PERTH, Australia, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Researchers at a university in Australia discovered a school of massive goldfish migrating between Western Australia waterways.
Murdoch University professor Dr. Stephen Beatty and researchers from the Centre of Fish and Fisheries used acoustic telemetry, which is also used to track sharks, to examine the migration patterns of the "football-size" goldfish.
"Our research discovered the fish displayed a significant seasonal shift in habitats during breeding season, with one fish moving over 230 kilometre [142 miles] during the year," Beatty said.
Murdoch University researchers told Perth Now many of the goldfish are unwanted pets that were released into local bodies of water and can disturb the habitat by eating eggs of native fish.
"They can also stir up sediment, increasing turbidity, and they can resuspend nutrients through their feeding activity because they cruise along the bottom hoovering sediment which can uproot plants as well," said Beatty.
According to Beatty, invasive species like goldfish can thrive and spread to new regions, but the new evidence can help provide better methods of controlling their population size.
"The results of this study will have important direct management implications, enabling more strategic development of effective control programs for the species such as targeting migratory pathways," he said.