Frankenfish.com is dedicated to the study and discussion of fish species not native to the waters in which they live. This site also offers a number of ways for the scholar, sportsman or family to further their study of Frankenfish or enjoyment of fishing in general. Finally, Frankenfish.com offers a number of products for sale.
Though the name Frankenfish conjures images of heinous creatures, some Frankenfish are not physically ugly at all. Some, like the Glofish, have quite spectacular colors. Although pretty, the Glofish is still a Frankenfish. For this site’s purposes, in order for a fish to be classified as a Frankenfish, the following are normally true:
a. Frankenfish are not native to the waters in which it lives; they are some how invasive
b. Frankenfish pose some level of threat – either real or imagined
c. Laws oriented to the control of the species have been passed or are pending
d. Governmental funding for the study, management or eradication of the species has been or is pending.
e. Ecosystem damage is real or imminent
Some, but not all, Frankenfish have these characteristics:
a. Information about the species is incomplete and often misleading; It is often difficult to decipher fact from fiction
b. Usually, but not always, the origin of Frankenfish begins with man’s good intentions gone awry.
c. Frankenfish are often controversial
Categories of Frankenfish
For our purposes, Frankenfish belong to one or more of the following categories:
1. Genetically Engineered Fish – Genetically engineered Frankenfish are those whose DNA has been changed by scientists to exact some desirable biological outcome. Desirable outcomes include but are not necessarily limited to enhanced colors, larger size, faster growth, better immune systems, more robust reproduction, or replenish lost fish populations.
Fish are genetically engineered for a number of reasons including:
a. Improve food production
d. Re-population of streams, rivers, lakes and oceans
e. Pollution testing (A fish developed by Singapore’s National university changes color in the presence of certain chemicals.)
Some of the headline grabbing genetically engineered fish include:
a. Aqua Bounty Technologies AquAdvantage® Salmon
b. Aqua Bounty Technologies AquAdvantage® Trout
c. Aqua Bounty Technologies AquAdvantage® Tilapia
d. Yorktown Technologies GloFish®
e. Singapore’s National University – Zebra Fish
2. Invasive (Non-native) Fish Species – Invasive (non-native) Frankenfish species include any that historically was not found in a specific body of water, but are found there today.
Fish invade new bodies of water in different ways including, but not necessarily limited to:
a. Deliberate and often illegal dumping of pets or game fish into bodies of water
b. Accidental release – The Asian Carp (also known as Bighead Carp, Silver Carp and Grass Carp) was used on catfish farms to reduce algae. Repeated storms caused overflows of fish farms and the Carp escaped into the wild. Today, the Asian Carp is wreaking havoc on the Illinois Rover.
c. Stow away – Some species “hitch rides” in the hulls of ships and boats. The owner of these vehicles accidently transports
d. Navigation of man-made waterways.
Some of the headline grabbing invasive fish species in North America include:
e. Asian carp (bighead, silver and grass carp)
f. Greenlantic Shark
g. Round Gobies
h. Zebra Muscle
i. Rusty Crayfish
j. Lion Fish
3. Strange Mutations – Frankenfish with strange and worrisome mutations are appearing across the globe. Mutations are normally attributed to pesticides, waste water runoff, and the occasional fluke of nature. Mutations due to pesticides and waster water run off are most worrisome, as entire populations of fish are rendered incapable of reproduction. Equally worrisome are the effects pollutants have up the food chain.
4. Mythical Fish – Frankenfish have had their place in mythology, and it seems improper to exclude them from an official Frankenfish site. Some Mythical fish include:
b. Moby Dick
c. The Squid in 20,000 leagues under the sea
d. The Snakehad in Frankenfish – The movie