10th October 2018, Sikkim
ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore undertook a scientific investigation for the first time on fish migration to identify the migratory path, and breeding zones of Chocolate Mahseer, Neolissochilus hexagonolepis (IUCN: Near Threatend) and Schizothorax richardsonii (IUCN: Vulnerable), two important Himalayan migratory fish species of conservational significance in the river Teesta (27.0792440N; 88.4323460 E to 26.7511600N; 88.5864010E).
More than 100 fish with a size range 175mm to 580 mm and weighing 69g to 1350g were tagged today with Floy T-bar anchor tags of standard size with serial numbers printed. The tagged fishes were observed and showed zero mortality indicating the suitability of tags used. The recovery of these tagged fish is under progress, which will indicate the geographical location of the migratory path and preferably breeding zones of these fishes for protection, so that suitable conservational measures could be developed for these fish.
The investigation was carried out under the leadership of Dr. B. K. Das, Director and scientists of the Institute with the support from National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd (NHPC), New Delhi. The present study will open a new frontier for conservation of these Himalayan threatened and vulnerable fish species and will support livelihoods of fishers.
A mass awareness programme representing more than 150 people from Department of Fisheries, Fishermen, Tourists, anglers’ and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd, New Delhi project staffs, was conducted earlier prior to tagging to create awareness on the illegal fishing, fish conservation and habitat protection for fishes of river Teesta.
(Source: ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore)