be involved in invasive species prevention efforts. These presentations, in addition to many of the synthesis presentations, will give us all a better idea of what industry is doing across all the different organism in trade invasion pathways to reduce the risk of invasion.