A review of Clarias gariepinus invasions in Brazil and South Africa
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African sharptooth catfish Clarias gariepinus is native to most of Africa and small parts of Asia, but has been introduced to 37 countries mainly for aquaculture. This review of introductions, establishment, spread and impact of C. gariepinus in Brazil and outside of its native range in South Africa provides evidence that the species has been able to overcome all barriers to invasion in both countries. Following initial introductions across geographical barriers, containment seems to have been impossible and escape from aquaculture facilities and spread by illegal introductions is an invasion pathway in both countries. There is evidence of individuals dispersing rapidly following escape, and surviving and reproducing at multiple sites in a wide spectrum of habitats in both countries. There is a severe paucity of research on impacts, many of which are inferred from field and laboratory observations, but have not been demonstrated at population or community level. Such impact studies are urgently required to better understand the consequences of these invasions and to develop appropriate strategies to mitigate impacts and spread.
- RESEARCH: Weyl, O