Environment Agency warns of threat of Prussian carp and other non-native species in UK waters - Environment Agency

A Prussian carp sample from the EA's National Fisheries Lab (image: Environment Agency)
A Prussian carp sample from the EA's National Fisheries Lab (image: Environment Agency)

Environment Agency’s National Fisheries Laboratory carries out crucial work to curb threats from Prussian carp in UK waters

As part of Invasive Species week, the Environment Agency has today warned of the threat posed by Prussian carp and other non-native species as it urges anglers and the wider public to report suspected sightings to its National Fisheries Laboratory for investigation.

Over 2,000 non-native plants and animals have been introduced into the UK from all over the world. Most are harmless, but almost 15% become invasive, non-native species which spread and have a harmful impact on the environment. This includes fish that can: predate upon native fish and other wildlife; compete with them for food; change our aquatic ecosystems, and carry novel parasites and diseases.

The Environment Agency’s expert team at the National Fisheries Laboratory continues to lead the way on the identification of non-native species and are international leaders in the development of tools and techniques to contain, control and eradicate those that are high risk.

This includes work on Prussian carp – a species native to Asia, central and Eastern Europe that has recently been detected in UK waters. Once introduced, Prussian carp can rapidly expand their population size, leading to negative impacts on native species and ecosystems. They can out compete native fish species for food and habitat, and also interbreed with other species, which threatens our own populations.

The EA’s Fisheries Laboratory is investigating all suspected cases in the UK and, as part of a national containment programme, fish movement controls have been placed on all waters with confirmed Prussian carp. Work is also underway to establish how they have entered the UK and assess their distribution across England.

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Posted On: 18/05/2023

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