Freshwater Life Project founder Chris Englezou posted a public appeal a week ago via Facebook asking for support from aquarium stores and the pet industry to promote a new Invasive Species awareness initiative after a post went viral of a local politician in Mexico carelessly releasing 15,000 non-native Tilapia into a natural wetland for world wetlands day.
Jesus “Chucho” Nader, acting municipal president of Tampico, Mexico had promoted the irresponsible act proudly via his Facebook page as part of a World Wetlands Day effort to “ensure greater balance to our ecosystems”, but the post, which was shared over 13,000 times, attracted almost 10,000 mostly outraged comments from nature lovers worldwide with many questioning who exactly advised the local politician, and demanding accountability.
The Freshwater Life Project “Invasive Species Appeal”, which has now been translated into seven different languages including Spanish, Maltese, Greek, Mandarin, and Malay, has also attracted a great deal of support as a result, with wildlife supporters worldwide, including many aquarium stores, printing and displaying the leaflets in defiance.
Charity co-founder Chris Englezou made a statement describing the appeal; “The initial aim of our Invasive Species Appeal is to first prioritise translations of the poster into languages that are spoken in places with high levels of endemic wildlife, wildlife that can be found nowhere else such as Borneo, Greece, China, and others. We hope to reach the whole world and are so grateful for the support shown so far, but the problem is expansive and we really need the support of the pet and aquarium trade and the public before it’s too late”.
Posters in various languages can be downloaded and printed here; the charity has remarked that further translations are still needed. To assist with the appeal in other ways, please spread the word, or donate whatever you can.