Introductions & transfers of marine species : achieving a balance between economic development and resource protection
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Introductions & transfers of marine species : achieving a balance between economic development and resource protection

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    The introduction and transfer of marine species into and within the U.S. has occurred for decades. As a result of increasing consumer demand for seafood, the need for stock enhancement programs, the growth of aquaculture, the marine bait and tropical fish industries and the pursuit of scientific research, the number of marine introductions and transfers has increased. Concern over the deliberate movements of marine organisms is the possible introduction of diseases, parasites, competitors and predators not presently indigenous to the receiving environment. However, history has demonstrated that for some species, introductions can prove socially and economically beneficial. It is not surprising, therefore, that the introduction, transfer or release of marine species has led to strong debate about the relative benefits and risks, and in some cases has resulted in prohibitive management measures. The apparent lack of information available to decision-​makers, extension personnel and the public and private sectors has fueled the debate. Often emotional decisions based on perceptions, rather than objective decisions based on sound information and balanced judgements, are made. This conference and workshop attempted to address these issues based on the current level of knowledge available to scientists and decision-​makers.
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