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Rabbitfish Fight Invading Algae

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
13 July 2011, at 1:00am

CHINA - The rabbitfish, a species that is being bred in the Chengyang district of Qingdao, Shandong province, may bring some hope in fight against Enteromorpha prolifera, a species of green algae that threatens to overwhelm the Qingdao coastline.

"Rabbitfish are promising for the aquaculture market, and more aquaculture companies are becoming interested in them," commented Chen Guobiao, a local aqua-farming technician.

The fish inhabits the tropical and subtropical Indian-Pacific and Eastern Mediterranean waters, and feeds on algae, without harming aquatic life such as sea cucumbers and shrimp. So, it can be used as a biological weapon against the green algae that now threaten to overrun the city's coastline.

One experiment conducted by the aqua-farming companies showed that 20 rabbitfish could swallow five kilograms of algae in less than 20 minutes.

Qingdao's aquatic products administration introduced the rabbitfish to a local aquaculture corporation last year to deal with the algae that have being coming ashore since 2007. The spreading algae had a negative impact on the city's marine ecosystem, aquaculture, and human health as well.

There was some initial success with the rabbitfish, so the Chengyang district is planning on spending one million yuan to introduce 300,000 of the fish species this year to get rid of the problem.

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