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Public perspectives on genetic biocontrol technologies for controlling invasive fish
- Sharpe, Leah M.
- Biological invasions 2014 v.16 no.6 pp. 1241-1256
- attitudes and opinions, biological control, cost benefit analysis, environmental impact, focus groups, invasive species, lakes, researchers, risk assessment, stakeholders, Great Lakes, United States
- Understanding people’s knowledge, attitudes, and concerns about genetic biocontrol can help researchers understand the challenges and opportunities that may be encountered during development of these technologies. This study conducted eight focus groups in the United States Great Lakes and Lake Champlain region to assess different stakeholders’ views about genetic biocontrol technology, factors affecting whether or not they support its use, and recommendations on how to proceed with its development. Stakeholders were excited about having a new invasive species control tool, but they were deeply concerned about potential unintended consequences. The primary concerns relate to ecological impacts, along with the cost of development and the possibility that such efforts will distract from other, ongoing control work. Participants made a number of recommendations to genetic biocontrol developers, including setting up regulatory systems, conducting independent cost benefit analyses and risk assessments, and engaging stakeholders throughout the development process.