Over 200 fish species get Malayalam names

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 30 (IANS) More than 200 varieties of fresh water fish in Kerala were Friday re-christened with vernacular names in an effort to maintain a data base of the fish.

At a daylong meeting held here Friday of scientists, naturalists and local fishermen, 50 of the 208 fresh water fish got new names, while the names of the remaining species of fish were standardised as they had different names across the state.

The popular fishes that were named include chenkuyil, velumpan kal nakki, iru pottan, chen kaniyan, kurudan mushi and aartu chempalli.

The meeting was called 'Meeninu Oru Peru' (A name for a fish) and it was organised by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) and Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala.

B. Madhusoodana Kurup, Vice Chancellor, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, who inaugurated the meeting, said the re-christening would help the resurgence of taxonomy in Kerala.

'Finalising the local names would help conserving fish diversity of the state, especially in the context of the fact that 12 species of freshwater fish are endemic to Kerala, and most of them restricted to a narrow habitat,' said Kurup.

K.P.Laladhas, member secretary of the KSBB, said finalising the local names would strengthen the ongoing fish monitoring programme initiated by KSBB in all the 44 rivers of the state.

'The proposed names will be kept in public domain for public inputs and the finalised list of Malayalam names will be given to State Institute of Languages and to the concerned government departments for absorbing the names,' said Laladhas.