SMALLER COUSINS OF NAMAZU (SOME UP TO TEN FEET IN LENGTH) ARE PROLIFERATING ON THE RHINE.
Not long ago we carried a series of blog posts on the "Colombian Exchange"a term that describes the exchange of organisms that occurred both as a result of deliberate introduction of new species into an environment where they did not exist previously as well as unintended introduction. "Exotic intrusion" is a term that describes the establishment of an organism in an environment where it did not previously exist and where the organism causes damages to native species. Most of our examples came from the United States. But back in January, before we ran the series on the Colombian exchange/exotic intrusion, we became aware of a major case of exotic intrusion taking place in Germany.
WHO YOU CALLING AN INVADER????
Giant Catfish are increasing on Germany's Rhine River. Some of these giants are up to 10 feet in length. Normally reclusive and preferring deep warm holes in the river bottom, they appear to be increasing in number and at least seasonally ranging over a larger habitat. Fisheries experts speculate that this giant species loves warmer water and that the Rhine is warming up especially due to cooling water discharges from power stations dumping vast amounts of steaming water that is carrying heat away from the electrical generating system. Coupled with that, the Rhine has been invaded by by a small alien baitfish that the giant catfish appear to be able to catch and eat. So the giant catfish are experiencing an extension of range based on rising river water temperatures at the same time they have received a new protein source. So far fisheries experts don't seem to agree on the effect the increase in Giant catfish populations has on the aquatic environmental balance in terms of endangering any native game or commercial species. German sport fishermen seem pleased with the development and quite willing to catch and eat the giants. Though in fact they aren't considered very edible.
We asked our own aquatic environmental analyst, the world famous giant catfish, former Japanese demigod, and now AAB regular staff analyst, Namazu for his thoughts on the increase in giant catfish on the Rhine. Below his famous picture is his comment:
|"EAT MORE CHICKEN"|