August 9, 2007

BUT CAN YOU GET IT FROM EATING THE FISH?:

Researchers in Kenya Discover New Weapon Against Malaria (Caroline Sawyer, 09 August 2007, VOA News)

Researchers in Kisumu, on the shores of Lake Victoria, were studying insects and the environment when they discovered that by introducing a fish called the Nile Tilapia into ponds, mosquito numbers fell by more than 94 percent in less than a year.

These results are potentially life saving for local residents because malaria, which is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes, kills more people here than any other disease.


Posted by Orrin Judd at August 9, 2007 6:34 PM
Comments

I wonder, can we get some for our pool?

Posted by: erp at August 9, 2007 9:18 PM

I wonder if this tilapia is the same I get at the grocery. It is a delicious, cheap fish.

Here in FLA the government puts mosquito fish in retaining ponds. Supposedly, this makes the mosquito populations smaller, not that you can tell. Maybe the survivors of the fish are quicker and fitter and therefore bite more frequently? Sounds plausible to me.

Posted by: Buttercup at August 9, 2007 9:36 PM

The ZPG people will insist on overfishing the tilapia.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at August 9, 2007 10:37 PM

Sounds good as far as it goes, but one hopes they avoid a rabbits-in-Australia problem.

Posted by: PapayaSF at August 9, 2007 11:24 PM

PapayaSF: too late. The tilapia, which were previously introduced into Lake Victoria as a food fish, have all but wiped out the endemic species of cichlids that formerly dominated that lake's ecosystem (and where mosquito larvae weren't really a problem). Adding them to ponds, where there were no native species to displace, will have no significant additional environmental impact.

The problem is that mosquitoes will breed in anything that will hold water for even the briefest period of time: spare tires, mud puddles, etc. To eradicate them there requires spraying, but overspray will kill the fish in the ponds, cutting off the fish farming industry and requiring even more spraying into the bargain.

I suggest that we simply ship five million cases of OFF! into sub-Saharan Africa each year and treat the problem at the consumer (or rather, consumed) level.

Posted by: HT at August 10, 2007 12:18 PM
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