Dumped non-native fish can spread disease in our rivers

Published on Thursday, 30 August 2012 12:06
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Environment Agency is warning the public that 'pet' fish and non-native fish should not be placed into their local streams, rivers and lakes because they are breaking the law

The Environment Agency is warning the public that 'pet' fish and non-native fish should not be placed into their local streams, rivers and lakes because they are breaking the law. The reminder comes after fisheries officers were called to remove non-native fish found in a stream beside the Great Stour, Kent.

The fish, including at least 50 goldfish, were found by a Mid Kent Fisheries bailiff and reported to the Environment Agency. It is likely that the fish were put into the river from a garden pond.

When ornamental fish are released into rivers they can spread disease and parasites to other fish. This is why it is imperative that the capture and release of fish into rivers and lakes is regulated by the Environment Agency. The public need to be aware that unauthorised release of non-native fish is against the law.

Under licence from the Environment Agency, Mid Kent Fisheries staff have now removed the introduced fish from the stream and have taken them to an ornamental fish farm.

Environment Agency fisheries officer Steve Smith said: "When people clean out their ponds, it is very important that the fish are only put into ornamental ponds and not rivers and lakes. Even healthy looking goldfish and koi carp can be carriers of disease that can kill fish species in rivers and lakes."

Source: ©Environment Agency

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