- Another Florida Invasive Species is Good Eating
- Geoduck Poaching in Washington Threatens Native Population
- Philippine Octopus Carries Its Home on the Road
Another Florida Invasive Species is Good Eating
As if Florida isn’t already waging a big enough war with invasive species, the new threat is a toothed fish called a snakehead, rumored to have the ability to “walk” on land and breathe air. Whereas the lionfish is destroying saltwater reefs by voraciously feeding on just about any fish that resides in the reef and multiplying at lightning speed, the snakehead is a freshwater destroyer, preying on large species like bass and even turtles. A native to Southeast Asia, no one is really sure how the snakehead came to reside in South Florida waters, but the director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s non-native species lab suspects it was illegally released from a private aquarium, just like the invasive lionfish. Florida fishermen have suggested the fish be caught for consumption, as many have attested to the great flavor and texture of the white meat. The snakehead is a popular dish in China, Malaysia, and Pakistan, where it roams freely in its own waters.
Geoduck Poaching in Washington Threatens Native Population
Geoducks (pronounced gooey-ducks) are in such high demand in China that poachers have taken to harvesting from a native population found in the Puget Sound, threatening their long-term existence. Tracts of Washington’s largest clam species are monitored closely by state biologists, who have detected an astounding 800,000 pounds of the geoducks missing within the last year, an amount that equals one-third of the annual allowable harvest. This slow-growing species can live for more than 100 years, and their weight at maturity can be up to 10 pounds. They dig about 3 feet deep into the seabed, living a sedentary life as a filter-feeder. However, once the geoducks are disturbed, they are incapable of burrowing back into the sediment, making them easy targets for poachers. The going rate for geoducks in the international market is up to $160 per pound. Washington’s Department of Natural Resources and Department of Fish and Wildlife have been appropriated part of the state’s 2012 budget to identify and stop the poachers.
Philippine Octopus Carries Its Home on the Road
This video, shot by a CNN reporter at a popular dive site in the Philippines, demonstrates the lengths that some marine creatures will go to just to have a roof over their heads: