THE PROJECT: Aims, Man­age­ment, Mem­ber­ship

What is the Parosphromenus project?

On this web­site we describe the back­grounds, the ori­gin and the present course of the Parosphromenus project. We intro­duce its aims and explain the struc­tures on which it works. We hope in this man­ner to appeal world­wide to those who are inter­ested in the Licorice Gouramis and to con­nect each other to a vir­tual net­work in which every­body can work towards their pro­tec­tion and preservation.

This project is the attempt to set up a global net­work of friends of this small fish group from the primeval forests of South-​East Asia and on the edge of extinc­tion. We are using the oppor­tu­ni­ties pro­vided by the Inter­net to enhance co-​operation, through a widely dis­trib­uted roles, and a well co-​ordinated net­work to fight for pre­serv­ing these pre­cious fish. P.harveyi 'tanjung malim' (photo M.Kloster)We herein describe the organ­i­sa­tion, the man­age­ment, and what it means to be involved in this project, to become a par­tic­i­pant of this totally free of charge com­mu­nity; to become mem­ber of the net­work of Liquorice Gourami friends and to par­tic­i­pate with focus on its aims.

Every­body can do this whether he now is a mem­ber of any other asso­ci­a­tion or not. The Parosphromenus-​Project itself is no for­mal asso­ci­a­tion and as a global net­work is not obliged to any insti­tu­tion. It inte­grates every­body in any coun­try what­so­ever yet inter­ested in Licorice Gouramis and want­ing to help them survive.

Most Parosphromenus friends are aquar­ists. There­fore, the Parosphromenus-​Project at the same time also is a model of a new form of the aquar­ium hobby: the model of species con­ser­va­tion aquar­ists based on global com­mu­ni­ca­tions. This is not at all about illu­sions. We will expect­edly not have the power in a fore­see­able future to pre­vent the con­stant and dra­matic habi­tat destruc­tion, nor will we be able to estab­lish and con­serve all species and pop­u­la­tions in aquar­i­ums. Above all we doubt that we will ever able to replant aquar­ium grown fish back into their nat­ural habi­tat. To cre­ate new flowing-​water moor biotopes in the home­lands of our fish would be an absolute illu­sion. One could maybe set up ponds, but no flu­ent primeval for­est marshes. Indeed to release aquar­ium grown fish into still intact marshes of the appro­pri­ate type, would be noth­ing but coun­ter­pro­duc­tive in every aspect. Our knowl­edge about the genetic dif­fer­ences of the var­i­ous wild pop­u­la­tions still is so poor that any release could be an uncon­trolled fauna fal­si­fi­ca­tion. The only seri­ous per­spec­tive of respon­si­ble nature con­ser­va­tion con­sists in pro­tect­ing the still remain­ing rests of nat­ural bios­pheres and, wher­ever still pos­si­ble, to pro­tect these refuges from anthro­pogenic threats and alter­ations, which are affect­ing wide areas already.

The Parosphromenus-​Project in view of this at present extremely dif­fi­cult job pre­dom­i­nantly con­cen­trates on the long-​term preser­va­tion of aquar­ium pop­u­la­tions with­out leav­ing the other, actu­ally even more impor­tant task of con­serv­ing nat­ural habi­tats. But we fol­low the prin­ci­ple to start where a small group has power to really move some­thing. And the first duty of seri­ous aquar­ists indu­bitably must be to enforce the change of par­a­digm from con­sump­tion to preser­va­tion. This in par­tic­u­lar is required for the extremely threat­ened, rare and pre­cious fish species like the Licorice Gouramis.

(PF)

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