Wednesday, 17 April 2024
TechThis Giant Fish Eats Piranhas for Breakfast

This Giant Fish Eats Piranhas for Breakfast


Piranhas are often considered to be one of the deadliest fish in the world. But who would have thought that this animal that lives in the Amazon river would become the breakfast menu for the giant Arapaima Gigas fish.

Guillermo Otta Parum has been fishing in the Bolivian Amazon all his life, for more than 50 years. Initially he caught various types of catfish that inhabited the river.

But then a giant freshwater fish appeared, known locally as paiche or Arapaima Gigas.



“I think this creature is a water snake, it will attack anything, eating it will be bad for you, maybe poisonous,” he said as reported by the BBC.

In fact, Arapaima Gigas is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, reaching 4 meters in length and weighing 200 kilograms or more.

Federico Moreno, director of the Aquatic Resources Research Center of the Beni Autonomous University, said the Arapaima Gigas’ size and appetite make it a serious threat to native fish stocks.

“This fish is a territorial fish, it takes over waters and scares away native species. [Itu] is a serious problem. Other species escape predators and enter other, more remote, waters. and difficult to access,” explained Federico,

No one knows for sure what year the Arapaima first appeared in Bolivia.

Arapaima hunted by fisherman Guillermo Otta Parum. Photo: BBC

It is generally believed that the arrival of the fish is the result of abuses by the Arapaima fish farm in Peru, where the fish originate. From there, they spread to Bolivia’s rivers.

Fernando Carvajal, a biologist, said Arapaima is a voracious species.

“During the first years of its life, Arapaima grows at a rate of 10 kg per year. That means Arapaima eats a lot of fish.” he explained

Unlike other predatory fish such as piranhas, it only has small and not very sharp teeth.

With impressive teeth, the Arapaima often eats piranhas and a number of other fish. He even eats plants, molluscs and birds. This also scares away any fish that try to eat the young Arapaima.

Fernando Carvajal said there was no definite data regarding the impact of fish that should not be kept in Indonesia. But he revealed something frightening, fishermen reported that the numbers of several native species were decreasing.

“In the next decade or two, paiche will spread to all the potential areas where this species can live,” he warned.

“We know that worldwide, the vast majority of invasive cases have a negative impact on nature. Invasive species are considered the second biggest cause of biodiversity loss after habitat destruction.”

ArapaimaArapaima fish are starting to become popular Photo: BBC

However, for local fishermen, the arrival of Arapaima is a blessing. While initially afraid of it, it didn’t take long for fishermen to realize its potential, says Guillermo Otta Parum.

“When I bring in the first fish, I’ll give a small piece to the customer as a treat for them to try so they can taste it.”

Some fishermen even pretended that it was a kind of catfish to overcome people’s suspicions about eating such a large specimen.

Now Arapaima is eaten throughout Bolivia. Many of these fish processing plants are open near the Brazilian border

“We sell it everywhere – supermarkets, markets. The cuts are different, so the prices are affordable. We buy and process about 30,000 kg per month,” he said.

The challenge for fishermen is trying to find Arapaima along the Amazon. This fish has organs like lungs and must inhale air regularly to breathe so it likes calmer water. It prefers to live in lakes and lagoons, but migrates when it feels in danger.

The impact is that fishermen travel to increasingly remote areas to catch these fish and have to move from boats to canoes, with journeys taking up to two weeks. This puts them in conflict with indigenous communities who want to protect natural resources.

Regardless, scientist Federico Moreno hopes that fishing in general, whoever does it, will be able to control paiche numbers.

“Keep hunting them, keep fishing them all the time and that can keep the balance between species.” he said.

Watch Video “Scientific Facts about the Giant Arapaima Fish that Appeared in the Garut Floods
[Gambas:Video 20detik]


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