The warning is out about Tilapia - one of the world's top 100 worst introduced species. Photo Contributed
The warning is out about Tilapia - one of the world's top 100 worst introduced species. Photo Contributed Contributed

Pest hits our waters

ONE of the world's most invasive fish species has been found in Tweed waterways, and the Department of Primary Industries would like your help to contain it.

Last month, a recreational angler caught a tilapia in Bogangar Canal.

Since then, the DPI has also found the fish in Cudgen Lake.

Southern Cross University senior lecturer in marine biology, Dr Daniel Bucher, said the discovery of adult tilapia suggested there was an established population in the Tweed.

Dr Bucher said the tilapia's ability to tolerate a range of water conditions and feed on a variety of plant and animal matter, as well as its breeding habits, contributed to its virulent nature.

"When they breed, they keep the young in their mouth," Dr Bucher said.

By the time they emerge, Dr Bucher said, their natural predators wouldn't pose too much of a threat.

He said while you can definitely eat tilapia they don't taste that great.

DPI Strategy Leader or Aquatic Biosecurity Melissa Walker said community assistance would be integral to controlling the spread of the pest.

"The highest risk for transporting tilapia is via humans carrying live fish or eggs," Ms Walker said. "Our advice to anyone who catches or finds tilapia is to humanely destroy and dispose of it appropriately."

Tweed Shire Council waterways program leader Tom Alletson said there was a "strong likelihood" the species had moved into other Tweed waterways.

It is illegal to knowingly return a tilapia to the water in NSW.

 

Tilapia sightings can be reported to the DPI on 02 4916 3877 or to aquatic .pests@dpi.nsw.gov.au.



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