Hit & Run

When You Outlaw Snakeheads…


Maryland is debating whether to ban "the pit bull of fish," the lovely, omnivorous snakehead, an "invasive species" that is striking terror into the hearts of Marylanders like Son of Sam did to New Yorkers a few decades back. Importing the fish and transporting it across state lines is already forbidden by the feds.

Snakeheads have been likened to "stomachs with fins" and are known for jumping out of fish tanks, traversing short land areas, and killing other fish when dumped into ponds and rivers. Some breeds are eaten in mostly Asian restaurants; others are popular in fish tanks because, as one pet store owner told The Washington Post, "they eat other fish.".

The Post story, which details owners' worries that their pets are about to become illegal aliens subject round-ups, is online here.

Reason Managing Editor Jesse Walker authored a novel way to combat snakehead proliferation back when the fish first surfaced as a major threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That's online here.

And Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey poured some cold water on worries about "invasive species" here.