Calling for more accurate information in aquarium trade: analysis of live-fish import permits in Costa Rica
Allen Monge, Pablo E.
Barquero Arroyo, Marco David
Calderón, Jose Carlos
Pineda Lizano, Willy
Saborío Rodríguez, Guido Alonso
Arguedas Porras, Viviana
Chacón Madrigal, Eduardo
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Ornamental fish trade is a growing business around the world, but also a major pathway for the introduction of potentially invasive species. Trade patterns and policies have been evaluated in high-income countries while developing countries in tropical regions have been overlooked, even when they are especially vulnerable to invasions by aquarium fishes. We analyzed the live fish import data and regulations in Costa Rica as a study case for a tropical country that regularly trades with many countries. We evaluated the quality of the taxonomic information given in live fish import permits issued by the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment between 1998 and 2004. We used FishBase to extract information about geographical distribution, habitat, historical introduction records, and taxonomic information on all the species we cataloged. A total of 834,624 live individuals were imported into Costa Rica from six countries with the scientific name absent for many individuals (40.6%) and correctly written in only 29.6% of the cases. We estimated that 352 different species were imported into the country. Most species imported were freshwater fishes and South America natives. We found that regulations of ornamental fish imports in Costa Rica are usually not enforced. The lack of accurate information in the live fish permits does not allow the full understanding and scope of live animal imports and their potential impacts. We call for more accurate information in the global aquarium trade by aiming to have much better tools to regulate the traffic of ornamental fishes.
External link to the item10.3391/mbi.2017.8.4.08
- Biología