Mariculture-induced introduction of cobia Rachycentron canadum (Linnaeus, 1766), a large predatory fish, in the Tropical Eastern Pacific.
The cobia Rachycentron canadum (Linnaeus, 1766) is a highly valued fish by aquaculture producers and anglers. In spite of its wide-ranging distribution in tropical and subtropical seas, this species was absent in the Tropical Eastern Pacific until recently. In 2013 the government of Ecuador allowed the cultivation of cobia in offshore cages and in April 2015 three cages were deployed in Ecuadorian waters of the Pacific Ocean (Jaramijó, Manabí). Cobias escaped from one of these cages in August 2015 and we present the first report of R. canadum in the Colombian Pacific coast, ca. 600 km from the Ecuadorian escape locality. This is the first report of its occurrence for the entire Tropical Eastern Pacific biogeographical region. Given its predatory nature, it is to investigate the potential ecological and socio-economic consequences of the introduction of the cobia in the region.