BHOPAL: The state bio-diversity board has recommended to the state government to declare Barna and other rivers as ‘fish sanctuaries’ to conserve the endangered tor-tor species of state fish-mahseer.
Based on recent research reports, recommendations have been made to the fisheries department, which among other things, suggest that the fish will become extinct in a few years if immediate steps are not taken now.
Six species of Mahseer are found in India. Of these, tor-tor was common in rivers of MP, particularly Narmada. Population of mahseer has gone down alarmingly in the past two decades, says Vipin Vyas, lecturer (limnology) of Barkatullah University.
He has carried out an extensive documentation of aquatic biodiversity of major rivers in MP for suggesting their conservations.
“Ex-situ and In-situ conservation action points have been suggested under my study in accordance with National Biodiversity Action Plan and other related legislation and policies,” he said, adding it is sliding towards extinction in the Narmada river (Hoshangabad) and in Tapti (Barhanpur), where it was found in abundance a few years back.
He said there were six seed collection sites reported around Hoshangabad from where seed of mahseer was collected and transported throughout the country, but all vanished.
State fisheries federation is trying to set up new seed collection site at Dongerwada (Hosangabad) in coordination with the local fisherman.
“We have started taking measures for its conservation. Last year we had bought 2 lakh seeds from established hatchery at sub-Himalayan Bheemtal,” says R K Chaudwary, assistant manager of the state fisheries federation. The federation has asked fishermen to release mahseer fishes in natural process if they gets trapped in their nets or hooks. Construction of dams has caused breeding problem of these fishes, said the officer.
To create its gene pool, the bio-diversity board has recommended declaring Bandrabhan, Sethani Ghat, Omkerashwar and Maheshwer Ghat of Narmada as Biodiversity Heritage Spot under Section 37 of Biodiversity Act 2002.