The black-mouth goby (Neogobius melanostomus), or round goby, is an invasive species here in the Baltic Sea. It was first seen in 1990 in the Gdansk Bay in Poland from where it quickly spread to the rest of the Baltic. Originally, it comes from the Black Sea and is thought to have come over in a ship’s ballast water. The black-mouth goby is very hardy and can breed more than once in a single breeding season which takes place between May and September.
Now, according to David Koch Mouritzen, the Head of the Danish Fishermen’s Secretariat, Danish fishermen want to make the fish commercially available for consumption. He also says that Danes are very traditionally bound to their fish preferences and thus hopes that the Danish AgriFish Agency can find funding for the marketing of the new species.
Seven crates of black-mouth goby have been sent from Denmark to Italy, where the fish is already commercially fished and served at dinner tables, in order to measure its exporting potential.
But what about the ecological consequences?
There have already been some negative impacts on the stocks of flounder, shrimp and eel in the Baltic, according to the Danish Ministry of Environment. Gemba Seafood Consulting and the Danish Technical University are researching the possibilities of making the black-mouth goby a commercially caught fish.