|www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english||print | close window|
Rare ”zander-perch” caught in Pori
An unfamiliar fish was hooked by Juha Heino from Pori at the end of last summer.
The creature that took the bait in the Pihlavanlahti Bay in Pori resembled both the zander and the European perch.
”Something between the two species”, was how Juha Heino described it.
Heino has been fishing all his life and knows fish species very well.
This creature was some 20 cm long and striped like a perch. However, its mouth and tail resembled those of the zander.
Heino froze the fish and sent it off to the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Helsinki. The examinations are still under way.
However, Professor of ecological genetics Juha Merilä confirmed to the Finnish News Agency (STT) this week that based on preliminary analyses the fish is likely to be a rare zander-perch.
”We have only just gone through rough data, but that information strongly indicates that we are talking about a zander and perch hybrid”, Merilä noted.
Merilä did not declare the fish the only zander-perch in the world. The researchers have not yet had time to review the publications written on the subject.
”It is quite rare, though not any sensation”, Merilä believes.
By examining the mitochondria of the fish one can establish whether the mother of the fish was a zander or a perch.
”I have to say that never before have I heard of a zander and perch crossbreed. However, for example some trout and salmon hybrids have been caught”, Merilä noted.
To make matters linguistically a little more complicated, zander are often called "pike-perch" as they resemble the pike with their elongated body and head, and the perch with their spiny dorsal fin. However, zander are not - as is commonly believed - a pike and perch hybrid.
Both the zander and the perch make for good eating, but clearly this hybrid has escaped the table.