Catfish ground Indian Air Force

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Indian Air Force (I.A.F.) aircraft based at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bangalore are being forced to shut down flight operations daily due to catfish.

The base, which acts as a training centre for I.A.F. pilots has been severely hit by a problem with birds attracted to nearby pools where locals are illegally rearing the tasty silurids for food.

The fish, believed to be the African species Clarias gariepinus, are being fed meat waste and offal from the town's butchers and this practice is in turn bringing in large numbers of scavenging birds which are flying through the planes' flight paths, resulting in a rising number of potentially dangerous bird strikes on aircraft.

Previously birds had been a danger to flights as they were attracted to a nearby landfill sight but following its closure the avian menace have switched their attentions to the catfish's dinner.

The I.A.F. has now filed an official complaint with the local police in an attempt to get the illegal catfish farming stopped after previous attempts to deal with the problem failed.

There have been accusations that the apparent lack of will to curb the prohibited aquaculture amongst local politicians is due to the lucrative nature of the trade in the fish and their food.

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