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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi:

I am looking for the best scientific reference material available for citation on Tanganyikan cichlids. I am planning on submitting multiple applications to the State of Maine Division of Fisheries and Hatcheries to add several Tanganyikans to the state Unrestricted list. There are very few species currently on the list, which means that it is illegal in the state of Maine to possess or sell most Tanganyikan cichlids. The application cost for each individual species is $50 (of which I am going to foot the bill, so others can hopefully benefit). Please help me help the hobby. I need answers to the following questions and would like to use citations to back up my answers:

a. Does the species potentially threaten Maine’s indigenous fish or wildlife population or is a potentially invasive species?

b. Is the species threatened, endangered, or experiencing declines throughout much of its native geographic range?

The Commissioner may grant the request if :

1) it is part of a recognized scientific recovery or sanctuary effort, or

2) the requested species is to be possessed as breeding stock to maintain unrelated bloodlines, or

3) the species is available from captive-bred stocks not negatively impacting native populations.

c. Does the geographic distribution and life requisites of the species increase the likelihood of the species surviving in Maine if accidentally or intentionally introduced into the wild?

d. Is there a history of adverse environmental impacts of the species in other locations?

e. Is it possible that the species may harbor or disseminate an agent harmful to humans, domestic livestock, poultry, native wildlife, fish, other animals, or Maine flora?

f. Is the species capable of inflicting serious bodily harm to humans and/or endangering the public welfare?

g. Does the possession of the species potentially threaten a fish or wildlife population or the public welfare?

Any help, answers, suggestions for literature to back up my application would be great.

Thanks,

Mark
 

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How odd... I've never heard that Maine's wildlife importation policy also applied to aquarium fish. Funnily enough, altolamps and fronts are listed, along with oscars, angels, and apistos. I can't imagine who thought a comprehensive list was possible, let alone a good idea.

That said, I've regularly seen many species not on the unrestricted list in pet stores in Maine. I myself have imported at least a dozen species not on that list. I imagine that your time and money may be better spent talking to your LFS, who I bet has plenty of unlisted species and better understands how the statute is practiced and applied in Maine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Plus I like the idea of pursuing the challenge presented by this application process and adding some species to the list will be good for the aquatics hobby in Maine
 

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Working on the unrestricted list isn't going to change the quality of LFS. :lol:

As much as I would like to support local businesses, I get most of my tangs from mail order and from other breeders. I haven't heard of this statute being enforced for tropical fish, even when clearly picking up boxes labeled LIVE FISH at the airport.

Out of curiosity, why do you think it's a problem, or one that you want to spend money on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A couple years back the Department took action on a restaurant in Freeport. I am thinking about housing some of these species in a commercial space and would like to do it legally so that I don't have any trouble down the road. Plus, I don't see any harm in going through the process. I'm going to start with one species and if I like the results I'll submit another.
 

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Those were koi, which are not legal to possess in Maine because of their potential to become invasive in natural waters. Fish that cannot survive outdoors here are hardly a concern to IF&W folks. But you might find out some interesting things about Maine bureaucracy, and perhaps get some clarification from IF&W staff on how the statute is actually applied. Good luck! :thumb:
 

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I didn't know this was an issue here in Maine. As Triscuit said, "Fish that cannot survive outdoors here are hardly a concern to IF&W folks."

Also, be careful not to wake a sleeping giant...
 

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Seems like all you would need is one citation saying they need 78 degree temps to live. Can't find that in Maine, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree completely on the temperature issue, I think there more concerned about parasites and disease, however it is ridiculous that they allow some from the lake and not others (presumably if they originate from the lake they would be exposed to the same environmental/biological conditions. Also, I'm not afraid of waking up a "sleeping giant". I highly doubt they have the staff or money to chase around tropical fish hobbyists. I just thought it would be nice if LFS in Maine could carry these fish without having to worry about big brother stepping in and levying fines. Who know's maybe we get a bunch listed and someone opens an awesome cichlid based LFS in Maine!
 

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I would think if you were going to do anything you should try to prove that no tang is a threat, and get them all approved in one shot instead of $50 per species.
 

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I'm sure the $50 fee for each species is not negotiable. After all, each species would have to be researched individually. A way to prevent frivolous applications.

But please note that in other states that do not have this problem, there are no fabulous cichlid-based LFS, LOL. There is just not the demand for cichlids, unfortunately.
 

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Every couple of years this topic surfaces in aquarium hobby circles... usually triggered by some over zealous case of enforcement. Reselling bought Tanganyikans would be a simple as keeping a receipt for the fish to show it was bought legally in Maine, so it's not truly illegal to sell a Tanganyikan in Maine is it?

Where this sort of request usually stems from is home based fish breeders looking to make sure that they won't get into trouble for home based aquaculture. Is that your situation? I'm just curious.

If you want proof that the species won't survive Maine winters, you'd likely want to hunt for some literature or articles written about Florida cichlid aquaculture. I hope that helps
 

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With no intent of offending anyone we are not being very helpful. The OP had a very intelligent and well thought out post and I am sure he knows if he wants to go through the process or not.

To the OP:
I would try to dig up any information on species that have successfully been made legal in Maine through the process you are trying with the Tanganyikans. Could be helpful.
 

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ahud said:
With no intent of offending anyone we are not being very helpful. The OP had a very intelligent and well thought out post and I am sure he knows if he wants to go through the process or not.
I thought about that too, but my deliberate lack of information is because I'm waiting to hear back from some folks I know who work for the IF&W. Our local watershed restoration project and some of the work I do as a geochemist has given me some good contacts. However, I know these guys don't have time or money to be worrying about pet fish that don't endanger native species.

So, in this case, I recognize the OP's right to pursue this, but I don't agree that it's a productive, necessary or wise exercise. Unless I hear back from IF&W that this is a good idea, I'm not going to be helpful because
  • - it's not going to improve cichlid availability in this poor rural state
    - it's not something I've heard any hobbyist or pet store owner lament
    - I'm unconvinced the OP has done the necessary background work to justify undertaking the process
    - and it will cost state resources when some state employee (who's already overworked because of furlough days) handles the application.

$0.02
Of course, these are just my personal feelings on the topic, and I reserve the right to take it back when proven wrong. :wink:
 

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I don't think cichlids would survive Maine summers either. As a kid I summered in New Hampshire and I barely survived. :lol: That water is COLD!!!
 

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FishFlake said:
Also, be careful not to wake a sleeping giant...
That would be my main concern as well. In German there is a saying: 'If you ask a lot of questions, you will get a lot of stupid answers'. That is particularly true when dealing with bureaucrats - and I am saying this as somebody who has worked as a bureaucrat for many years :D
 
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