Romania’s Danube Delta authorities say they have solved the riddle of African catfish which recently appeared in the delta threatening wildlife in the protected area.
The Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation said the species, which is non-native to Romania, accidentally got out of an enclosure.
A local hotel in the delta bought 4 tons for domestic consumption and placed most of it in the enclosures, a statement on Tuesday said.
The species which is a voracious predator were discovered near the village of Crisan in mid-July during a regular patrol of the area.
Delta authorities found four enclosures containing various species of fish. The hotel had receipts for four tons, had consumed 216 kilograms, and put the remaining 3.78 tons in the enclosures.
Authorities removed the fish, also known as African sharptooth catfish, from the enclosures, weighed them and came up 34 kilograms short.
“It’s very probable the fish escaped when they were put in the enclosures,” a statement said.
The hotel was fined for carrying out tourism and leisure activities in a protected area.
“They did not have a permit from the Reserve Administration to introduce non-native plants and animals,” the statement said.
In recent weeks, there have been no new sightings of the African catfish.
African catfish are bred on farms especially in western Romania for commercial purposes. They feed on young fish, aquatic plants, birds and small mammals.
They are found throughout Africa and the Middle East. They live in rivers and freshwater lakes,
It was introduced all over the world for aquaculture purposes. It can be found in countries far outside its natural habitat,.