Don’t release it in the wild

Published on December 17th, 2023

The ocean scientists with the Waterlust Team seek to inspire and educate, and while Goldfish and the sport may not have much in common, this report did make us think what technology in sailing should not have been released into the wild… enjoy:

Goldfish (Carassius auratus) have been kept as pets for over a thousand years! A species of carp that is normally silver, they were selectively bred in China during the Tang dynasty for a bright orange naturally occurring genetic mutation. They became a symbol of luck and fortune and yada yada yada, people today still keep them as aquarium pets around the world.

Side note, isn’t it funny how they’ve been rebranded simply as “goldfish”? We suppose asking “would you like to see my pet carp?” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

When confined to an aquarium with a restricted diet, Goldfish stay pretty small, but when released into the wild, especially non-native habitat with plenty of eats and treats, they can get…well….chonky!

Seriously, look at that thing!

And like so many invasive species tales, where people get a foreign species pet, are unable to care for it and then release it into a habitat that has never seen it before, it doesn’t end well.

In a new study, scientists are using some fancy technology to manage an invasive goldfish population boom in Lake Ontario that has grown since the early 2000s. Using acoustic tagging, they were able to find where the fish hung out before they spawned and model where they would go next.

The researchers hope the techniques they developed will help management efforts not only of Goldfish, but of similar invasive species. Dive into the study and a summary news article.

And if you have a pet Goldfish, ergh sorry, a pet golden carp, please don’t release it in the wild.

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