Episode 14: Biosecurity Officer Dr Bonnie Holmes on the Impact of Pest Fish

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The introduction and spread of noxious aquatic fauna and flora can be particularly damaging to the health of our waterways. Once introduced, these invasive species often can't be eradicated, and even controlling their spread and proliferation can be expensive and extremely challenging.

The damage that alien (exotic) species can do to our delicate ecosystems varies depending on the species of concern and on the ecosystems into which they are introduced.

Some can colonise in low numbers and co-exist with minimal impact. Others can out-compete native species for habitat, food and resources, permanently altering the ecosystem for the worse.

In this episode of the Reef and Rivers podcast we talk to Dr. Bonnie Holmes, Senior Biosecurity Officer with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Bonnie is a pest fish expert and explains the level to which alien species currently impact Wet Tropics waterways.

We also discuss what managers and the public can do to reduce the spread of alien species - and a handful of pest fish that DAF are working to prevent gaining a foothold in our waterways.

Podcast Timestamps

00:55 Known pest fish species in the Wet Tropics

03:05 The spread of tilapia, how to recognise them and what to do if you catch one.

05:40 Biosecurity regulations regarding tilapia.

07:48 Why can we buy tilapia in fish shops but we can't eat it if we catch it.

9:58 What activities is the Department of Fisheries undertaking to control the spread of pest fish?

12:50 Can the spread of tilapia be contained?

15:00 What other invasive pest fish species are a concern in the Wet Tropics?

Contacts, Links & Resources

Report pest fish sightings

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