Hybrid fishes a threat to local species in Tangail

December 29, 2009

The indigenous fish species in Tangail are under a big threat due to their indiscriminate catching and rapid increase in farming and marketing of the hybrid ones.
Besides, all varieties of local fish are also on the decline in all the twelve upazilas of the district because of drastic fall in waters of the rivers, ponds and other water bodies.
The sharp fall in production of local fish resources is also widely blamed on the indiscriminate catching of the mother fish.
The hybrids are replacing a total of 20 varieties of local fish including puti, kai, magur, shing, pabda, bine, chital, khalisa, shol, boal, tengra, bheda and lalkhalisa.
The local hats and bazars are now flooded with hybrid varieties of fish which are less tasty and nutritious than the local ones.
Poor production of the indigenous fish species has made them scarce on the markets and thrown a good number of local fishermen out of their ancestral profession.
These fishermen once caught huge fish from the local water bodies and sold the same after meeting their domestic demand.
With the depletion of local fish resources in the region, the proverb ‘Bengalis are with rice and fish’ seems to have started losing its actual meaning.
Sources said unabated use of fine nets for fishing in the water bodies, their pollution and poor depth in river waters, because of filling up of their embankments by illegal encroachers, are also among the reasons behind the fall in production of the local fish.
Amir Hamja, 55, Azim, 40, and Nurul Islam, 50, fish traders at the Parkbazar market in the town, told this correspondent that very little number of the local fish species were now found in the rivers and water bodies, adding that the production will decrease more in future.
Enam Ahmed Khan,44, Laboni Basak, 39, and Professor Mohiuddin Miah, buyers at the Battola Municipality Market, said that local fish were very scarce on the market, adding that even if they were found, very high prices were charged for them which was beyond the purchasing capacity of the common consumers.
Fishery Survey officer of the district Mohammad Ashrafuddin told New Age that there were a total of 40,328 ponds (39,846 private owned and 482 on Khas land) on 6,77,4 66 hectares of land, 317 water bodies on 1,821 hectares of land ,36 rivers on 78,58,921 hectares of land, 123 canals on 8,84,723 hectares of land, two fish seeds multiplication farms, five hatcheries and twelve sanctuaries on 160 hectares of land.
Awareness should be created among people against indiscriminate catching of local fish from the rivers and water bodies to boost their production and this is possible only through a joint public-private initiative, the sources said.
While talking to New Age, district fishery officer Rezaul Karim said, ‘There should be utmost efforts from the upazila fishery offices to prevent the catching of indigenous fish species from the water bodies of the district.’
‘Most farmers cultivate hybrid fishes to meet the demand for fish in the district although we are trying to prevent depletion of indigenous fish species,’ he added.

Courtesy of NewAgebd

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