As you may not know, goldfish are one of the worst invasive species in the world
With their small size and easy-to-live characteristics, goldfish are the fish that many people choose to keep in their homes. When they don’t want to keep goldfish anymore, many people often choose to release them into the lake and think that this action is “liberation, grace” for them. If you think you’re doing the goldfish a favor by releasing it or flushing it down the toilet, you’re not! Instead, you’re setting the stage for an ecological disaster, which could threaten hundreds of other species. Turns out, goldfish are one of the world’s worst invasive species.
This Is Why You Should Never Flush A Goldfish Down The Toilet
Your goldfish is not as innocent as it seems: this animal has great survival skills and a voracious appetite according to The Guardian. In the UK, researchers from the University of Belfast have found that local aquatic life has been completely devastated in some areas due to the repeated release of goldfish into natural waterways.
The problem is that the goldfish, once released among its fellow fish, consume much more than others swimming freshwater. These big fish are also big eaters. Feeding on plants, insects, crustaceans, and other fish. But they’re not just consuming what other fish rely on to survive, they’re voracious feeding time actually kicks up mud and sediment which can lead to harmful algae blooms that choke the ecosystem.
Consequences and repair costs
Did you know the state of Washington, USA once had a campaign against the invasion from these seemingly harmless goldfish. If you think your actions are to help this fish, you are wrong. In fact, you are indirectly causing ecological disaster, threatening the lives of hundreds of other species. To raise a goldfish, the owner only costs a few dollars in food, but to deal with the damage caused by the fish, the government costs up to 150,000 USD to get rid of them.
Take it back to the shop
Goldfish are highly adaptable and once released into a canal they can transform completely: in the US, some have been found measuring 30 centimetres longer than their original size! Some owners believe that throwing away their little housemates alive is a positive and humane act, but it is quite the opposite. It leads to the destruction of wildlife.
To limit the damage, the researchers suggest that owners return the goldfish to the shop where they adopted it and that shops that sell such fish limit their sales. They should also warn owners not to release them into the wild. Flushing them down the toilet is not a solution either, as they can be flushed directly into the waterways.
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Video source: The Infographics Show