The American Malacological Society Policy on Biological Conservation
The American Malacological Society (AMS) believes that the interests of malacology (the scientific study of mollusks), of science in general, and of the well-being of the human race are best served by the protection of intact ecosystems and their naturally occurring biodiversity. The AMS therefore supports measures at all levels of government and society, throughout the world, to:
- protect natural biodiversity in general, proactively;
- protect threatened and endangered species;
- protect natural ecosystems of sufficient size and configuration to be self-sustaining;
- manage adequately natural reserves established for the conservation of biodiversity;
- prevent invasion of natural ecosystems by non-indigenous organisms;
- prevent human-produced pollution from degrading ecosystems and threatening their natural biota.
The AMS specifically supports measures to:
- ensure that fisheries and collecting activities impacting natural populations of mollusks are conducted only on a sustainable basis;
- (a) restrict shell-collecting for commercial gain, especially for rare or endangered species; and (b) minimize habitat destruction and prevent destructive collecting practices such as the use of toxic chemicals and explosives;
- encourage awareness among shell-collecting hobbyists that their activities may impact natural populations of mollusks, and that they should focus their collecting activities on the more common species and/or dead specimens, consider substituting photography for collection of live specimens, and avoid damage to habitats;
- encourage awareness among professional and professional-level amateur researchers that their activities may impact natural populations of mollusks, and that they should restrict their collecting activities to the minimum necessary to address the specific research needs, and that these research needs should be evaluated against a background of the status of the mollusk species in question, and of potential damage to habitats.
Furthermore, in support of mollusk conservation and the conservation of biodiversity more generally, the AMS calls for adequate, coordinated governmental and private support to enhance efforts by professional and professional-level amateur malacologists to generate, synthesize, and make available information about molluscan ecology and the role of molluscan biodiversity in natural ecosystems, thereby enhancing our ability to conserve mollusks.
Specifically, the AMS prohibits the selling, buying or trading of shells or shell products at its annual meeting.
The AMS welcomes information on any issue related to mollusk conservation both in the US and internationally. For further information on the AMS's conservation policy, or on any other issue related to mollusk conservation and the AMS's involvement in such issues, contact Jay Cordeiro, AMS Conservation Committee Chair.