Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The bluegill that ate Japan

Or at least ate Japan's fish. The problem is so bad that the Emperor is apologizing for bringing bluegill into Japan in the 1960s.

Chicago mayor Richard Daley gave bluegill, the state fish of Illinois, as a gift to the current Emperor in 1960. Hoping to create a new delectable food source, Japanese fish biologists established the bluegill in lakes. Now, bluegill are eating and depleting some native species, and they've become an official nuisance. "Its cultivation started as there were great expectations of raising them for food in those days. My heart aches to see it has turned out like this," Emperor Akihito said.

To control the bluegill, there is a "catch and eat" policy for bluegill. Who knew that these nice little fish could be such a scourge. How long until we have a Bluegillzilla horror movie?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, and here in our Nation's capital, we have the snakehead, introduced from Asia, vacuuming up all sorts of fish that get in their way. These too, are widely viewed as threatening other fish species in and around the Potomac River and its tributaries. Funny thing though, the wide-spread concern about the snakehead includes concern about them threatening other previously introduced species, including the bluegill, largemouth bass, etc. all of which no doubt also devoured native fauna. In fact, if one looks around the common fish species inhabiting most of out Mid-Atlantic and Northeast lakes and rivers, they are nearly dominated by introduced species. Something to think about as we talk about protecting ecosystems and biodiversity! Jack.