Blackchin tilapia fish threatens Songkhla Lake

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

The Songkhla provincial fisheries office is urging the public to report any sightings of the invasive blackchin tilapia in local waterways. This predatory fish, originally from Africa, poses a severe threat to the delicate balance of Songkhla’s aquatic ecosystems.

Sightings of the blackchin tilapia have been confirmed in several canals within the Ranot district, which are directly connected to Songkhla Lake. This aggressive species can adapt swiftly to new environments, outcompete native fish for resources, and spread at an alarming rate. The potential entry of blackchin tilapia into Songkhla Lake has sparked serious concern among local authorities and conservationists, who fear the devastation of indigenous aquatic life.

“The blackchin tilapia’s voracious appetite for smaller fish could lead to a catastrophic collapse of our native fish populations.”

This predatory fish’s presence in the lake could irreversibly damage the ecosystem, making it crucial for the community to act swiftly and decisively.

In response to the looming threat, the Fisheries Department has launched a campaign to eradicate this non-indigenous menace. The public is encouraged to participate by reporting any sightings of blackchin tilapia to local authorities. The campaign also aims to educate the community on the dangers posed by invasive species and the importance of preserving local biodiversity.

In a proactive measure, the Fisheries Department had already banned the import and breeding of 13 non-indigenous fish species in 2021, including the notorious Blackchin tilapia, Zebra cichlid, Peacock cichlid, Rainbow trout, Sea trout, Goliath tiger fish, Jade perch, and Largemouth bass, reported Thai PBS World.

In related news, Thailand is currently grappling with a severe invasive sucker fish crisis, exacerbated by human actions that have released non-native fish into waterways without considering the environmental impact. These invasive species are wreaking havoc on Thailand’s native ecosystems, causing environmental, economic, and health-related damage. This issue is frequently highlighted in various media outlets.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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