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Tilapia to be Eradicated in Plaquemines

by the Fish Site Editor
07 May 2009, at 1:00am

US - Tilapia is a fish that graces the menus of many of the region's toniest restaurants and can be seen resting on ice in most local markets. But the sight of tilapia recently in waters around Port Sulphur has sent the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries into crisis mode.

Teams of Wildlife and Fisheries workers plan to use strong toxicants to eradicate everything swimming in those waters in the hope of killing what may be hundreds of thousands of tilapia, a native of Africa that may be great for fish farms, but could devastate native species important to recreational and commercial fisheries, according to biologists, writes By Bob Marshall, staff writer for Nola.

Tilapia have the ability to rapidly reproduce, crowding out native species and disrupting the food chain for other animals, biologists said.

The fish have been found in a series of drainage canals and ditches on the west bank of Plaquemines Parish from the community of Diamond south through Port Sulphur. Using emergency authority, Barham on Tuesday closed the area to commercial and recreational fishing until further notice.

the Fish Site Editor