Freeing your goldfish from the fish bowl may seem like a pretty good job, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the US state of Minnesota, authorities have called on people to stop releasing goldfish into lakes and rivers. After all, a huge goldfish was taken out of the water in several places.
In Burnsville, near Minneapolis, several colossal goldfish, up to ten times the size of a normal specimen, were recently recovered from the water. Officials warn that the “feral goldfish” can destroy other species of fish and plants.
“Don’t release your pet goldfish into ponds and lakes!” As stated on the call in Burnsville. “It gets bigger than you think and contributes to poor water quality by fertilizing bottom sediments and uprooting vegetation.”
Like carp, goldfish can easily reproduce and survive during Minnesota winters due to low oxygen levels. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources warned that “a few goldfish may seem a harmless addition to local aquatic life to some, but they are not.”
Goldfish can grow from 5 to 12 cm per year, depending on the living conditions. If the living conditions are poor, as in a small bowl, the goldfish will not grow.
Environmental destruction from releasing pets into an aquarium is not new. In 1982, several carnivorous lionfish were released into Florida, most likely by some fishing enthusiast. Native to the Pacific Ocean, this lionfish has already killed dozens of species from the Caribbean around Florida, allowing seaweeds to overrun the reefs.
In scientific studies, goldfish have received less attention at the moment than other invasive species, such as the Asian carp. However, Minnesota is not alone in warning of goldfish. Also in Virginia and Washington, but also in Australia and Canada, it is not recommended to throw goldfish into lakes or rivers.
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