Businessman ordered to reel in 280 goldfish he dumped in canal

Conservationists say the fish could damage native species.

A man who dumped 280 goldfish in a canal has been ordered to retrieve the creatures from the water because of concerns of the ‘negative effect’ on native wildlife.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) ordered Hans van Manen, from Veenendaal, to remove the fish from the Brouwersgracht within a month, RTV Utrecht reported.

Van Manen had got together with other local businessmen to populate the newly opened waterway with the popular aquatic pets. However, a group known as Platform Stop Invasieve Exoten said the goldfish could interbreed with crucian carp and threaten their existence.

The group contacted the RVO, which ruled that releasing the fish into the canal breached a Dutch law to protect flora and fauna. Van Manen has until April 8 to comply with the order or the government will carry it out and send him the bill.