Target: Yorktown Technologies
Goal: Protect native species by ending the production of glow-in-the-dark fish
Yorktown Technologies first marketed a glow-in-the-dark fish in 2003. Due to its popularity, the company has introduced a new fish called the Electric Green Tetra fish that turns neon under a black light. The fish, which normally don’t change color or glow, have been modified with genetic material from coral that do glow. Genetically modified organisms are a hot topic in the agricultural industry, and are now raising concerns in the pet industry. The new Electric Green fish are raising concerns for environmentalists because they are very capable of surviving in US waterways, particularly those in South Florida. If they interbreed with fish that are genetically similar, the fluorescent gene could spread throughout the ecosystem, potentially changing its entire dynamic.
Although these fish are never meant to see open water, many will be set free when the novelty of owning them wares off. The introduction of the Burmese python in South Florida is an example of what can happen to an ecosystem when pets are released. While the Electric Green fish is not as threatening physically as a python, it still has the potential to become an invasive species and threaten the balance of the ecosystem. There is always the chance that its added characteristic could give it an advantage to out-compete the native species for food and mates. No research has been done on this, so the outcomes are unknown and not worth the risk.
No matter the species, pets are a large responsibility that should not be taken lightly. They should also not be created as a novelty item. Please sign this petition to end the creation, through genetic modification, of the Electric Green Tetra fish, and thereby stop any risk for it becoming an invasive species.
Dear Yorktown Technologies,
Your new fish, the Electric Green Tetra fish, is following on the heels of the popularity of the GloFish. However, the Electric Green fish poses a threat that the GloFish did not. Environmentalists are concerned that the Electric Green fish is very capable of surviving in US waterways. Genetically modified organisms are a large source of debate in food and agriculture because of their negative environmental impacts and unknown effects. The Electric Green fish will pose a similar problem if it becomes an invasive species. If they interbreed with genetically similar fish, they could disrupt the entire ecosystem.
Although these fish are not meant to see open water, inevitably some will be abandoned as pets and make their way to the wild. Catastrophic effects of this phenomenon were seen with the introduction of the Burmese python on South Florida. While the Electric Green fish does not pose a physical threat as the python does, it still has the potential to spread the coral gene it is modified with to other fish, the effects of which are unknown.
Pets should not be a novelty item. Please end the creation, through genetic modification, and sale of the Electric Green Tetra fish before it threatens native freshwater species.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: somethingsphishy.com