Image: Chung Lam
12. Nile Perch
Growing up to six feet long and weighing as much as 440 pounds, the Nile perch is a real-life ‘monster of the deep’. And it’s on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) top 100 worst invasive species list for good reason. Nile perch introduced to Lake Victoria in Africa in the 1950s have either annihilated or seriously threatened hundreds of the lake’s indigenous fish species.
Big fishing operators have actually profited from the Nile perch invasion of Lake Victoria, but local fishermen have suffered with the depletion of their traditional fish supplies. In fact, the damage to the native fishing trade has been enough to force many of the fishermen in the area into becoming economic refugees. This is just one example of how introducing a species from outside can have far-reaching repercussions, not just for the ecology, but for the people who depend on it as well.