The Sail-Fin Catfish Project

Research on Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus [pez diablo or cascudo]

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A multidisciplinary team has been assembled to address the issues of a species of armoured catfish in the Lopez Mateos(Infiernillo) dam, which is shared between the states of Michoacan and Guerrero, Mexico. Following small scale releases from the aquarium trade, a species which is almost certainly Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus [also known Sail-Fin Catfish, pez diablo or cascudo] has undergone an uncontrolled population explosion in recent years. The population is now so large that 80% of the fishes captured from the lake are this armoured catfish. As the species is non-native and has been introduced into the region, it is an unknown resource in the area, it is not consumed and hence currently it has no commercial or domestic value. On the contrary, the fish causes actual damage to nets and other gear used in the substantial tilapia fishery which has evolved since the lake was flooded in the 1960's.

Our team projects commenced in early 2007. Our objectives are:-

  • To evaluate the current population size, fishery potential and ecological status of the species.
  • To investigate generation of high quality products using the resource for:
    • human consumption
    • industrial uses
    • livestock feeds.
  • Generation of high quality by-products for different uses such as garments and hand crafts.
  • Evaluation of costs, profitability and business feasibility for using the resource
  • Reduction of the organic pollution currently caused by wastes from the fish.
Pterigoplichthys Pterigoplichthys

view pdf version Carlos Martinez Palacios, Carmen Aguilar Valdez, Philip Scott, Lindsay Ross. 2007. Tentative solutions to an alien species invasion from aquarium aquaculture: Developing viable industries to exploit and control Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus Hancock 1828 in Mexico. European Aquaculture Society Annual Meeting. Competing claims. Istanbul, Turkey. October 2007.

Carlos A. Martinez Palacios, Elva Mayra Toledo Cuevas, Antonio Campos Mendoza, Jorge Fonseca Madrigal, Ma. Gisela Rios Duran, Rebeca Rueda Jasso, Edmundo Diaz-Pardo, Teresa Viana, Illie Racotta, Elena Palacios, Armando Shimada, Ramon Pacheco, Angela Sotelo Lopez, Francisco Arreguin, Eucario Gazca y Lindsay G. Ross. 2007. Desarrollo tecnologico para el aprovechamiento e industrializacion del pez diablo en la region del bajo Balsas. Segundo Congreso IDEAR, para el futuro de Michoacan: Investigacion, Desarrollo, Avances y Resultados. 13 de junio del 2007, Morelia, Michoacan. Mexico.

view pdf version Antonio Campos Mendoza, Carlos A. Martinez Palacios, Edmundo Diaz-Pardo y Lindsay G. Ross. 2007. Estudio prospectivo del estado ecologico y productivo del embalse Adolfo Lopez Mateos: Una propuesta para un adecuado manejo biologico, pesquero y acuicultural. Segundo Congreso IDEAR, para el futuro de Michoacan: Investigacion, Desarrollo, Avances y Resultados. Morelia, Michoacan. Mexico. Junio 2007,

view pdf version Campos-Mendoza, A., Rueda-Jasso, R, A., Entzin-Diaz, C., Mata-Cortes, E., Martinez-Palacios, C.A. 2007. Descripcion del crecimiento y algunos parametros reproductivos del bagre armado Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus (Hancock, 1828) de la Presa Adolfo Lopez Mateos. 3er Congreso Estatal de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico. Octubre 2007.