Self-centered and uncaring people are abusing a fish that has been around for some 70 to 75 million years. When the Osage River in Missouri was dammed in 1929-1931 by the Bagnell Dam, it cut off the spawning grounds of paddlefish; the resulting deep reservoir had no swift water that paddle fish needed to spawn in.
The Missouri Conservation Agency became concerned that the paddlefish would disappear and began “artificially” fertilizing their eggs and raising their young. The goal was not to save the paddlefish from extinction but to only provide fishermen with fish. No attempts were ever made to restore lost spawning areas and the “artificial fertilization” program was unending. Paddlefish were being stocked in the reservoirs where they could never spawn and reproduce their own kind.
It is a crime against nature to deny animals the right to mate and reproduce on their own. In the field of biotechnology, scientists and governments are pushing the limits of mass “artificial fertilization” by producing generations of paddlefish, including parents and offspring that have never known and will never know the mating ritual.
The big push to globalize fish ponds and aquaculture farming through artificial fertilization came from questionable alliances between the US Government and Communist Countries. In a so-called “cooperative scientific” effort in the 1970s between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and its former USSR counterpart, American Paddlefish were imported into the former USSR for aquaculture, starting with 5000 hatched larvae from Missouri hatcheries in the United States. These fish were introduced into several rivers in Europe and Asia, and furnished the first brood stock that was successfully reproduced in 1984–1986 in Russia.
Fish Aquaculture quickly spread. Paddlefish were soon being raised in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and the Plovdiv and Vidin regions in Bulgaria. Reproduction was successful in 1988 and 1989, and resulted in the exportation of juvenile paddlefish to Romania and Hungary. During May of 2006, specimens of different sizes and weights were caught by professional fishermen near Prahovo on the Serbian part of the Danube River.
During 1988, fertilized paddlefish eggs and larvae from Missouri hatcheries were first introduced into China. After that time, China imported 4.5 million fertilized eggs and larvae every year from hatcheries in Russia and the United States. Some of these paddlefish were poly cultured in carp ponds, and sold to restaurants. China has exported paddlefish to Cuba where they are farmed for caviar production.
Here is a fish that has survived virtually unchanged for millions of years and has overcome all kinds of obstacles only to be incarcerated and enslaved by people who are stealing away its basic instincts to procreate and survive. The farming and aquaculture practices that are being forced on paddlefish should be forever outlawed. The corrupted political officials who have instigated and promoted this aquaculture with paddlefish have radically interfered with the processes of the natural world and have committed crimes against nature.
Artificial Fertilization becomes abusive when it is continued any longer than is necessary to help replenish the numbers of an endangered species so that it can reproduce on its own. It should never be used continuously on any kind of animal. When the natural mating ritual is replaced by clumsy human intervention and eggs and sperm are being squeezed out of fish on a continuing basis, it becomes a crime against nature in a short time. Conservation agencies and aquaculture farmers are violating the fundamental laws of nature.
Paddlefish numbers in the natural environment are declining from pollution, overfishing and man-made changes in river channels. The Chinese Paddlefish, a close relative of the American Paddlefish is believed to be extinct. There is still hope that the American Paddlefish will continue to survive in our rivers. There needs to be some kind of effort on the part of the Federal Government and conservation agencies to create new habitats and spawning areas for paddlefish. These fish deserve better than to be stuck in some aquaculture pond and stripped of all their rights to live on this earth and procreate their own kind.
--Marlin O. Wallace