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Goldfish dumped in Coquitlam, B.C. now an invasive species

Photo courtesy: andymw91/Flickr

Photo courtesy: andymw91/Flickr

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, August 18, 2014, 6:46 PM - Pet owners have been dumping goldfish into Coquitlam waters in droves. So many have found their way into Como Lake that they're threatening the ecosystem.

People caught dumping the fish are now being served fines that range anywhere from $2,500 to $250,000.

Authorities tell the CBC they're concerned.

"If you have non-native species that become established in let's say the Fraser River, they would be competing and influencing dozens of local species that we have here including salmon which are economically important," David Scott, from Simon Fraser University's School of Resource and Environmental Management, told the news agency.

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Fish and reptiles that aren't found naturally in B.C. are considered invasive. They typically don't have any natural predators to keep their population at bay, which can throw the entire ecosystem off balance.

Wildlife experts are asking pet owners to return unwanted animals to the shops they were purchased from, instead of releasing them.

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