Monday's side event at the SBSTTA meeting of the CBD by the pet industry gave an impressive insight how to deal with pets and ornamental plants becoming invasive: Simply tell consumers not to release them.
Or even better: put up posters in shops and print a line on the bag in which you buy your fish or pond plants and all will be solved.
Don't bother involving academics or even the governments - retailers are the best people to talk to consumers, and they are already used to put up posters and hand out flyers.
Don't confuse anybody with science. Because in the end the real problem of pets and ornamental plants becoming invasive alien species are the uneducated pet-owners and individual gardeners
While three representatives of the pet industry in the US, Canada and Europe were happily showing off their colourful flyers for nearly an hour, they did not give any numbers or any statistic data that would support their claims that this approach is or would be an effective strategy.
The only figures they gave were about the amount of tax revenue produced by the pet industry, and the great coincidence the tax revenue generated in Europe in the last years (of about 12 billion) is the same amount as the damage caused by invasive species. So that would even each other out - Problem solved.
Repeatedly they stated that when it comes to invasive species, the pet industry is not part of the problem, but part of the solution.
But then again, when you spend so much time and effort to re-define the problem to blame the consumers who don't know what to do with unwanted aquarium fish, then you can forget about all the other ways in which pets and plants can escape and continue making money in the pet industry.