If this is your dream fish, you’re probably thinking this is great news, but locals are freaking out.
Back in 1984, Florida introduced the peacock bass to its most southern waterways in an attempt to reduce other invasive species. The whole intent was to let this predator destroy growing populations of tropical fish-tank fish and tilapia. The side effect would be a tourist industry hoping to get in on it. For Australia, though, this isn’t the case. Australians see this first-ever peacock bass as a disaster waiting to happen. Where there is one, there’s likely more.
Officials confirmed the peacock bass capture out of the Pioneer River after the photo above circulated the internet. As the story goes, Australian officials believe it got in there due to deliberate dumping from people who got their hands on these fish. Now that someone has captured an adult, studies will be taking place to determine how much of a population currently exists.
So this all sounds like it could be a good thing for sport fishermen. Unfortunately, millions of native fish in Australian waterways could be in jeopardy if the peacock bass really takes hold. In particular, officials are most concerned about the destruction of the barramundi and sooty grunter populations. They’re going to be perfect mouth-sized baitfish for the peacock bass.