New Invasive Fish Threaten North American Waterways


What are snakeheads? A snakehead is an invasive fish with a cylindrical shape and sharp teeth. An invasive species is a non-native organism that can harm an ecosystem. Snakeheads are separated into two genera: parachanna and channa. They are native to various parts of Africa and Asia; however, in 2002, the northern snakehead was caught in a Maryland pond. This immediately gained national attention and indicated that snakeheads were reproducing around the Maryland-Virginia area as well as in other states such as Wisconsin, Maine, Florida, as well as along the east and west coasts.

The Lacey Act was a conversation law in the United States that forbade tradings of certain wildlife, fish, and plants. Although snakeheads were put on the list of injurious wildlife by the Lacey Act of 1990, the fish continue to be sold in pet stores and remain in restaurants.

Snakeheads are freshwater fish that settle in a wide size-range of streams, canals, rivers and other bodies of water. Many snakehead species are able to withstand a wide range of pH levels.

Snakeheads become even more predatory as they reach adulthood. Snakeheads are highly disruptive in their search for food, often destroying habitats and negatively affecting waters.

It is important to understand this species and to find ways to prevent them from causing any further damage to our environment. If left unaddressed, snakeheads behavior could dramatically change the dynamics of food webs and ecological structures, leaving a permanently damaged native aquatic system. Snakeheads are also capable of spreading diseases that can harm other fish.

Snakeheads are one the most predatory fish in certain parts of the world and they are widely known as a threat to our environment. This issue deserves attention because there is a high chance of snakeheads wiping-out important native fish, leaving us with a destroyed aquatic society.

 

[Source: USGS.com]

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