PET goldfish released into the wild turn into 2-foot killing machines that feast on insects and tadpoles, experts claim.
They wreak havoc on native species, outperform competitors and threaten biodiversity.
They also contribute to poor water quality by stirring up bottom sediments and uprooting plants.
Researchers fear the elimination of goldfish as pets in fresh waterways will have catastrophic consequences for the planet.
dr James Dickey of Queen’s University Belfast said: “Our research suggests that goldfish pose a triple threat. Not only are they readily available, but they combine insatiable appetites with bold behavior.
“While the northern European climate is often a barrier to the survival of non-native species in the wild, goldfish are known to tolerate such conditions.
“They could pose a real threat to native biodiversity in rivers and lakes, eating up resources that other species depend on.”
Owners releasing unwanted animals into the wild are a big problem.
The goldfish is popular around the world – often given to children as a prize at fairs.
The Belfast team’s findings, published in the journal NeoBiota, come after aquarium owners in Minnesota asked people to stop releasing fish into US waters after several giant goldfish were pulled from a lake.
The largest goldfish caught in Britain was said to be a 7lb 5oz specimen in Norfolk in 2010.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5423756/goldfish-turning-into-killing-machines/ Pet goldfish released into the wild turn into 2-foot killing machines, experts claim