Fishnado heads to Australia

Wednesday, 3 Jun 2015


An invasive fish species that can crawl across dry land, live up to six days out of water and can suffocate its predators is apparently making its way to Australia.

According to a report in The Guardian the aggressive climbing perch, or Anabas testudineushas, has already been spotted on Australia’s two most northerly outposts, the Torres Strait islands of Boigu and Saibai, fewer than 10km south of the PNG mainland and 160km from Cape York. 

It uses its sharp spines on the extendable cover of its gills to drag itself over dry land as it travels from one waterhole to another.

Nathan Waltham, a senior researcher in wetland ecology at James Cook University, said the arrival of the fish to Australian shores would be a “major disaster” for native Australian fish species and other wetland dwellers, including turtles and birds.

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