Stop Harmful Non-Native Fish from Invading Australian Ecosystem

Anabas testudineus

Target: Senior Official of the Australian Environment Protection Council Dorte Ekelund

Goal: Prevent the Climbing Perch from harming the Australian ecosystem any further.

A new species of fish introduced to Australian marine life is harming the rest of animals that are native to the area. Its popularity as a food dish in South Asia has assisted its spread into new waters and is now harming native species of both land and sea animals. The net value expected to be lost in fishing revenue because of the climbing perch is projected at $48.5 million. Tell the National Environment Protection Council that the climbing perch fish needs to be contained and monitored in order to protect neighboring animals.

Climbing perch were first recently spotted off the coast of South-East Asia, a few miles away from the border of mainland Australia. Its spread is due to its use as a aquaculture resource as well as a common and popular food. These aggressive fish not only outcompete local, native species of freshwater and estuarine fish, but they are also covered in sharp dorsal and opercular spines that extend when ingested.

Villagers in Papua New Guinea have already seen a large rise in deaths of local cormorants, darters, and Arafuka file snakes. These large spines when extended also give the climbing perch the unique ability to “walk” across the ground. And while the species is known as a freshwater fish, scientists have also discovered climbing perch with the ability to survive extended periods in salt water.

The harm of introducing foreign species to new environments is constantly being discussed by agriculture and environmental protection groups as a danger to natural balance and survival. And while the cost and benefit of climbing perch entry prevention has been analyzed, it has still not been enforced in any way. Sign this petition and ask Councilwoman Dorte Ekelund to more actively prevent climbing perch from damaging the local environment.

PETITION LETTER:

To NEPC Senior Official Dorte Ekelund,

I am concerned about the safety of the Australian marine life and environment. Recently there has been a great increase in the presence of a foreign species called the climbing perch, known as the walking fish due to its ability to crawl on land. They have very large dorsal and opercular spikes that allow them to keep themselves upright on solid surfaces, but these spines also lodge and stab into the throats and airways of species that try to eat them. They have already caused the increase in deaths of cormorats, darters, and Arafuka file snakes, among others.

The Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries has already analyzed the projected detriment the introduction of the climbing perch could cause to local commercial and recreational fishing industry, but nothing has yet to be done about this oncoming crisis. Native Australian animals are continuing to die at the hand of this invasive species. I ask you to help us stop this invasion and prevent the further spread of climbing perch in local environments.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sahat Ratmuangkhwang

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