PITY THE topmouth gudgeon, above. For thousands of years this small, grey-green carp was happily swimming around north Asia. Until the Europeans turned up, when it was transported to the ponds of London.
Since then, the fish have thrived, which is a problem for native fauna and flora. The species Pseudorasbora parva is just too successful for the mild English creatures.
In the interests of ecology – biodiversity, as we now call it – the topmouth has to go. The poor victims of imperialism are to be captured again. Already the Environment Agency is removing them from the ponds and the New River, main picture, at Clissold Park in Stoke Newington N4 2EY.
Fifteen of the 23 populations in the UK have already eradicated.
The agency says that topmouth, which grow to about 10cm long, reproduce rapidly. It adds: “They eat aquatic invertebrates, the eggs and larvae of native fish.”
A European Union regulation to help to control invasive/alien species came into force this year 2015.
Hamish Scott 160115
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