I believe the release of this news was timed so as to lend support to those organizations pushing for the passage of US H.R. 6311, the Invasive Species Bill. This is a House bill that will limit importation of non-native species into the US to those on a "safe" list, which would be promulgated and enforced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Part of that bill would make it illegal to transport species that are not on the list across state lines even if they are already in the country. Because the list would be Federal, if Piranha were left off the list because they are a danger in Florida, they would also be illegal in Minnesota. In effect, it would kill the aquarium hobby, which several animal rights organizations have been trying to do for decades.
Jim Langhammer of Detroit area recently sent me a PIJAC news release about their testimony against this bill. Anyone interested in a copy of this report send me a PM with your email and I will send it to you. It is more than simply coincidence that this "news" of the danger to North American native species should come out at this time, as well.
Don't get me wrong; I know that our native species are at risk, but I think the risk from introduced fish is overstated, or at the least, MIS-stated. The worst offenders at releasing non-native fish are the Wildlife departments of the various states, often working with the Federal FWS! And they are going to have a really tough time policing this with the current staff of FWS, which may be one of the few underfunded federal departments in our government.
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb