Originally from the rivers of Eastern Europe, catfish have colonized almost all European lakes, canals and rivers since 1950. By the time they are adults, these giants have no competition and sit at the top of the aquatic food chain. Shads, pikes and ducks, all are prey to this rapacious fish. The catfish adapts quickly and has even learnt to beach itself on purpose in order to catch pigeons! It has become Europe’s largest freshwater fish, even longer and heavier than the fishermen who have aided its conquest.
In its native habitat, where the animal is fished for food, the catfish is not considered a problem species. There, populations appear to have remained relatively stable for decades, with little evidence of excessive predation on other native fish. But in newly inhabited rivers, these aquatic invaders are targeting endangered and commercially important migratory fish, such as Atlantic salmon, whose European populations are already in serious decline
Three years were needed to complete this film which employs state of the art digital technology (ultra slow motion cameras, high-sensitivity underwater cameras and photo-realistic CGI) to depict this animal, which has become both a social menace and the object of fantasies.5