Giant Catfish Captured In Sevilla’s Guadalquivir River Measuring almost two metres in length
A CATFISH measuring almost two metres long and weighing 100 kilos has been caught in the Guadalquivir River, near the Alcalá del Río Dam, in the province of Sevilla, the Ecologists in Action of Andalucía organisation has reported.
The group confirmed the capture of this huge fish – for which eradication and control measures had been requested – during a meeting with the Working Group on Water of the Doñana Natural Space Participation Council, adding it to similar giant catfish captured in the rivers Sevilla and Córdoba.
Catfish are the largest freshwater fish in all of Europe, sometimes known to grow to as long as 2.5 metres in length, and can weigh up to 180 kilos, and it is without a doubt, the most voracious of all the large predatory fish, capable of devouring other species of fish, specimens of aquatic birds and small mammals, which makes it a serious threat to native species in local waterways.
This species has a life expectancy of up to 30 years, and is recognisable by an extremely large head with six buccal barbels, with an elongated body without scales, which thins out towards the tail end. They are known to have about 100,000 taste buds, and can lay 4,000 eggs a year per pound of body weight.
Reports from Ecologists in Action claim that the catfish is worrisome in the Guadalquivir River, as its diet is based on the capture of other fish, as well as aquatic birds and small mammals, thus endangering the already limited population of teals, gurnards, malvasias, brown poles or horned coots, which all face extinction.
The species is actually the subject of a Royal Decree 630/2013, dated August 2, as a consequence of its colonising potential, and because it is a serious threat to native species, habitats or ecosystems, and drastic control measures have been put in place which “involve preventing access and sport fishing even if it is competition areas,” as reported by 20minutos.es.