Friday, February 22, 2008

Killer fish terrifies Britain


A savage fish more terrifying than a piranha has been caught in Britain for the first time — sparking fears of a deadly invasion.

The vicious giant snakehead eats everything it comes across and has even been reported to kill people.

The monster — from south-east Asia — has a mouth crammed with fearsome teeth, can “crawl” on land and survive out of water for up to four days.

News that a 2ft specimen had been hooked in an English river caused widespread panic among anglers and conservationists.

An Environment Agency source said last night: “The reaction was, ‘Oh s***’. This is the ultimate invasive species — if it starts breeding here it’s a disaster.”

Angler Andy Alder caught the snakehead while using a sprat as bait for pike on the River Witham near North Hykeham, Lincs.

Andy, of Lincoln, said: “It had a gob full of razor-sharp teeth. To be honest it looked terrifying.”

Experts who studied photos of Andy’s catch confirmed it was the predator which is on a list of species that cannot be imported into the UK.

It is feared the fish had been smuggled in for an aquarium and then illegally released. Snakeheads caused chaos when they were found in America in 2002, with snipers setting up on banksides to shoot them and entire lakes being poisoned to kill them.

Ben Weir, of fishing mag Angler’s Mail, said: “In all my time of working within fishing I have never heard so many concerned voices.”

Adult snakeheads can grow to 3ft long and weigh as much as 44lb.

Source: The Sun