Giant African Threadfin Threadfin Giant African is a very large fish and one of the largest bony fishes in the world. On rare occasions, it may exceed 3 meters in length, but 1 to 2 meters is about normal size for this species. The smallest I have heard of was measured at 84 cm (33 inches) long.
This species is also known as Giant Threadfin, African threadfish, Threadfin Africa cichlid. The scientific name of the threadfin giant African cichlid is Dinemocharax raslanii. It was scientifically described in 1955 by George S. Myers and R. R. Harry .
Many other common names have been used for this fish, such as Threadfin Giant African Cichlid, Thread Fin African Cichlid, African Thread Fin , Raslan's Dinemo Characin. In addition to these there are several local names in different languages. In the angling community, threadfin is probably best known as "Surgeon Fish" or "Shark Cat."
The threadfin giant African cichlid looks similar to the common freshwater aquarium fish, the Texas cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus). The Texas Cichlid however is not found in Africa. It originates from Central America and Northern South America. The threadfin cichlid is very abundant in the brackish water regions of West Africa. It can be found along many rivers and coastlines, including the Congo River, the Ogun River, the Niger river, etc. The threadfin giant African cichlid may live inland near villages or out to sea.
The threadfin giant African cichlid usually has a brownish to grey color with darker vertical bars and many small spots of blue, green, or yellow on the body, fins, and head region. It lacks the dark-colored "eyespot" in front of its eyes like most Texas cichlids have. The dorsal fin has a characteristic dark spot in the middle and is much longer than the Texas cichlid dorsal fin. The anal fin is also relatively long and has a row of sharp, venomous spines. The pectoral fins are very large compared to the Texas cichlid's pectoral fins.
The fish is considered very dangerous due to its ability to inflict deep wounds with their venomous dorsal and pectoral fins. In addition, there is a row of sharp spines on the anal fin which may also inflict painful wounds. All these fins are also covered with a poisonous mucous layer. If you get poisoned, you should promptly seek medical help from a poison control center or your family physician. Handling of the threadfin giant African cichlid is in any case not recommended since all cichlids have very sharp teeth which may cut you when they try to defend themselves.
The threadfin giant African cichlid is a voracious predator and therefore not suitable for aquariums with smaller fishes. It has also been reported that it can be aggressive towards its kind, especially during breeding time. Being part of the larger African cichlids, it is best kept in aquariums of at least 200 gallons. With its large size and space requirements, it will compete with most African rift lake cichlids for food. Aquascaping the tank should be well planned since this fish usually stays along the bottom or close to rocks/woody structures.
Global giant african threadfin production
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the global production of giant African threadfin in 2014 was 27,977 tonnes. The majority of this production came from wild-caught sources, with only 1,858 tonnes coming from aquaculture. The top-producing countries were Nigeria (8,880 tonnes), Congo (4,770 tonnes), and Ghana (2,965 tonnes).
In Nigeria, the primary method of fishing for giant African threadfin is with gillnets. These nets are placed in areas where the fish congregate and are left to catch the fish overnight. The fish are then brought to shore and sold at local markets.
In Congo, the fishing method of choice is trawling. This involves dragging a large net behind a boat through the water. The fish are caught in the net and brought on board the vessel.
Ghana also uses gillnets to catch giant African threadfin. However, they also use a method called light-lining. This involves attaching a line with a light at the end to a tree or other structure on shore. The light attracts the fish and they are then pulled in by the fishermen.
The global production of giant African threadfin is expected to increase in the future as aquaculture production becomes more significant. Nigeria, Congo, and Ghana are all projected to increase their production levels in the coming years. This growth will be driven by increasing demand for fish, both domestically and internationally.