Invasive Tilapia Threatening Fiji Fish Species and Ecosystems

SUVA, Fiji, Jan. 13 (UPI) — Tilapia, an African fish introduced to Fiji for sustainable farming, is threatening the larvae and juvenile fish of several native species, officials said.

Tilapia, a member of the cichlid family, is popular in fish farming because it grows quickly, tastes good and is a valuable source of protein.

The species, however, is proving problematic in the waterways of the Fiji Islands where it is eating several native species of goby that live in fresh and salt water and begin their lives in island streams, the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a release Tuesday.

The native fishes also are being threatened by human development, said Caleb McClennen, head of the conservation society’s marine program.

“As aquaculture continues to develop worldwide, best practices must include precautionary measures to keep farmed species out of the surrounding natural environment,” McClennen said.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Categorized | Conservation, Ecosystems, Fish
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