Relook import process of species

The recent report on non-native aquatic species in Singapore seems to suggest that the introduction of such species here is due to the aquarium trade (More non-native fish in S'pore waterways; Sept 24).

Hybrid groupers are becoming an issue in Singapore due to escapees from fish-farming operations.

The introduction of American bullfrogs for food as well as African clawed frogs for scientific research inadvertently introduced the chytrid fungus into Singapore, with the former becoming invasive as well.

Aquatic species that are food sources, religious release practices, escapes caused by natural flooding are also some examples of how non-native species could have ended up in Singapore's waterways.

This is not the time to be pointing fingers at who was responsible for introducing these invasive species here.

Rather, there should be an overhaul of the species import approval process across all animal-related industries, not just the aquarium trade.

Ong Junkai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2018, with the headline 'Relook import process of species'. Print Edition | Subscribe