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Tilapia Threaten Barramundi Stocks

AUSTRALIA - Barramundi stocks in the Northern Territory of Australia are under threat from an invasion from Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus)

The fish were first introduced into Australia about 30 year ago as an aquarium fish, but they have become an aggressive, fast-breeding invasive fish species, authorities warn.

They have been out-breeding and out-eating native fish throughout Queensland and Western Australia and now there are concerns that they could threaten fish stocks in Northern Territory.

Their spread through the waterways of northern Australia is fast encroaching on the Northern Territory, according to reports on National News Nine, with tilapia recently spotted in a Queensland river system which drains into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

National News Nine says the sightings have prompted the NT Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines (DPIFM) to issue a public call for action.

"Territorians are being asked to be on the lookout for tilapia, especially in the Gulf region, and report any suspected sightings," Aquatic Pest Management coordinator Helen Cribb told National News Nine.

Ms Cribb said tilapia was a highly aggressive species, driving native species away from their natural habitat and reducing native fish populations.

View the National News Nine story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy

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