Predatory Fish Invasion Heading to California

Thousands of predatory Cobia have escaped pens in Ecuador and are swimming their way up to California
By Brent Durand

Tens of thousands of predatory Cobia fish are making their way towards California, where scientists on unsure of impacts on the local marine ecosystem. Pete Thomas of GrindTV reported the news, which is interesting and scary at the same time. On one hand, you have a group of non-native fish who have escaped and are swimming wildly north, presenting great fishing opportunities for those anglers who find them. On the other hand, Coiba are a large predatory fish and non-native to California's eastern Pacific waters, which means they have the potential to disrupt a very delicate food-chain balance.

California is no stranger to strange creatures the past couple years, with warmer El Nino waters bringing rare guests like pacific seahorses, smooth hammerhead sharks and warm-water nudibranchs, but the appearance of a voracious predator is scary.

Coiba (Rachycentron canadum) can grow up to 2m (6ft) in length and weigh up to 78kg (172lbs). They are distributed through a wide range but are not native to the eastern Pacific, even though they can tolerate a wide-range of temperature. Coiba feed on crabs, squid and fish, and will not be bashful about following other predators in order to feast on their scraps. *



Scientists have reported Coiba as far north as Panama and Columbia, with reason to believe that the fish are headed to California where water conditions may be ideal for aggregation and spawning.

What happens next?  Will the Cobia make it to California?  We'll find out in coming months.


Read the full story, including a quote from marine biologist Dr. Milton Love, in the GrindTV article 'Thousands of Cobia Escape Pens in Ecuador' or on Pete Thomas Outdoors.


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