Shimla, December 20
Golden Mahseer, an endangered fish species, has been saved from extinction, courtesy a conservation plan launched by the Himachal Government to improve its population in reservoirs and rivers in the state.
The nearly extinct ‘tigers of the water’ were declared endangered by the Washington-based International Union of Conservation of Natural Resources due to pollution, habitat loss and overfishing. The fish, however, was now thriving at Machhial in Mandi district through artificial breeding in captivity, a state government spokesperson said. It is currently found in 500 km of the total 3,000-km area of the rivers in the state.
The government is setting up another Golden Mahseer hatchery-cum-carp breeding unit at Sunni in Shimla with an outlay of Rs 2.96 crore.
The state Fishery Department had produced 92,500 Golden Mahseer eggs in the last three years and recorded a 45.311-MT catch during the period, said the spokesperson. Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Virender Kanwar said steps such as release of 15 per cent water discharge from hydropower projects during lean season, conservation of fish through regular patrolling and implementation of the close season to promote fish production were taken.
The spokesperson said there were several natural sanctuaries where the fish was being conserved spiritually. On the employment front, he said, 10,893 families were involved in captive fisheries. — TNS