In a fish-version of Hitchcock’s movie ‘The Birds’, rowers in St Louis, Missouri, US, were shocked when hundreds of giant Asian carp flew out of the water in what appeared to be a concerted attack against humans.
These huge fishes, which can reach 100 lbs (45 kg) in weight, were not intentionally attacking the rowers. Experts say they jump out of the water as an escape mechanism. The movement of the rowing boat probably frightened them, triggering a fight or fright reaction – which in this case was fright.
Many types of marine and river life chose to go airborne as the quickest way out of a dangerous situation. When the first fish jumps at the perceived predator, the others panic and leap, reminiscent of a Tom and Jerry scene where a room is full of mousetraps.
The rowers were forced to stop and shield themselves until the frenzy was over.
The apparent attack on the rowers was videoed and has spread like wildfire in YouTube and various social media websites.
The army of fish can be seen desperately jumping out of the water, in what could be perceived as an ambush.
The rowers were forced to stop and wait until the turmoil was over.
The rowers, who are trying to raise money for the trip to the National Rowing Championships in Florida, hope the viral video will raise the necessary funds.
In an interview with the BBC, Viv Shears, Director of VS Fisheries, said Asian carp are voracious eaters and breed rapidly. They have become a serious problem in the US because they can destroy ecological systems.
“They don’t directly impact upon other fish species but because of their numbers they take out the bottom of the food chain.”
Since being introduced into southern US states about forty years ago, Asian carp have invaded rivers all the way up to Chicago’s canal system.
Video – Giant carp attack in river
This amateur-video footage, showing a university rowing team under attack by giant flying fish, has spread across the world.