Mahseer, a fresh water fish found commonly in the Cauvery basin is feared to be facing extinction.
Dr. A.J.T. John Singh, a former Dean of the Wildlife Institute of India currently working with Nature Conservation Foundation and WWF, says the State Government should open a breeding centre for the orange finned Mahseer, and introduce them in Moyar and Bhavani in a bid to revive its population.
Construction of dams, and increase in pollution levels have mainly led to the depletion of the fish.
The introduction of blue finned Mahseer into the waters could be another reason. Blue finned Mahseer are small in size and easily adapt to new environs.
After they were introduced to Cauvery and the Kabini, the orange finned Mahseer slowly disappeared. Dr. John Singh says that the blue finned variety has not been introduced yet in to the Moyar, and Bhavani.
He will soon to submit a report to the Forest Department, and Tamil Nadu Government to breed Mahseer fish and introduce them on a large scale into the tributaries of Bhavani, Moyar, and Cauvery. The orange finned Mahseer can grow up to 68 kg.
Dr. A. Manimekalan, Associate Professor of Department of Environmental Sciences who has done a study on ‘Fresh water fish species diversity, ecology, taxonomy and conservation’ says that there were nine varieties of Mahseer reported in India of which four were found in Tamil Nadu.
The Mahseer found by him in Moyar was recorded as Tor Moyaransis Mahseer. According to him, orange finned Mahseer, Tor Malabar Mahseer are endangered and the Tor Khburee Mahseer is proving to be vulnerable.