MOAA, NMMA work to build awareness of invasive species

WASHINGTON – The Marina Operators Association of America, in partnership with the National Marine Manufacturers Association, hosted the first-ever snakehead fish roundup July 30 with more than 130 anglers fishing the Potomac River in search of the predatory fish, MOAA said in a release today.

The event kicked off an effort to use marinas as education and outreach centers to provide important conservation information, such as information about dangers of invasive species, to boaters and anglers. It also served as an opportunity to bring attention to the threat to native fish populations posed by aquatic invasive species. The northern snakehead (Channa argus) has the potential to significantly disturb or damage native fish populations such as small and large mouth bass of the Potomac watershed, MOAA reported.

“The Snakehead Round Up is an event to draw attention to the pervasive problem of aquatic invasive species in recreational waters nationwide and the potential impacts on local economies dependent on fishing or related resources,” said Mari Lou Livingood, director of Program Development with MOAA.

MOAA, NMMA, The Nature Conservancy and BoatU.S. will be working with members of Congress to pass legislation providing financial support for federal, state and local entities to coordinate the fight to eradicate and control aquatic invasive nuisance species.

“Senator Levin (D-Mich.) and Representatives Gilchrest (R-Md.) and Ehlers (R-Mich.) have introduced the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act of 2003, bi-partisan legislation that would bring much needed management to the fight against invasive species,” Livingood said. “We need to generate interest among all the affected constituencies, including recreational boaters and anglers, and urge them to contact their elected representatives and demand that action be taken.”

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