Fish of alien species have been found in many localities in Thailand and some of them have been raised in ponds for commercial fishing – which may be in violation of the law, according to Fisheries Department sources.
Peacock Bass, a kind of fish of alien species, have been found in Phetchaburi and Rayong provinces. In Phetchaburi, they are found at the Phuwai reservoir in Tambon Huay Sai Nua in Cha-am district. In Rayong, fish of this species are found in Klaeng district.
Peacock Bass are a large-size flesh-eating freshwater fish of which origin is South Africa. They are called by local people in Thailand as Pla Kapong Jud.
The local people know they are alien fish. It is believed they have been brought to Thailand and released in various localities until they have been widely bred.
Like fish of other alien species, they are invading local marine life and affecting the Thai eco-system.
The Fisheries Department has asked people having them in possession to get rid of them, or send them to the department for elimination.
For people who are raising fish of alien species in their ponds for commercial fishing and may release them into natural water resources may be violating a law of the Fisheries Department and liable to up to two years in jail and a fine of up to 2 million baht.
In a related action, the Fisheries Department and the Office of Policy and Planning of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry are preparing to review the lists of animals and plants of alien species to prevent them from being smuggled into the country because they can become a major problem difficult to solve in the future.