Is there anything politicians can’t screw up, given time…?

made_at_wwwtxt2piccomAll right, so I’ll back-pedal a tad. I’m no fisheries scientist, my biology training stopped at O-level and I was put on this earth to catch fish, not write their family tree.

Even so, am I so wrong to hear loony tunes jingling when I contemplate South Africa‘s draft Alien and Invasive Species Regulations, currently under consideration?

“The regulations have been developed to address the management and control of alien and invasive species.

Although trout have been established in South Africa for over a century, they are not indigenous to the country and would therefore need to be eradicated, according to DEAT [Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism].

In a written statement, DEAT said alien and invasive species needed to be controlled. ‘They may … pose a threat to biodiversity through hybridisation.'”

A layman’s observation here, I must reiterate, but if a century-old invasion is going to mess up your environment, isn’t it fair to assume it would have done so by now? And what might you now mess up by reversing the process?

The Minister in charge is Marthinus van Schalkwyk. If he has his defenders out there, they should speak now or forever hold their peace.

STOP PRESS – a couple of forum threads on this issue: seems it’s been bubbling awhile. Certainly, if some sort of restriction is planned on trout being introduced into new South African waters, I can understand it but as for waters where they’ve been for decades, surely they’d have wiped out indigenous stocks long ago if it was ever going to happen?

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