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Abstract

Risk of establishment of the freshwater climbing perch (Anabas testudineus) in mainland Queensland from the Torres Strait is high. The species is dispersed through human assistance and/or attributes that assist its own spread. The species has the potential to out-compete native freshwater and estuarine species, and has sharp well-developed gill plates and spines that may choke and kill predatory species like barramundi if swallowed. The presence of climbing perch would severely impact Queensland’s inshore and freshwater fisheries, both commercial and recreational. The net present value of expected lost fishing activity due to build-up of the climbing perch is $48.5 million when the probability of introduction is 20 per cent. Analysis of potential spending on an entry prevention strategy for the climbing perch can be justified, with a benefit cost ratio of 150 to 1.

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