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Eradication of Bass planned in Japan!

Mark Christianson

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That is interesting, here is some more info. on this...

"Imagine a place where people are paid $3.25 a pound for black bass, and where anglers can be slapped with huge fines for allowing the fish to live."

Exotics Abroad

Battling bass in Japan

By Dave Precht

BASS Times, April 2003

Controversial eradication efforts prompt meeting between U.S. representatives and Japanese officials

[bASS General Manager Dean Kessel reminded representatives of Japan's fishing industry that recreational anglers contribute more to the economy than any other angling group.]

TOKYO, Japan — Imagine a place where people are paid $3.25 a pound for black bass, and where anglers can be slapped with huge fines for allowing the fish to live.

Bounties and fines are two tools being used in efforts to eradicate black bass in certain areas of Japan, where politically powerful commercial fishing interests want to rid their waters of largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Opposing the extermination are Japan's 3 million bass anglers and the Japanese Sportfishing Association (JSA). Anglers face an uphill battle to protect the popular gamefish, which was transplanted from the United States to Japan in 1925.

Commercial fishermen and the Environment Ministry of Japan blame black bass for a decline in important native fish, including the ayu, or "sweetfish."

Habitat degradation — not largemouth bass — is responsible for drops in commercial fishing success, argue biologists for Shiga University.

Native fish in Lake Biwa began to suffer when marshy areas along shorelines were destroyed by lakeshore development, according to one fisheries scientist. "It is the debt we have to pay as the result of pouring concrete into the shoreline marsh," he wrote.

Hoping to convince the Japanese Fishery Agency to accept a compromise that would protect largemouth bass in certain waters, the JSA invited officials of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, BASS and others to meet with Japanese government officials in February.

In three days of conferences and in private meetings with fisheries officials and members of the diet, American delegates described how black bass have become the cornerstone of the $30 billion sportfishing industry in the United States.

Matt Hogan, deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, explained that sports anglers in the United States pay almost all of the $1 billion spent annually by governments to manage and improve sportfishing.

By contrast, control over inland fishing waters is handed down from generation to generation, and some commercial fishermen charge fees to anglers wanting to fish their waters. The same commercial fishermen are paid bounties to kill bass and bluegill.

BASS General Manager Dean Kessel told the conference that BASS members and other recreational anglers are powerful proponents of good water quality and fisheries conservation in the United States. He pointed out that bass are the most popular species among the nearly 30 million freshwater fishermen in America, and that bass anglers contribute more to the economy than any other angling group.

Perhaps the speaker who generated the most discussion during the conference was Jim Martin, conservation director of Pure Fishing. Martin, the former fisheries chief of Oregon, warned that bass and bluegill (another introduced species) could not be completely removed from Japanese waters. "It is technically impossible to eliminate all the bass and sunfish from a lake, even with poisons such as rotenone," Martin said.

To save bass fishing, the JSA proposes the establishment of zones where bass are legal and are managed for productive fishing.

Yoshiyuki Matsui, vice president of JSA and chairman of Daiwa, pointed out that the economic impact of bass angling on just one popular fishery, Lake Kawaguchi, is 3.9 billion yen (about $33 million).

"We strongly believe that those in local communities have to stop expecting governmental subsidies to get rid of bass," he said. "It is more practical and constructive to create new business opportunities by coexisting with amateur bass anglers."

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I dunno guys?? I love bass as much or more than many folks, but, I have to agree with the fish geeks on this one. IT (bass) IS/ARE AN EXOTIC, A NON-NATIVE SPECIES IN JAPAN!!!

Think about it what if the "frankenfish" or snakehead was the same way here..... We were told to get rid of them and there was a group of anglers that spent money fishing for them??? Just think about the impacts a true predator that is self sustaining in a "new" environment. There are species in Japan that are not adapted to compete with a predator like the largemouth. Just as there are fish species here not adapted to compete with carp, snakehead, gobies..... the list is too long.

It is extremely discouraging when anglers take fisheries managers jobs in their own hands. This and the aquarium trade are to blame for most of the idiotic exotic introductions all around the world. Just because "we" have bass does not mean everyone else around the world should too.... Just so when "we" go on vacation "we" can catch the same fish "we" are used to. Everything has it's place. Just think about it. You have to think in a larger scale folks. Sorry to rant but, this is a bone I have to pick with the rest of the American angling public.

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