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An evaluation of the role and impacts of alien finfish in Asian inland aquaculture

journal contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by S De Silva, T Nguyen, Nigel Abery, U Amarasinghe
Asia dominates global aquaculture production accounting for over 80% of the total and the mainstay in Asian aquaculture is finfish. Over the years, Asia has experienced a number of inter-continental and intra-continental transfers/introductions/translocation of finfish species, between nations and watersheds, beyond their natural range of distribution, primarily for aquaculture development. In this article all such species are referred to as alien species. An attempt is made to evaluate the importance of the production of alien species in selected Asian nations, using statistics of the Food and Agriculture Organization. Also, negative effects, if any, based on literature surveys, of alien species in relation to displacement of indigenous species, and on biodiversity and/or genetic diversity together with associated pathogen transfers are evaluated. The major alien species, based on their significance to Asian inland aquaculture considered, are the tilapias, catfish, Chinese and Indian major carps and common carp. It is estimated that currently alien species account for nearly 12% of the cultured finfish production (2.6 million tonnes) in Asia, valued at US$ 2.59 billion, and the contribution exceeds 40% when Asian countries excluding China are taken into consideration. Inland finfish aquaculture in some Asian nations, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, is predominated by alien species, and in some others, e.g. Bangladesh and India, the contribution from alien species has been increasing steadily. It is suggested that overall alien finfish species have done little ecological harm to native flora and fauna. However, in the wake of increasing anthropogenic development taking place in watersheds the resulting environments are often made unconducive to indigenous species but not to some alien species, thereby potentially and indirectly making the latter invasive.

History

Journal

Aquaculture research

Volume

37

Issue

1

Pagination

1 - 17

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Location

Oxford, England

ISSN

1355-557X

eISSN

1365-2109

Language

eng

Notes

Published Online: 29 Sep 2005

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2005, Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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