River Acacia is said to have been infested with a species of fish called the catfish. Inhabitants are now sickened with fear lest the enormous fish attack them in case they feel threatened by the humans.
Frightened Inhabitants of Carreau Acacia – Mauritius
It has been reported that the Acacia river found at Carreau Acacia has been invaded by catfish, constituting a great problem for the inhabitants. According to the latter, the catfish had appeared some months back, and now, they have increased in numbers; they are said to have reproduced really fast. The inhabitants usually use the water from the river in case they do not have enough tap water to carry out their daily household tasks. Now, with the catfish in great numbers in the river, they are frightened of the idea of the fish attacking the humans.
Profile of the Catfish
The catfish consists of many different species, differing in size and behaviour. Their external anatomy bears structures called barbels, which greatly resemble cat whiskers, hence the name ‘catfish’. The barbels serve as tactile organs, that is, they allow the fish to sense food in its surroundings. The plethora of species of catfish that exist come in different sizes, from 12 cm to 2 meters. The Mauritians living near the Acacia river hence are worried that these big fish could pose a threat to them because of their imposing size. That is not all. While most of the fish are harmless to humans, the same cannot be said to some of them. A few catfish species have stings found behind their fins. Most of these are not poisonous though. But still, care has to be taken when dealing with them.
The species found in the Mauritian river are now 5 to 10 cm long. With time, they could reach around 1 m 60 cm long, with a body weight of 30 kg. If these big fish feel menaced, they may attack the source of the menace in question.
The catfish constitutes a danger to other life forms…
They represent a potential threat to the endemic species making up the aquatic life of the river. Catfish which are known to be invasive species can be a real pest. They feed on the other forms of life in the river: already, a huge number of the Tilapia fish have disappeared into the bellies of the catfish, as attested by a planter in the region. The catfish could disrupt the ecological balance of the river ecosystem.
Now, the inhabitants are getting increasingly worried as to how to get rid of them. they have already multiplied to a large extent. How to do away with such a large number of this invasive species?
The Ministry of Fisheries will soon send officers to Carreau Acacia to evaluate the situation so that decisions pertaining to this problem can be taken.