Saturday, 06 June, 2020

This fish can survive on land, and officials want it dead

Georgia DNR Georgia DNR
Sandy Nunez | 11 October, 2019, 04:55

"Our first line of defense in the fight against aquatic invasive species, such as the northern snakehead, are our anglers", said Matt Thomas, Chief of Fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division.

They also can also breathe air, allowing them to survive on land and in low oxygenated systems for days.

The northern snakehead fish, a native to East Asia, used to be sold in pet stores, live-food fish markets and restaurants in some major cities before 2002, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added the species to its list of injurious wildlife.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources issued an alert about the fish this week and gave instructions for what to do if you think you've caught one.

"Thanks to the quick report by an angler, our staff was able to investigate and confirm the presence of this species in this water body". Their breathing ability makes it possible for them to navigate to other small areas of land and new bodies of water.

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The department urges people to photograph the fish, including some close-up shots "of its mouth, fins and tail". The second: "Kill it immediately. and freeze it".

Invasive fish like the northern snakehead are often introduced through unauthorized release, according to Georgia wildlife authorities. A new snakehead fish is now in Georgia and can survive on land.

Officials are concerned about the Northern snakehead infiltrating US water because they are 'voracious predators'. State officials are announcing that if any of them come into contact with this fish, to kill it immediately. They have now had their first confirmed case of the fish in the state of Georgia.

The northern snakehead is native to China but has already been spotted in multiple U.S. states, including Maryland, California, Arkansas and Virginia. This fish has a dark brown blotchy appearance and can grow up to 3 feet in length.