Fisheries Department bans 13 alien aquatic species in Thailand

Thailand’s Fisheries Department has decided to ban the breeding and farming of 13 alien aquatic species, defined as non-indigenous species introduced by human activities, which are deemed to be a threat to native aquatic species and the local ecological system.

Alien aquatic species have had extensive impacts on native species, said Mr. Chalermchai Suwanrat, deputy director-general of the Fisheries Department, citing the case of the Blackchin tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron), which slipped into some shrimp farms three years ago, causing extensive damage to the farms and native species.

As a result, he said that the department issued a ministerial announcement banning the import, export, transit or farming of Blackchin tilapia, Mayan cichlid (Mayaheros urophthalmus) and Zebra cichlid (Maylandia estherae), effective as of March 19th, 2018, adding that farmers were told to kill the three species and turn them into organic fertilizer.

The more recent ban on the breeding and farming of the 13 alien aquatic species will come into effect August 16th, 2021. Farmers are advised to inform their provincial fisheries office if they still have any of the species in their possession or to deliver them to their local fisheries officials if they no longer want them.

Alternatively, they can consume them or sell them after they are killed. If any of the 13 species are to be kept for research or study, permission must be sought from the Fisheries Department.

The 13 alien aquatic species subject to the ban are Blackchin tilapia, Mayan cichlid, Zebra cichlid, Peacock cichlid, Butterfly peacock bass, Rainbow trout, Sea trout, Largemouth black bass, Goliath tiger fish, Giant tiger fish, Jade perch, all kinds of GMO fish, Chinese mitten crab, Triangle shell mussel and Blue-ringed octopus.

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