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Thread: Invasive Arapaima may be in Florida

  1. #1
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    Invasive Arapaima may be in Florida

    Did they caravan up from Brasil?

    Florida may have a new invasive fish. Not to mention the pythons.

    Arapaima inhale food through their vacuum-like mouths, and their prey isn’t just fish. They feast on birds, lizards, and small mammals. They’re capable of jumping out of the water to snatch a meal. (And as their enormous weight suggests, arapaima fish eat a lot.) These prehistoric predators have a swim bladder that opens into their mouths like a lung which means they can survive in warm water. They’re like a colossal walking catfish, meaning that they can survive out of the water, living on hot, dry land for up to a day. But the biggest issue is that they can lay hundreds of thousands of eggs over their 20-year lifespan. A growing population could threaten native and migratory species big time.

    The meat of the fish—also known as paiche or pirarucu—is boneless, odorless, and mild, making it a prized catch for both local fishermen and chefs abroad. You may have seen Masaharu Morimoto and Justin Bogle turn it into tiradito and banh mi on Iron Chef America a couple years back, or read about its arrival at Sushi Samba and Whole Foods.


    (There are efforts underway to rename the asian carp in the Great Lakes to sound more palatable so more will be eaten. It's wreaking its own havoc on those natural systems).

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