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AEI 14:127-133 (2022)  -  DOI:

Culture, trade and establishment of Polypterus senegalus in Indonesia with first record of wild populations

Surya Gentha Akmal1,2, Yonvitner2,3, Rikho Jerikho4, Fredinan Yulianda3, Yusli Wardiatno3, Jindřich Novák1, Lukáš Kalous1, Ondřej Slavík1, Jiří Patoka1,*

1Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Science Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Prague - Suchdol, Czech Republic
2Centre for Coastal and Marine Resources Studies, The Institute for Research and Community Service, IPB University, 16680 Bogor, Indonesia
3Department of Aquatic Resources Management, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences, IPB University, Jl. Agatis, Kampus IPB Dramaga, 16680 Bogor, Indonesia
4Ichthys-Alien Indonesia Project, Diponegoro Street 87, Jatirejo, Central Java, 57615 Wonogiri, Indonesia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The African grey bichir Polypterus senegalus is a popular ornamental fish in Indonesia. Pet trade with this species is increasing, and aquaculture production is well established. Here we present a detailed market survey and volume of domestic trade, export and import between January 2018 and February 2021. Climate similarity between the native range of P. senegalus and Indonesia was analysed by the MaxEnt algorithm. A significant number of areas of numerous Indonesian islands were identified as suitable for survival and establishment of this fish. This was confirmed by the records of 3 likely established populations in rivers in Java and Sumatra, where both wild type and albino juveniles were captured. The occurrence of more feral populations was suggested by local fishermen in Kalimantan, Java, and Lombok islands; however, verification via future field trips is required. The culture of P. senegalus is unregulated in Indonesia, and the potential risk of establishment of this predatory fish and its potential spread in this Southeast Asian country is alarming for wildlife managers. Although a total ban seems the best solution, an alternative risk mitigation strategy with minimal negative effects on the socio-economic situation in local communities is more feasible. The albino phenotype of P. senegalus is probably less of a risk because of its easier detection by predators, higher sensitivity to disease and stress, and disrupted social behaviour. Since albinos are popular in Indonesia, replacing the wild phenotype with this potentially less invasive phenotype could be a recommendation after experimental confirmation of the lower invasiveness of albinos.

KEY WORDS: Grey bichir · Asia · Invasive species · Ornamental fish · Aquaculture · Albino

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Cite this article as: Akmal SG, Yonvitner, Jerikho R, Yulianda F and others (2022) Culture, trade and establishment of Polypterus senegalus in Indonesia with first record of wild populations. Aquacult Environ Interact 14:127-133.

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