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It is a new species of fish that was recently discovered in the Congo River. It is the Clarias Monsembulai, named after its discoverer, Dr. Raoul Monsembula, professor of biology at the University of Kinshasa and regional coordinator of Greenpeace in Central Africa. A catfish that had never before been described and which adds to the thousands of species already referenced in the Congo Basin.
It is not a small fish that was discovered by this Congolese team, but a medium-sized, brown-colored specimen which, with its large whiskers, logically joins the catfish family. For Dr. Monsembula, this discovery is not a first, he had already documented new species of fish in this regionbut this one has a very particular taste since it bears his name.
This member of Greenpeace and professor of biology will therefore long remember this rainy day when with his team, they brought back this new specimen from a river in Salonga Park which they did not immediately imagine. like a discovery. ” We often find strange things “, he confided to RFI. “ We had to arrive in New York and there was a real commotion around this fish for me to realize that it was indeed a new species.. »
“It’s our identity, our culture”
Given the size of the fish caught, this new species must have populated the waters of the Congo Basin for a long time, a region that has more than 10,000 plant species, 400 mammal species, 1,000 bird species and 1,250 fish species. . A place that absolutely must be protected for the Congolese specialist.
” What is true is that there are many endemic species in the fresh waters of the Congo Basin. We must keep this ecosystem intact, because the more we destroy it, the more we lose our identity, our culture. These species are part of our diet and many people make a living from them. The destruction of peatlands and forests due to mining and oil exploitation, which does not benefit the populations, leads to a huge loss “Warns Dr. Raoul Monsembula.