The Strangest Catch Is An Invasive Species
It may look like an impressive catch, but it’s also a troubling one.
The 30-year-old recreational fisherman in the photo, Rafael Biagini, said that the huge goldfish he is holding weighed 30 pounds and came from a lake in southern France. Mr. Biagini, who lives in the French city of Montpellier, said that he released the giant goldfish shortly after this photo was taken.
Of course, goldfish are actually a domesticated—in this case feral—breed of carp. And while there are some species of carp that evolved in Europe, where this fish was caught, the goldfish is not one of those species. In fact, goldfish originally came from China, and were brought to Europe by people. Some of them obviously have been released into European waters, where they are eating and growing.
Because goldfish can survive in cold water, it is possible that some of them have even been reproducing in French waters and in other European locations.
When a non-native species of plant or animal begins to spread in an ecosystem, it is said to be an invasive species. Different species of carp from Asia and elsewhere have become invasive species in waters the world over. They do harm in the ecosystems they invade by eating food needed by native species of fish, as well as sometimes eating the native fish themselves.
So, while it seems nice that Mr. Biagini let the big goldfish go back into the lake, it might have been better if he kept it!