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Gambusia Fish in Mosquito Control Efforts

Why is it in the news?

  • Mosquitofish, specifically Gambusia affinis and Gambusia holbrooks, are used to control mosquito populations in various regions, including Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Punjab.
  • These fish are originally native to North America, particularly the southeastern coast of the United States.


More about the news

  • A single adult mosquitofish can consume a significant number of mosquito larvae, making them effective for mosquito control.
  • However, the introduction of mosquitofish in ecosystems can have detrimental ecological effects, including the extinction of native fish, amphibians, and other freshwater species.
  • Despite these ecological concerns, government and non-governmental organizations in India continue to release Mosquitofish for mosquito control purposes.


Measures Needed to Control Mosquitofish Use

  • There is a need for stricter enforcement to prevent the further introduction of Mosquitofish into freshwater ecosystems.
  • The National Centre for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC) should remove its recommendation for the use of Gambusia in mosquito control from its website.
  • Focus on local solutions for mosquito control, such as identifying and promoting native fish species capable of controlling mosquito larvae. These native species can be released into the environment to manage mosquitoes without the ecological risks associated with invasive species like Mosquitofish.

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