The Jakarta Post
Maritime and Fishery Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has warned people not to cultivate arapaima, as the fish, which is alien to Indonesian waters and can grow up to 2.75 meters, preys on native fish species.
“Many people do not have enough knowledge of what the arapaima fish is, and why it should not be let loose in national waters,” Susi told the press at the ministry on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com.
Susi was responding to news about several arapaima fish, native to the Amazon River in South America, swimming in the Brantas River in Mojokerto, East Java.
She said people kept the fish as pets, but when they no longer wanted to take care of them they let them go in the river.
Rina, the head of Fish Quarantine and Fishery Quality Control Agency (BKIPM), said that after receiving a tip-off about the fish in the Brantas River her office investigated and found that a Surabaya resident owned 18 arapaima. He gave four to his friends and released eight into the Brantas. Seven of the fish have been found.
The office received another tip-off that a pond in Sidoarjo contained 30 arapaima.
Nilanto Perbowo, the head of maritime and fishery reinforcement at the ministry, appealed to owners of arapaima to voluntarily surrender the fish to the relevant agency. (gis)