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Professor to use electric current to remove invasive fish

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A Tulane University associate professor hopes to get rid of invasive fish species in 12 Oahu streams by electrocuting them during a six-month pilot program.

Professor Michael Blum has requested a special activity permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources that would allow him to send a current into the water to expose to momentarily stun fish, a practice called electrofishing, Hawaii News Now reported.

Electrofishing allows a person to collect the stunned fish, and Blum wants to explore whether it works as a tool for removing invasive species that threaten native species in Hawaii streams.

He says workers will take care to protect those native species.

"We’re adding a cautionary step where we take the time, consideration and intensity to remove them by hand before introducing any electric current," he said.

Electrofishing will focus on removing guppies and armored catfish, which both negatively affect their environment.

Blum said he decided on Hawaii for the project because of its cultural values and biodiversity.

"The culture and the value that’s placed on the native species in the streams is tremendous," he said.

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