your internet guide to all things catfish
|A Clarias hybrid and its implications
|by Nonn Panitvong
o, a few of my international friends have asked what is up with my post on Facebook with a photo of a Clarias in it, why do so many like and share?, what did I write?. Here is my broken English translation for all of you. I guess this simple calculation can apply to many species and situations.
Clarias - hybrid species
Now a large majority of us are Buddhist and we believe in making merit by freeing the suffering life. Catfish in the market or in the aquaculture ponds are destined to live a short life and die as food, so people believe that buying them and releasing them in to nature is a good deed. As a conservation biologist, I would like to let you all know that this hybrid alien does not belong in our waters, NEVER, and here is some simple calculation to show you why.
So According to our facts they will eat about 50 kg. of food/day (1,000 * 5%), and of this 50 kg., half of it or 25kg. will be animals: 25 kg = 25,000 grams. The animals (fish, shrimp, snail) that will fit a Clarias of this size would be about 2-3 cm. and they would weigh about 5 grams, so these Clarias will eat 5,000 individuals (25,000/5) of animals per day or 1.7 individual/Clarias/day which is very highly possible and that will be 1,800,000 individual/year (5,000*360).
These 1.8 million animals that are being eaten by the Clarias, the large majority would be native species, some are young and of a highly important food species, some are endangered species, some are a small species that would normally be preyed upon by larger native species. These native species are playing the same games by the same rules and they know each other’s game very well. They are in a balance, and are now adding a large quantity of hybrid Clarias into this equation which will instantly wreck the whole balance of this food web. It is like you are in your village and suddenly a large group of carnivore like lions or tigers are released into your area and you are defendless against them, or maybe the predator just showed up in the area and started hunting you like in the movies. That would be what our native species feel when you release the hybrid Clarias into our water ways.
I don’t believe that you would gain any merit from such an act and I would strongly discourage you all from doing this. That would be what our native species feel when you release the hybrid Clarias into our water ways.
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