The snakehead is native to Africa and Asia.
In Vietnam, and especially the Mekong Delta, the sharp-toothed snakehead is popular on the dinner plate and some fish farmers in the area are doing well from breeding and or growing out the species.
Indeed, according to one report, the delta is now home to one couple who are said to have “grown rich” from breeding and selling the fish.
When the couple got married and started a life together, says the Vietnam Seafood News (VSN) Phan Van Chung and his wife had practically nothing. They were given a small gold ring and a rickety boat by their families as wedding presents.
The couple did odd jobs as labourers as well as fishing, slowly saving enough money to start a fish farm of their own and eventually achieving that goal 15 years ago.
Now, Chung has become well-known in Vietnam as a success story who has been awarded the title of “prominent farmer” in his home province for several years.
Each year, his farm supplies the market with hundreds of tonnes of snakehead fish - including fry.
Besides providing jobs on and off his farm, Chung also supplies snakehead fry to farmers in the area, as well as in neighbouring provinces.
Besides being voracious feeders and very rapid growers, snakehead are reported as extremely prolific breeders.
Members of the freshwater perciform fish family Channidae and native to Africa and Asia, as adults they come in a wide range of sizes depending on the type.
Each spawning-age female can release up to 15,000 eggs at once, and the fish mate as often as five times a year.
- Quentin Dodd