The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 52(2), 2000, 47-60

INTRODUCTION OF FISHES TO THE FRESHWATER SYSTEM
OF ISRAEL


Daniel Golani

Department of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904 Jerusalem, Israel

Dan Mires

Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Agriculture, P.O. Box 30, 50200 Beit Dagan, Israel

(Received 29.3.00, Accepted 14.6.00)

Abstract
This study presents the history of the introduction of fish species into the freshwater system of Israel. Forty fish species, subspecies and hybrids were either stocked directly into freshwater bodies or raised in commercial fishponds and had access to escape routes into the natural freshwater system. Included in this study are escapees from hobbyists' aquariums but not species that were examined but did not pass the experimental stage. Of these, only five species succeeded in establishing populations, usually in local and limited areas. To minimize risks involved in the introduction of new species, Israeli policy makers must implement a clear course of action which balances the demand of local aquaculturists for new species with the need to protect the vulnerable freshwater ecosystem.
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