NEWS

B.C. Snakehead Ban Mulled After Reported Sighting Of Predatory Fish In Pond

05/18/2012 07:35 EDT | Updated 07/18/2012 05:12 EDT
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VICTORIA - The B.C. government says it will consider potential options for a ban on the sale of voracious snakehead fish after at least one of the so-called Frankenfish was reported sighted in a Burnaby pond.

A YouTube video that surfaced earlier this week showed a snakehead apparently in the reservoir at Central Park, prompting city officials to contact the Environment Ministry.

The fish that's native to Russia and northern China is known to gobble up native species and small pets and also has the ability to cross into neighbouring bodies of water by walking on dry land.

The Environment Ministry says that while the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for the import of aquatic animals, recent changes to the federal Fisheries Act allows provinces to temporarily ban specific species in case of an emergency.

The ministry says that for now, it will focus on educating the public that it's illegal to release any fish into a waterway.

Next week, government biologists are expected to visit the Burnaby pond to search for the suspected snakehead and remove the fish, varieties of which are sold in Asian food markets in the Vancouver area.