About Sucker Fish

An ideal fish for the general aquarium, it is a freshwater monster that survives in tank litter, etc., and reproduces rapidly by eating other fish, including litter. So where there are more of that fish, there are less other fish. Today, this fish can be found in almost all water bodies, including the Buriganga River, in sizeable proportions. Fisheries experts say sucker fish kill many native fish species when they spread into the open water. It eats hard-shelled animals such as shrimp, Kalibaos (Orangefin Labeo), Magur, and Hornfish, including small snails.

Sucker fish in a group by Fisherman’s Net

Expansion in the world

This fish is native to Costa Rica, Panama, and South America. However, it has spread to South Asian countries, including China, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.

Why Saka Is Bad for Sweet Water Fish?

Sucker fish eats eggs and eggs of native fish species. It has a detrimental effect on fish reproduction. It can survive in almost any environment. It competes for food and habitat with native fish species because it reproduces rapidly. Saka is not edible. Sucker fish kill aquatic biodiversity.

How has Sucker fish spread?

According to the Department of Fisheries, Sucker fish has entered the country illegally. Experts believe that Sucker fish is imported into the country by aquarium traders. Sucker fish eats dirt and helps keep aquariums clean. From aquariums, Sucker fish migrates to open water bodies. Sucker fish is now spreading rapidly across the country. Sucker fish can be found in rivers in most districts across the country.

Sucker Fish in Aquarium

Can Sucker Fish be eatable?

The total flesh content of Sucker Fish is 30 to 35%. However, whether ordinary people can eat this fish or if they will experience any harmful health issues is subject to further research. Therefore, it is best to avoid eating this fish until further research is completed.

Skin and fins of this fish have been found to be very sharp. Therefore, caution should be taken when cooking and processing Sucker Fish.

Sucker fish is known to be caught in fishermen’s nets in Karnaphuli river, Kaptai upazila, Ramnagar Upazila, and other rivers and reservoirs in Bangladesh.

Although this fish is not on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) (2000) list of Bangladesh, in the year 2020, it is still present in many rivers and reservoirs in the country.

According to experts, eating Saka fish without testing it can lead to long term health risks. Different diseases can be spread in the body. Therefore, the ban on eating this fish is not known to the public yet. Many people cook this fish and eat it without knowing what harm it can cause.

Sucker Fish in Fisherman Net

Myanmar and UAE suffered huge

Many fish farmers of Myanmar and UAE suffered huge loses by Sucker Fish spreading in their countries.

When Ban in Bangladesh

On 5 June 2022, a meeting was held between Ministry of Fisheries and Ministry of Livestock with officials of Department of Fisheries and Bangladesh Fisheries and Industries Regulatory Commission (BFRI). The latter requested the Ministry to take steps to prevent the fish from causing any adverse effects on the country. Following the meeting, on 28 June 2022, the Department of Fisheries,  issued an instruction to the Ministry of Fisheries. On 27 July 2022, the Ministry of Fisheries proposed to prohibit the import of Sucker fish, its breeding and cultivation, its sale and transportation. On 29 September 2022, the Government of Bangladesh banned this fish.

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