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Giant Goldfish in Australia Rivers Were Once Tiny Pets?

Image: Giant Goldfish in Australia Rivers Were Once Tiny Pets?

(Alberta Environment and Parks)

By    |   Thursday, 18 Aug 2016 09:07 AM

Giant goldfish in Australia rivers -- some as big as soccer balls and weighing four pounds -- were probably once pets that were dumped into waterways and now are wrecking the habitat of native species.

Stephen Beatty, from Murdoch University's School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, told ABC Perth that he and his colleagues have found monster goldfish populating lakes and rivers across the state of Western Australia, reported Perth Now. They hope their work in the Vasse River, near Busselton, will lead to better control of the growing problem.

"Perhaps they were kids' pets where the family (has) been moving house and their parents, not wanting to take the aquarium, have dumped them in the local wetlands," Beatty said.

"Unfortunately a lot of people don't understand that wetlands connect up to river systems and introduced fish, once they get in there, can do a lot of damage to native freshwater fish and the aquatic habitat."

The BBC News noted that goldfish, which are native to eastern Asia, are considered an invasive aquatic species if released into the local ecosystems.

"Our research discovered the fish displayed a significant seasonal shift in habitats during breeding season, with one fish moving over (142 miles) during the year," said Beatty, per BBC News.

"Once established, self-sustaining populations of alien freshwater fishes often thrive and can spread into new regions, which is having a fundamental ecological impact and are major drivers of the decline of aquatic fauna."

Beatty told ABC Perth that his team had success in getting rid of carp from the Darch Brook that flows into the Margaret River, though, the strategy should be preventing invasive fish from entering the freshwater systems from the start.

"You can have success but you have to act really early and throw quite a lot of resources at it," Beatty said. "And quite often it is still unsuccessful."

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Giant goldfish in Australia rivers -- some as big as soccer balls and weighing four pounds -- were probably once pets that were dumped into waterways and now are wrecking the habitat of native species.
giant, goldfish, australia, rivers, pets
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2016-07-18
Thursday, 18 Aug 2016 09:07 AM
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