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red rock

What grey list species would you like to be able to legally keep?

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Hi all, I have been asked as an industry representative to provide a list of some of the most desired fish species that are not on the import list, and not on the noxious list. These will be supplied to the government group in combination with industry representatives and scientists that will be assessing these species in the future.

These species could either be added to the noxious list, or maybe have some kinds of regulations on them for safer keeping -an example might be permits.

If they are deemed safe or "low risk", those species may be then applied for by someone to be added to the import list at a later date.

These are known as "grey list" species and this list will be dismantled and sent to the most appropriate list for that species in the future. As such there will no longer be a grey list.

Seeing as there are so many of them, it is desirable to establish a list of species that will be sent through a risk assessment process, to prioritise for assessment if you will.

For example. a list might be like this.

red tail cat

bichar

clown knife

motoro ray, leo, henli

flower horn cichlid.

peacock cichlid.

Species names are welcome next to the common name as well and if you like you can estimate what these fish might be worth.

I don't want to start a big argument over prices, but we might use a range or say

1-100 dollars, 100-1000, over 1000 dollars.

I am not concerned who has what or how many and i am certainly not acting as a narc, only if you are aware of fish that would be in high demand, or maybe you just a great fondness of a certain species that is not imported. Obviously those found on your state noxious lists currently have either been determined potentially too risky to the aquatic environment, or had no interest declared by hobbyists or industry in the earlier rounds of meetings.

Ok, let's see how we go. thanks.

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If this is anything like the survey the fisheries did when they where looking at green zones beware.They asked the fishos what and where they caught their fish and low and behold now those spots are green zones.This is just my opinion but be careful what info you give

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some of the grey list spp. are of no threat to the more southern regions of australia as they wont survive winter ie clown knifes and pbass. even in florida where they are noxious they die off nearly totally in extreme winters of below 6 degrees and cant establish north of orlando. that being said yes they would thrive in the northern regions. i dont really care what spp are proposed off the grey list for future allowable import but do believe some should of never been put on the grey list to start with JMHO ;)

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I don't know if this is relevant or not but I would like to see the true Green Terror in Australia.

they are rare in the entire hobby worldwide. not a real stunner imho but sort after at present like anything not available in oz. once they land ppl get bored and wait for the next "new fish" ;)

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If this is genuine I think its nice to see...just curious as to the questioning of pricing estimations though...especially as these fish exist on the "grey list"...an unstable market....any price given would be mostly personal opinion...and alot would be based on the fact many of thes fish are NOT readily available/if at all......

I personally would like to see

Parachromis Motaguensis &

Arowana varieties

amongst others :)

Edited by goldenswimmers

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No tangles its not like that but i get your concern. There is no trick involved. there will certainly be "green zones" or noxious list additions made but i am not asking for what people want so they can be made noxious. I want to know what might be desired so that these can be put through the assessment first. if the species is not run through early on, it will possibly still be run through later on, if industry or hobby don't speak up then the fish isn't going to be considered to have much of a benefit to the economy. If no one cares much, then time might dictate that species doesn't get a look in. I't wont mean that it becomes legal just because it wasn't assessed.

A fish will receive a score which will determine where it sits, then there may be some reasons for the fish to have extra consideration if it sits with a borderline score. These are the species that will looked into more thoroughly, the ones we identify as being desirable to the trade and to hobbyists. taking their biology etc into account to see if they can be traded and or kept.

hence why i asked for the value, another thing might be that if plenty of people would want the fish, there might be say 1000 sales per year of a say 300 dollar fish and so that would count too and be seen as a pro not a con. except if it is very dangerous of course.

Benno, that is relevant and what i asked, thanks. As long as it is not on a noxious list right now or set to be added soon... i have not checked because i don't know all fish species. I will look to add that to the list to be assessed as a priority. Cichlids are going to be a hard task, we don't want to see them all banned because some people might just drop out of the industry all together. There is someone involved that keeps cichlids and from memory was in a cichlid type society, and is trying to see what can be done with them.

Tuffy rana, this process should identify species that should not have been put on the grey list to begin with, as in back in the day when the import list was formed not all low risk species were put on the import list. I also agree with your other point on the different temperatures involved across australia. Things like the clown knife might get extra credit because they are highly prized and of value, just because temperature may suit them surviving, there will be other indicators taken into account, for example they are not bred easily.. if you think about it, near every fish has a suitable temperature somewhere in Australia.

I look at this like the tilapia which was banned, mainly because it was one of the worlds most invasive species, in the top 100 and has many attributes that means it would likely establish here, and it has. I realise that it wont establish where it is 6 degrees but the potential for damage was too great.

For desired fish, we have tried to look at the areas they could establish if escaped or intentionally released and what kind of impact they might have if they do, or maybe the ones here currently can be correctly and responsibly held. It is not the case that the government has just gone out and banned everything, they are consulting with us for a reason.

There was a problem early on in the process where some pointed out that tropical species place no threat to other southern zones, but there was then some problem identified by scientists in that if people moved, they might take their fish and policing borders would become an issue. Hopefully this comes down again to how potentially dangerous they would be. Like do they breed easily, with one pair, or have migrating behaviour so they might spread fast etc..or are they so expensive that release is very unlikely.

There are probably around 50 questions that contribute to a score for a fish. it is not a perfect or foolproof system but it is much more detailed than otherwise could have been so should give a better balance with the industry/hobbyist wants and the need still for proper protection of the environment.

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i appreciate you points red rock and they are well written and concise. there is one problem however and i goes a lil something like this. lets take clown knifes for an example. yes at present a sort after fish. that is until they are successfully bred in large numbers here in oz. we have had a forum member breed a small batch and is asking $500.00 per fish. now if they had say 1000 fish for sale would they ask $500 per fish? the problem is like this for any fish that are sort after for rarity. in singapore for example they (clown knifes) are used as a bait fish to catch snakeheads because they are a better eating fish though the locals turn clown knifes into fish cakes too and they sell for roughly 3 bux aussie. they are easily obtainable in singapore.

i am not arguing against what you are doing and wish you every success but when fish flood the market they get cheaper and cheaper and then become........ unwanted. i regularly get offered large fish for free. yes i would love some of the fish to become available off the grey list but monetary value and demand will wain for them very quickly in my honest opinion. wont stop me keeping em if they become available but it will stop others. hope that makes some degree of sense :)

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GOlden swimmers, arowana varieties will be well looked into i can assure you of that. As for the pricing, I have considered that prices would become less stable if there were more of a species, this was noted early on but predictions make the process harder. If safe and placed on the import list some day this is not a concern because i assume safety and numbers sold. Certainly there would be species that drop in price, the market dictates..but there is only so much scope. I assume that most of the commonly desired species have found their way here at some time or another.

The idea of importing new blood comes under a different process which can be applied for just as a fish can be placed on full import. Its not for the faint hearted, but this risk assessment process will give an idea on what species might be accepted by the authorities because some of the basic work has been done.

Someone could potentially apply for say 100 specimens to be imported for a breeding program without necessarily moving the species to the live import list for common import.

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i like your thinking sir and would actually like to discuss this in some detail re government bodies bringing fish into the country and making profits that could be reinvested in the protection of and eradication of pests in/our native waterways rather then smugglers just profiteering. of course any conversations on the matter would have both positive and negative conotations to the noxious listing :(:)

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Agree tuffy and kind of my point too red rock...just think the pricing side could be irrelevant...alot of people are not aware of some of these beautiful fish as they are not readily/if at all available...popularity,interest and price is largely dependent on market availability(as tuffy mentioned with the clownknife)....and even rare fish can become common as people chase profits/succeed with breeding...I feel legitimate concerns with enviromental impact(concerning breeding behaviour and temperatures/enviroments required for survival)and education of keepers are some of the most important aspects in an imported species....I notice mostly the beginner/hardy fish varieties impacting the enviroment which I think also relates to the type of people "dumping" or letting these fish into the enviroment....

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Yes, it's a difficult subject to try balance. Generally a government body would only bring in something if they wanted to set up an industry as a need required, in the past you might see this for food fish or for mosquito control..or for scientific purposes or display or museum reasons. Not so much to make money themselves even if funds are to be used for a project. If it was lucrative, the government would step aside or face a dilema with industry anyway in way of competition.

Though i do pay credit to your comment on this because it has some merit in that industry could offer to pay a levy on an imported fish so the money can be used like you say, thats not in legislation and i can't recall there being wiggle room for that either but it may be written in there, there are ways to reduce risk beyond what a risk assesment shows by targetting a certain biological trait or behaviour. i think mostly its based on the science/biology as a start and there could be a clash in values like you say where someone is saying let us have this suspect fish to keep others out of waters so that could bring about objections and rejection based back on its merits of failing the basic test subjects.

Interestingly in the EPBC act, there was a section that could allow for the import for one particular state for example where the fish would be deemed safe, but over time this has been seen to incur some problems, to the disappointment of many a hobbyist, hence why the process became much more thorough to try identify possibilities.

There is a fee no doubt to get a special keeping permit if you had a fish in some cases that was moved to the noxious list, but i think the cost has been kept down, and I'm not sure if people would be happy to offer up or be forced to pay an environmental levy involved with them being allowed to keep a prize fish, but this is worth bringing up because an avenue might be seen by some as better than no avenue at all.

Some of the conditions will be based more so on that the person has grown fond of the pet, and so the permit is such that it can not be bred or sold/exchangeable. There might be more fish that come under this system and the system originally was proposed to run for three years, but such fish will often live longer than that so i think that is being reviewed or already has been.

The entire process initially came about because it was noticed that there were a number of species established and that the regulations were loose, outdated, had loopholes, were not being policed and all that.. and some people were not well enough educated but certainly there was much room for better communications and consultation so that it would work when being put into practise.

If people were not in general agreement then you dont get good public uptake.

So we have seen some don't dump that fish campaigns and will see other things come in the future like this. The hope is obviously that it costs a lot less than if species continue to establish and that the spending on all this could save some areas from being seriously affected in the future.

i know i wouldn't want snakeheads smashing up my local waters natives.

That was a major point being made, that keeping highly expensive species illegal to trade, that it leads to a black market smuggling type situation, and is about as effective as banning import of heroin because there is too much money involved and it means that our quarantine laws are bypassed so we face a hidden threat of disease and more. I don't know what impact that way of thinking had, but atleast we get to screen those desired, for what could be seen as ok. There will probably always be the odd very rare fish around, that isn't widely highly regarded, regardless of the laws and i expect these will be kept in tanks for good so in this low numbers and no open trade reduce risk. There are stiff penalties for release, but also there would be many fish that people hold dear.

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GOlden swimmer, i think failed to address your point and you are correct in there would be changes over time and i noticed that when it went up on the board, but it was not deemed irrelevant in that it showed to some extent ( based on current legality status i admit) how much it could cost industry to have something removed from trade, even if it was not traded widely by importation. there was a major complaint that banning without considering the effect to industry could cripple some retailers especially in hard times.

It is unlikely that a high risk fish will be allowed to be traded just because it is going to be worth a lot whether its worth 3k and trades amount to only a hundred, or even worse if there are thousands of trades and the fish is worth less than 100. If its rather risky, it will get the boot or may allow permits with no breeding. So in this case, if the clownknife gets that lets say moderate category, the numbers bred would be controlled by that.

Someone with a big operation out of the backyard would stick out like a sore thumb if illegal to sell so i expect that wont be different. In NSW it is covered in that if you have more than 10,000 litres you would need a fisheries license.

The situation really is one were if everyone can own one legally, and buy legally, even commercial breeders would get into it, so the fish must be deemed safe enough for that.

So it does come down to the environmental concerns firstly and the fish that are just above low risk will probably get the better look in. i don't know what the score point splay/leeway will be yet and i can't say what the scope if any there will be for back shed production.

Certainly it will be illegal as always to house fish in dams with big fines because the potential for escape is large.

i guess in regards to clown knifes, which i haven't thought much about a potential scoring, there will be people attempting to breed them to cash in, as has happened with silver arows and ease of breeding is considered.

Thats more so if they are even allowed to open trade, you would see more breeding and more sales until the price settled. Keeping in mind that these fish would be costly to try breed in numbers whereby the price could drop a lot say to 100 dollars. the incentive is then reduced so it boils back down to ease of keeping breeding, costs of running and feeding etc and time spent. There are probably better examples where a fish could be drastically reduced in price over time, rather than very large fish/ones that are harder to produce a lot of quickly.

We see with motoro rays that started high and drops over time. but then you could suspect that if open trade was not allowed, finding many buyers would be harder and more so in the future once this is all put into practise. As is now they are still illegal and could be confiscated and the rays are yet to pass in terms of the safety seeing as they have a poisonous spine and are dangerous to humans.

In Singpapore the fish can be bought in freely. I don't know the fecundity of the knife, it seems a small batch were produced and that could be replicated until better maybe, but fecundity be looked at. I would expect that permits might be granted with no sales, but thats not certain.

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Agree red rock that the general cost of care and ease of breeding would influence the potential sales of such fish in the future....as you mentioned with the larger fish etc....just curious though..if a certain fish poses minimal/no threat to a native enviroment...what is its basis for its exclusion to begin with???..seems a few fish have been limited due to a lack of understanding more so than a perceived enviromental threat...as mentioned earlier,some fish are currently unavailable yet would surely not survive in local waterways...if a fish cant breed..it cant survive...and any numbers(even in a worse case scenario)released into the enviroment would dwindle and die off(as would be hoped/expected)...I really think pet stores have a lot to look at too when it comes to issues with imports...experienced breeders generally deal with experienced keepers(inexperienced keepers must have a genuine interest to even approach/know such breeders)...I think these purchases would also be the minority of "dumping" cases as compared to pet store purchases..I find more breeders offer the advice required/needed to care for such fish..where as more than a few pet store owners do not understand the fish or "product" they are selling and so many novice keepers are left with still no idea on the implications if such purchases are dumped/not cared for..this in my opinion increases the chances of dumping and also this conception that the fish is a "product"...a product is thrown away once interest is lacking or when it is viewed as rubbish...experienced keepers know what they are dealing with and even if its the ugly side of fishkeeping..understand killing such fish is always a better option than dumping...I really feel this side of importing fish needs to be pushed(understanding the market they are entering)...only ill informed and unknowledged keepers dump fish...a lot of breeders/fish keepers in my opinion are held back by the acts of these unaware,ill informed people/novice keepers....I even feel pet stores should have posters warning of fines for dumping etc...a large number of new fish owners are not even aware this activity is illegal..they feel they are "letting it free"....the enviroment is treated as a rubbish bin for unwanted fish...so awareness is really lacking...also as has been mentioned by a few on here before...places for "unwanted fish" to go to(even to be humanely disposed of) would be beneficial to the entire industry....either nominated pet stores or stand alone facilities..this would have a very positive effect on the entire industry..the more "unwanted" fish held from the native enviroment the better...I think this is great red rock for the industry if a fresh view was given to current importing laws based on a more complete understanding of the fish involved and the market they are possibly entering....

Edited by goldenswimmers

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Hi Guys

From someone who has been down a similar path b4 and have first hand experience with GOV and bio people … as well as two many years in the hobby !!! Be careful !!!

Most of this has already been done and chewed over time and time again .. refer to the following threads for people in our hobby that have BIG bullocks .. that have already tried to do similar stuff.. My hats of to them especially the likes of Norm etc.

Norm Halliwell's sacking from OFMIG

Halliwell, Norm - Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Just be warned dealing with these Gov department ... GOOD LUCK as their goals, KPI and interest are very different to what you and hobbyist may want to achieve .. what you are doing may be detrimental to the hobby ... ??? and may even contribute to removing more species Ruther than bringing in more ... we have BIO security issues and food fish to consider that are far larger markets

Not to mention the biggest killer COST in getting the scientist to do the necessary test and breeding on fish to see if they will qualify .. and I can tell you its way more than 50 test to get just 1 species threw and many many $$$$$$ and connections per species or sub species in most cases.(AND TIME)

All Im saying is tred very carefully :) and good luck !! oo i just posted a couple of links so you get the idea

but i could write a 500 page report just to get the ball rolling on this one isseu alone :)

Have fun reading

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Zebra Loach (Botia Striata), Polka Dot Loach (Botia Kubotai). Both would be 5-20 dollars, similar pricing to clowns and yoyo loaches. Two beautiful species which are not noxious. They hardly breed unless in perfect conditions and cant survive out of certain temperatures. No threat to Australia ;)

Edited by Loach

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very interesting reading...just curious mrzeby....the thread for Norm Halliwells sacking is over 2 years old...would you be aware of the current situation regarding representation for the ornamental industry?(interesting to see if it is slowly getting better or worse)..one thing you find in this information too..is the usual "personal agendas" that plague politics especially as you get closer to the levels where big descisions are made...and you start to question if things are based on relevant knowledge and public understanding...or just paranoia and unknowledged personal opinions....I think alot of people are also unaware of how the industry is represented in parliament,etc..making people aware of what goes on behind the scenes is a good way to create change...I do think with a "changing of the guard" and with time too that things are always open to new possibilities.....

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Good to see you have stuck with it mate good luck.

Would of course love to see some rationality in the current regulations prohibiting the import of Scleropages spp from CITES registered breeders.

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Ahh Sclero old son, would you then shout me a beer?. Something is going to happen with them thats for certain and i am still working on it yes. Even so, rationality would be forthcoming well before the species would i think.

I will get to the other postings later on. I will form up a short species list come monday but will try explain some things that have been queried to clear some things up. The basic jist i am getting is that some think approach might make things worse, but it was approach, and Norm very much so yes with others involved as well, that brought about a better scientific based investigation than what was going to happen otherwise which is better for all involved. In this i feel that being proactive was better than being cautious, because the species were going to be "removed" if you will, regardless, because they were not on the live import list.

This is part of what you would call a consultation process. Without consultation, anything can happen. With it, more concerns are addressed. keeping in mind that something was going to be done about the grey list hanging in limbo with uncertainty about their safety or their legality anyway.

umm, so in a nutshell, more species would be knocked out if industry/hobbyists supplied no species for consideration, but i do understand the tread carefully stance, but i am rather familiar.

Mzeby, yes i am aware of Norms letters and papers, and many of his ideas. Norm did not get things happening for the industry by acting cautiously, and maybe he was in part sacked for same, I have read some of Norms papers, including the above links, and i have known him for over ten years and worked with him on some things as well so i am aware of the situation.

i know how many questions there are in the application for live import, i have filled them all out before today.

I know how many questions there are likely to be in the newer RA, i passed comment on it and i had read into the background reasoning for the questions of that and the bomford glover work as well, and so a lot of the involved science as well. All up, 500 pages to do with all this easy enough.

Maybe i had given you hope or you thought that i had some hope that a lot of species would be added to the live import list and that a lot would not go to the noxious list.

this is not the case. A lot have gone to the noxious list, with more to come. A desired list has been produced a year or so ago and it will become known sooner the outcome of those that get sent through the process first as priority.

It does not mean that if they go through later on, that they will be allowed to stay by luck or by leaving them hiding in the shadows because they are already noted. If anything is a positive, these species put forth now, will get extra thought or consideration for keeping and not less.

Edited by red rock

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G'day red rock,

OK I would like to see ALL species from the Gymnogeophagus genus added to the Allowable Import List. So to all L numbers.

Could you clear something up for me.

At the end of this process, will there only be two lists, an Allowable Import List and a Noxious Species List? or will there be a third list for species that can applied to be added to the Allowable Import List? What is Biosecurity Australia agenda?

If there is to be a third list, really what's the point? Some one in the Industry applies to have X species added to the Allowable Import List, goes through all the paper work and bears the not inconsiderable financial costs, only to have the species knocked back, and then in theory X fish should then be added to the Noxious Species List.

There are many species of fish I would like added to Allowable Import List, most would easily be bred in the Hobby so would not be worth much per fish. Some may become popular aquarium fish, but most would likely only be of interest to dedicated Hobbyists and as such have little true value to the Industry.

I think there would likely be many species that should be added to the Allowable Import List simply because they have related species already on the list. It is my understanding that all species from the Apsitogramma, Corydoras and Betta genera are Allowable Imports, even newly discovered species that have not had an Impact study done on them.

I believe all fish from the Laetacara genus should be added to the Allowable Import List without an impact study needed, not just the current two allowable imports, L. curviceps and L. dorsigera. So to all fish from the Dicrossus genus. I'm sure other members could think of other genera that all species should be allowed with out the need of Hobbyists or Industry people to spend a shed load of money.

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