dwashbur wrote:And to answer your question: one thing we have NOT learned is how the damn thing got there.
Just like Ciona, it only takes a few.
Sorry, but this is nothing more than guilt by association. It's not even remotely based on science of any kind. One of the big problems with the Ciona savignyi
is that it multiplies like the proverbial rabbits. AFAIK, lobsters don't. Second, as Chenari pointed out, it has no predators. Crustaceans have plenty, and several folks have already pointed out that the GPO that hangs out at Redondo is probably going to have a fine meal, if it hasn't already.
Sounder wrote:The one thing we HAVE learned is that this is NOT a native species of Puget Sound. The other one thing we HAVE learned is that invasive species can do terrible things to delicate ecosystems.
No, it's not a "native species," whatever that means. In the current lingo, it seems to mean "It doesn't normally occur there at the moment." Have there ever been lobsters in Puget Sound? We don't know, because we haven't been monitoring the place all that long (in migratory or geological terms). And yes, we've learned from Ciona savignyi
that "invasive species" CAN do terrible things. But we haven't learned that they inevitably WILL. Once again, and I wonder how many times we have to say this, WE DON'T KNOW. We don't know how it got there, we don't know if there's more than one, we don't know if establishing a population in the presence of natural predators like the GPO if it would in fact be a "bad" thing (however one chooses to define that, and there are lots of possibilities).
I also HAVE learned that there is no law against harvesting LOBSTER from Puget Sound.
Additionally, I HAVE learned that there serious ecological concerns with ANY invasive species.
No, you haven't learned the second one. What you have actually learned is that there are "serious ecological concerns" with some of the CURRENT invasive species we've seen, specifically of the tunicate kind. Jumping from that to "ANY invasive species" is not a legitimate extrapolation. It's an assumption, nothing more.
Sounder wrote:Sure, a storm brought the lion fish onto the Atlantic coast... and there's open season for spearfishing on them in an attempt to remedy the problem. While I hope this isn't the beginning of a bigger problem, if there is, I look forward to Lamont's relentless eradication of them through an "open, unlimited season" on them.
Thanks for bringing that up, because it points up a major inconsistency in some folks' thinking. I mentioned the hurricane that dragged the lionfish up to the Atlantic coast because 60south said this:
This is how disasters like the lionfish invasion on the east coast started. The first one is "Oh, isn't that cute! Let's let it live!" And suddenly there's millions of them causing havoc.
How many things are wrong with this statement? I can't even count them. First, as I pointed out, a hurricane was the cause. And obviously that hurricane brought several of the fish to the area. So there was no "first one." Second, the statement at least implies that humans had something to do with it. But the event that brought them there was NATURAL. It was a hurricane, a naturally-occurring event that's part of the whole cycle of nature thing. So if we're really interested in letting nature take its course, then we're defying the natural order by trying to remove the lionfish. If "nature," whatever one conceives it to be, brought them there, then it would seem that "nature" wants them there. Why are people trying to eradicate them? Because their presence is screwing up some human activities, especially economic ones. It has less to do with nature and the ecosystem than it does with a lot of people's livelihood or their desire to see the ecosystem remain static. But let's get real for a moment: ecosystems change. Climates change. Species change location, diet, and everything else. Change is the only real constant. If we don't like that, we need to find a different planet.
Recently, down here in the Monterey area, Chenari discovered an organism that has never been seen this far north before. She's been talking with experts from a couple of major universities to help establish its identity with reasonable certainty, and they're excited about finding that particular creature in a whole new area. In the terms you and 60south are using, this organism is "invasive" because it only recently appeared there, and nobody's quite sure how. Should it be eradicated because of that? This is the reasoning I'm seeing here. Instead, the experts we've been talking to are so excited they can't sit still. It appears this creature is expanding its territory, which means its population is thriving. That's a GOOD thing, and it's part of the natural order. We could conclude the same thing about the whole lionfish thing. If it needs to be eradicated because it's interfering with the CURRENT ecosystem that humans depend on for livelihood and/or recreation, then let's at least have the cojones
to admit that this is the real reason, and drop the environmental smokescreen.
Having said that, if a lobster population gets established in the Sound, it will be good for the octopus, good for other animals that eat crustaceans, and good for humans who can go hunt them and have a wonderful meal on occasion. There is no evidence at all that such a population would be harmful. All we hear is "invasive species" as a hot-button term, and words like "can," "could," "may," "might" and the like. Let's take a step back and find out what we're talking about before we act, how about it?
Sounder wrote:Believe me, if lobsters start showing us off Redondo Beach, I have no doubt the REEF AAT and other agencies will be looking into it swiftly and strongly. Why? Because, if we just "leave it be and see what happens," we could end up with another problem like various other invasive species have caused.
Janna? Jan? Georgia? Other AAT team members? - What's YOUR take on this?
Looking, sure. I'll be glad to help. Acting? Why? Once again, we don't have enough info to act intelligently. The fact that you keep using words like "could" just proves my point. We "could" end up with another problem. Then again, we "could" end up with something terrific that not only tastes good, but "could" contribute in unforeseen ways to the ecosystem and the economy of the area. Let's stop all the knee-jerk stuff over the word "invasive" and try to get some real information to work from.