Alien Species Pose Grave Threat to Inland Fish Varieties: Experts

Marine experts urge that authorities to introduce a mechanism to monitor and control the entry of foreign species into local habitats.

Published: 25th July 2015 04:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2015 04:31 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: As the State is slowly waking up to the threat of the silent invasion of alien species, experts in fish and other marine studies urge that authorities should immediately put in place a mechanism to monitor and control the entry of foreign species into local habitats.

A study published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa, which highlighted the presence of aquarium fishes Trichopsis vittata and Macropodus opercularis in Chembarambakkam, Red Hills lakes, respectively should come up as a wake up call in this regard.

Experts say both these are native to South East Asia, which could have made its way into the water bodies near the city through aquarium trade. Like all other invasive species, these fish could upset the aquatic food chain and even threaten the native fish population to extinction.

According to scientists in the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, conservation of fish has never been adequately addressed in India. This, they allege, is mainly due to lack of scientific data, despite the clear threat such cases pose.

Scientists estimate that till now 324 alien fish species, including 291 ornamental fish, 31 cultivable fish and two larvicidal fish have been introduced to the Indian fresh waters.

Like in the case of Seemai Karuvelam, the government is equally responsible in introducing alien species in Indian waters. For instance, Mozabique Tilapia, a prolific breeder, was introduced in 1952 to enhance aquatic production.

The former director of Zoological Survey of India, K Venkataraman says the need of the hour is the immediate formation of a new authority that can regulate the entry of such species.


Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp