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Surrender Event Seeks Unwanted Aquarium Fish and Plants
You can “surrender” unwanted fish, aquarium plants and reptiles.
Minnesota Sea Grant, The Snake Pit, World of Fish and Animal Allies will host a Habitattitude™ Surrender event on Saturday, September 24, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Animal Allies, 406 Airport Rd, Duluth, Minnesota.
The Habitattitude™ Surrender Collaborative provides a permanent, convenient pet adoption or return option for owners with unwanted pets and avoids potentially harmful releases into the environment. The HSC promotes responsible pet ownership, hosts pet surrender events and includes partners able to re-home surrendered pets.
“We know folks have released unwanted pets and plants into local waters, flushed them down the toilet or maybe allowed them to escape,” said Amy Miller of Animal Allies, a co-sponsor of the event. “While release may seem kindhearted, these actions are inappropriate and we want to provide better solutions. Our collaboration locally provides a new solution to this problem.”
The most common non-native species released into the Great Lakes region are Brazilian waterweed, water hyacinth, parrot feather, hydrilla, lesser naiad, yellow floating heart, water lettuce, water chestnut, goldfish, koi, pacu, piranha and Oriental weatherloach.
“Releasing fish and aquarium plants into Minnesota’s waters is potentially harmful to the environment and native species,” said Ryan Hueffmeier, aquatic invasive species specialist at the Minnesota Sea Grant Program. “Goldfish the size of dinner plates have been found in our rivers and lakes. These fish can become invasive in certain environments and reproduce quickly. They root up plants to find food, which can destroy habitat for native species.”
The HSC is part of Habitattitude™, a national public awareness campaign to help aquarium and water garden owners be part of the solution to prevent the release of aquatic fish and plants. Habitattitude is a cooperative effort among the pet and water garden industries, academia, federal government and non-profits to educate the public about the environmental threats of releasing pets into the environment.
Minnesota Sea Grant, located at the University of Minnesota Duluth, works to enhance the state’s coastal environment, society and economy through scientific research and public education programs. Sea Grant conveys the needs of communities, industries and management agencies to university scientists and promotes the best science regarding Lake Superior and Minnesota’s inland lakes. Sea Grant staff will be at the event to answer questions and share information about aquatic invasive species.
The Snake Pit is a non-profit organization of reptile enthusiasts that conducts public outreach and education on reptiles. World of Fish is a fish and aquatic plant retailer. Animal Allies Humane Society strives to ensure a lifetime of loving care for every pet by reducing overpopulation, increasing adoption, and fostering humane values.
For more information on Habitattitude and invasive species visit: www.seagrant.umn.edu or call 218-726-8106.