New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) Eight different exotic fish species were recorded in a study on fishes in Ganga river, Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State in the Jal Shakti Ministry, said on Thursday. Many ecological parameters like dissolved oxygen conductivity indicated that the river health is improving, Kataria said. In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Kataria said under the Namami Gange Programme, a project of 'Assessment of fish and fisheries of the Ganga River System for developing suitable conservation and restoration plan' was sanctioned to Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) for Rs 7.067 crore.
The purpose of the exercise was to study fish and fisheries of river Ganga, assess the key habitat variables in relation to fish distribution and various biological activity of the fishes, seed production (in-situ) of selected fish species, fish ranching in the depleted river stretches and to conduct awareness programme on sustainable fisheries and conservation to local fishermen. “The studies carried out under the project revealed a total of 190 fish species from the main stem of river Ganga. The project has addressed evaluation of native fish species, out of which, 15 near threatened, 2 vulnerable and 2 endangered have been found under the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. Eight different exotic fish species have also been recorded.' “The fish catch trend data of Indian Major Carps and important fish species landing and their Catch Per Unit Efforts from different stretches revealed that the average year-wise Catch Per Unit Efforts doubled in 2019- 20 as compared to the previous years,” Kataria said.
The eight species include Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (silver carp), Aristichthys nobilis (big head carp), Ctenopharyngodon idella (grass carp), Cyprinus carpio var specularis, Cyprinus carpio var communis (common carp), Clarias gariepinus (African magur), Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus (suckermouth armoured sailfin cat fish) and Oreochromis niloticus (tilapia), an official of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) said.
Kataria further said that 30 lakh fingerlings were ranched through 40 ranching programmes along with mass awareness programmes in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal which benefited the livelihood of fishermen along the Ganga.
Another project of 'Fish stock enhancement including Hilsa and livelihood improvement for sustainable fisheries and conservation in river Ganga' has been recently sanctioned to CIFRI for expanding the work of fisheries development for the whole Ganga basin, Kataria added. PTI PR RHL