By Gurung Sushant
According to a recent news report, P.E.I. wildlife authorities removed around 220 goldfish from a neighbouring river. There may be more of them in PEI’s waterways, and a lot of fight against the species is required since the harm they cause to the finely balanced aquatic ecosystem of our freshwater is enormous. To have a better understanding of the situation, let’s first look at the goldfish and the problems it poses to our freshwater ecology as an invasive species.
The goldfish (Carassius auratus) is a carp that is mostly sold as an ornamental fish.
Goldfish are quite popular among fish keepers, and many varieties have developed as a result of selective breeding that goes back to China’s Jin Dynasty (260-420 A.D.). It first made its way into the North American pet trade in the 1850s and has been a popular fish in the aquarium business ever since.
Looks, on the other hand, can be misleading. These cute little goldfish can become quite large and have a voracious appetite for food. As a result, putting goldfish into a local pond or river means the goldfish population will fight for food with the native species. Furthermore, because goldfish are omnivorous, there’s a good possibility they’ll devour eggs and fry of native fish populations, further disrupting an otherwise well-balanced environment.
Goldfish churn up the substrate while feeding, causing the water to become murky, allowing less light to enter the bottom and, in the long term, killing aquatic vegetation. As a result, there is a shortage of oxygen supplied to the water, resulting in poor water quality. Furthermore, with a single female goldfish capable of laying thousands of eggs every couple of years, the water quality continues to deteriorate, with less light reaching the plants and animals that require it due to a rise in the goldfish population.
According to some scientists, large goldfish populations may create algal blooms since goldfish faeces is a probable food source for them. Furthermore, goldfish can carry parasites and illnesses with them and pass them on to native fish species.
Due to their hardiness and adaptive capabilities, thriving goldfish populations have been a major challenge to Canada’s aquatic ecosystems. Alberta is well-known for its ongoing struggle to exterminate goldfish populations that have firmly claimed its waters, and every attempt appears to be a waste of time and effort because it has plainly not been that effective.
The most effective way to avert a goldfish invasion in our midst right now is to prevent aquarium dumping. There are techniques for eradicating a goldfish invasion, but if humans don’t provide opportunities for these fish to escape and thrive in the wild, they won’t have to worry about removing them later. Following the earlier catch, Rosie MacFarlane, freshwater fisheries scientist for Prince Edward Island, stated that if individuals are no longer able to take care for a fish, they must find alternative methods to deal with it and that releasing the fish into the wild is not a smart idea. Another eradication is supposed to be repeated a week after the initial effort to trace any goldfish that escaped and showed up again in that spot.
Goldfish, facts and photos. Animals. (n.d.). Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/facts/goldfish.
McEachern, C. (n.d.). P.E.I. wildlife staff remove more than 200 goldfish from WINTER RIVER POND. SaltWire. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/news/pei-wildlife-staff-remove-over-200-goldfish-from-winter-river-pond-100637372/.
Sharkey, B. (2018, November 26). Here’s why releasing your goldfish into the wild is a bad idea. Simplemost. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.simplemost.com/why-releasing-goldfish-into-wild-bad-idea/.