NAMERI, July 29 � �Shilghariya (Labeo dyochilus) is a rare, endangered, unique and a delicious (specially its head and entrails) fish species found only in the Jiabharali river of Sonitpur district. (It is not the Golden Masheer � Tor putitora as reported in some newspapers). Shilghariya is the only fish capable of foretelling natural events and keep the biological balance intact. It must be preserved at all costs. There are various birds and mammals and innumerable fishes in this area but now as result of indiscriminate felling of trees, destruction of forest cover, encroachment, catching of fish by using explosives and construction of big dams in the upper reaches of the river, their number is dwindling and if immediate and active steps are not taken, Shilghariya will become extinct.� This was observed by famous environmentalist and ornithologist of India and senior administrative officer of Assam Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury, while participating in a seminar organised by the Assam Bhorelli Angling and Conservation Association (ABACA) recently at Nameri camp, Nameri National Park near Balipara, Sonitpur while speaking on the topic of �preservation of Shilghariya fish in the changing situation�.
Participating as the resource person Devajit Sharma, the Director, Cold Water Fishery Research (CWFR), Bhimtal, Uttarakhand said that if well thought-out and long-term steps are not taken for the proper conservation and reproduction of Shilghariya, it will be definitely in danger. He also urged the Government that Shilghariya be recognised as a national fish for its protection and production as is done by Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Myanmar etc. Dr PC Mahanta, retired director of CWFR said that proper awareness among the people of the nearby areas only can protect the Shilghariya. Col Nabin Sharma, commandant, Nameri Ecological Task Force Battalion, lamented that though with great pains after afforestation they hand the forests back to the Forest department, the latter encourages deforestation, and their efforts bear no fruit. Subrata Sharma, managing director, Dainik Janambhumi, Ashwariya Kakati, a noted dramatist also took part in the seminar.Kshounik Bhattacharjee, secretary of the ABACA welcomed the guests and the treasurer of ABACA, Devajit Sharma conducted the proceedings of the seminar.
It is to be noted here that ABACA has set up a hatchery in the Nameri Eco Camp for breeding of Shilghariya along with the masheer, the anglers object of attraction.