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Tropical fish found in River Ness may have been discarded by owners


By Louise Glen

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Mystery fish found in River Ness.
Mystery fish found in River Ness.

The hunt is on to identify two mystery non-native fish found by anglers in River Ness.

The fish, originally believed to be abandoned tropical fish from an aquarium, could have a devastating impact on native species and eco systems.

One fish was still alive when it was found by Inverness Angling Club on Monday evening.

A spokesman for Ness District Salmon Fishery Board said: "We received reports of two unidentified fish found on the Inverness Angling Club beat of the River Ness in Inverness, one of which was still alive.

"Our first thoughts from the description given on the telephone were that they might be perch, common across much of the UK but not native to the Ness system. On collection were amazed to find what appear to be two ‘cichlid’ fish, more common in areas such as Lake Tanganyika in Africa."

Cichlids are primarily freshwater fish found in tropical America, mainland Africa and Madagascar, and southern Asia.

The spokesman continued: "These fish are common in the aquarium trade as pets and it is likely that someone has decided to release them into the wild.

"If so, this is highly irresponsible and anyone looking to release unwanted pet fish into local rivers and lochs are urged to find alternatives as this can have a devastating impact on native species and ecosystems.

"If anyone can positively identify the species we would be interested to know."

The board can be contacted on Facebook by clicking here.

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