Preventative measures: Efforts to prevent the establishment of Pterygoplichthys spp. are recommended in potential habitats. Educating the public, especially aquarists, to avoid releasing their unwanted fishes into open waters may reduce their introductions (Mendoza et al, 2009).
Physical: It may be possible to reduce abundance in some locations, but based on the Hillsborough River studies, eradication is not feasible. Environmental management would only be useful in highly modified habitats located in urban areas. It is doubtful that it is possible to control populations over large areas. Shoreline hardening/barriers are effective, but expensive. A larger, commercial fish market for Pterygoplicthys coupled with intense egg collection could reduce their abundance. Some researchers recommend visiting nesting colonies during the breeding season and capturing and removing adults and any eggs and young. This method may be mostly effective in areas where breeding habitats are limited (Medoza et al, 2009).
Location Specific Management Information
As removing the fish entirely from the natural environment is unlikely, proposed solutions to control Pterygoplichthys spp. in Mexico include exploiting products from this new fishery. These include 1) exploiting fresh fish product, which has high nutritional values and acceptable taste 2) smoked fish product 3) head, guts and skin can be used to produce a high protein silage for addition to animal feeds 4) manufacture of soap from a by-product of silage manufacture 5) enzyme extraction from alimentary canal of fish which can be used to digest sewage and reduce pollution in waters 6) fish meal production (Martinez Palacios et al., 2009).
Researchers have recommended a number of management schemes for controlling Pterygoplichthys spp. in the Agusan Marsh including conducting a long term assessment to monitor populations, purchasing sailfin catfish from fisherman for companies that can use them as raw material and strengthening the enforcement of wildlife and environmental laws (Hubilla et al., 2007).
Recently a bounty system for the eradicated of the “janitor fish” has been launched by the City Government of Marikina. The live fish is brought at the price of P5 per kilogram and then destroyed. A World Bank-funded project for the conversion of the species into fishmeal is being implemented by the Laguna Lake Development Authority in cooperation with a farmer’s cooperative in Laguna (Joshi, 2006).
Experiments are also underway to use Janitor Fish for the Fish Amino Acid (FAA) concoction for Natural Farming Technology System (NFTS). Janitor fish is combined with molasses and fermented to produce the concoction to use on corn farms as fertiliser. (Agusan Marsh FOCAS, 2008).
Other uses of janitor fish have also been proposed, including using the oil of the fish to make biofuel and soaps (Sarmiento, 2006).
1. Aquatic Nuisance Species Information System (ANSIS), 2007. Species Profiles
2. Aquatic Nuisance Species Information System (ANSIS), 2007. Species Profiles. Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus - butterfly pleco
4. Aquatic Nuisance Species Information System (ANSIS), 2007. Species Profiles. Pterygoplicththys disjunctivus- vermiculated sailfin catfish.
8. Joshi, Ravindra C., undated. Invasive alien species (IAS): Concerns and status in the Philippines. Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) Maligaya
9. Krishnakumar, K.; Rajeev Raghavan; G. Prasad; A. Bijukumar; Mini Sekharan; Benno Pereira and Anvar Ali, 2009. When pets become pests – exotic aquarium fishes and biological invasions in Kerala, India. Commentary Current Science, VOL. 97, NO. 4, 25 AUGUST 2009
12. Mendoza, R.E.; Cudmore, B.; Orr, R.; Balderas, S.C.; Courtenay, W.R.; Osorio, P.K.; Mandrak, N.; Torres, P.A.; Damian, M.A.; Gallardo, C.E.; Sanguines, A.G.; Greene, G.; Lee, D.; Orbe-Mendoza, A.; Martinez, C.R.; and Arana, O.S. 2009. Trinational Risk Assessment Guidelines for Aquatic Alien Invasive Species. Commission for Environmental Cooperation. 393, rue St-Jacques Ouest, Bureau 200, Montréal (Québec), Canada. ISBN 978-2-923358-48-1.
Summary: In 1993, Canada, Mexico and the United States signed the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) as a side agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The NAAEC established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) to help the Parties ensure that improved economic efficiency occurred simultaneously with
trinational environmental cooperation. The NAAEC highlighted biodiversity as a key area for trinational cooperation. In 2001,
the CEC adopted a resolution (Council Resolution 01-03), which created the Biodiversity Conservation Working Group (BCWG),
a working group of high-level policy makers from Canada, Mexico and the United States. In 2003, the BCWG produced
the “Strategic Plan for North American Cooperation in the Conservation of Biodiversity.” This strategy identified responding to
threats, such as invasive species, as a priority action area. In 2004, the BCWG, recognizing the importance of prevention in addressing
invasive species, agreed to work together to develop the draft CEC Risk Assessment Guidelines for Aquatic Alien Invasive
Species (hereafter referred to as the Guidelines). These Guidelines will serve as a tool to North American resource managers
who are evaluating whether or not to introduce a non-native species into a new ecosystem. Through this collaborative
process, the BCWG has begun to implement its strategy as well as address an important trade and environment issue. With increased
trade comes an increase in the potential for economic growth as well as biological invasion, by working to minimize the potential adverse
impacts from trade, the CEC Parties are working to maximize the gains from trade while minimizing the environmental costs.
Available from: English version: http://www.cec.org/Storage/62/5516_07-64-CEC%20invasives%20risk%20guidelines-full-report_en.pdf [Accessed 15 June 2010]
French version: http://www.cec.org/Storage/62/5517_07-64-CEC%20invasives%20risk%20guidelines-full-report_fr.pdf [Accessed 15 June 2010]
Spanish version: http://www.cec.org/Storage/62/5518_07-64-CEC%20invasives%20risk%20guidelines-full-report_es.pdf [Accessed 15 June 2010].
14. Page, Lawrence M. and Robert H. Robins, 2006. Identification of sailfin catfishes (Teleostei: Loricariidae) in Southeastern Asia. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 54 (2), pp. 455-457.
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