GUWAHATI, July 25 - In the first record of its kind, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR), Bhimtal, and the Assam Bhorelli Angling and Conservation Association (ABACA) have succeeded in the captive breeding of two important fish species endemic to Assam and other North-eastern States, which is being seen as a breakthrough in hill aquaculture and conservation.
The Labeo pungusia and Labeo dero are the two endemic fishes of Assam and North East India, distributed in the hill streams of this region, with a rapidly declining graph.
�The population of these two fishes is drastically decreasing due to various natural and anthropogenic factors and they are considered as threatened species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status,� said a Fishery official.
To conserve and rehabilitate these important fishes of North East India, the ICAR-DCFR undertook an initiative to rear the fishes in captive conditions at the hatchery premises of the Eco-camp, Nameri, Assam, in collaboration with the ABACA on the public-private partnership mode. The fry collected from nature were reared in a cement cistern and the entire process was managed scientifically. Induced breeding was successfully carried out this month. A total of 4 lakh spawn were produced and all of these have been ranched in the potential streams and rivers of the coldwater fishes of North East India to enhance the population.
The breeding programme was successfully carried out under the technical guidance of Dr Debajit Sarma, principal scientist, ICAR-DCFR, Bhimtal, and Dr Atul Borgohain, professor and head, College of Veterinary Sciences, AAU, Khanapara. Kaustubh Bhagawati, assistant professor, College of Fisheries, Raha, also assisted during the breeding programme of these high value coldwater fish species.
The project was supported by Dr PC Mahanta, former Director, DCFR, and Dr AK Singh, Director, DCFR.