Blue Planet Aquarium breeds Pinstripe damba

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The Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire has successfully bred the Pinstripe damba, a Madagascan cichlid which is extinct in the wild.

Endemic to Lake Sarodrano, where it was threatened with habitat destruction and overfishing, the Pinstripe damba, Paretroplus menarambo, was last seen in the wild in the late 1990s.

It s fantastic news that this incredibly rare fish has bred successfully here, Jenny Bird, of the Blue Planet Aquarium, told Click Liverpool.

It's a strange, and humbling, experience to realise just how close to extinction this species is. There is a huge sense of responsibility that we have to do everything we can to ensure its continued existence.

Approximately 50 young are currently being raised by the aquarium, who report it can take around two years for the fish to reach sexual maturity.

Listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as ~extinct in the wild , the fish has previously been bred by members of the British Cichlid Association, and has also recently been farmed commercially.

The Pinstripe damba is a beautiful-looking fish, covered with fine blue-black spots which appear from a distance to form stripes and with delicate red fringes to its fins, said Bird.

Eventually the hope would be that captive-bred individuals like these could be re-introduced into protected lakes in the wild once conditions were right."