Release of Chocolate Mahseer into Doyang Reservoir, Wokha

DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 12/15/2019 12:21:09 PM IST

 Chocolate Mahseer, “state fish of Nagaland” or scientifically named Neolissochilushexagonolepis is an esteem game (angling) and high valued food fish found only in the hill streams of North Eastern Himalayan region including Nagaland. The fish is considered as a threatened and endangered species though it is found in all the major rivers of our State viz Doyang, Tizu, Dikhu, Milak, Zunki, Lanyi, Tsurang, Intangki, Dzu-u, etc. Like many other endemic fish species, the population have severely decline due to habitat loss and over exploitation. The National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), Lucknow suggested for the adoption and recognition of the fish as “the State fish” on the lines of the National Bird/Animal to achieve species-specific real time conservation success. During December 2007, on approval of the Government of Nagaland, the State adopted Chocolate Mahseer as “the State Fish of Nagaland”. The recognition of this fish species is attributed to its wide distribution in the State, its economic value and conservation significances. It was envisaged that attribution of importance to this fish will create opportunities to study the habitat, reproduction, propagation and culture of this fish which in turn will promote developing strategies for conservation of our indigenous fish stock, support fisheries based-eco tourism and also diversify economic activities in the fisheries sector. 

Since the adoption of the State fish, the Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources has made several attempts to propagate the fish, but failed, until the intervention of the ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-DCFR), Bhimtal, Uttarakand. The premier Research institute under its NEH program during 2017 had financially and technically supported the Department to establish a Mahseer hatchery unit and Brood Bank at Mokokchung District which was inaugurated by the then Minister for Road and Bridges, TongpangOzukum on the 25th April 2018. 

It is worth mentioning that the team led by Neitho-o Kuotsu, Deputy Director, Dr. R.S Haldar, Senior Scientist, ICAR-DCFR, Imtisunep, DFO, Mokokchung, Imnatoshi, Conservationist and KhriezhatoNakhro, Fishery Extension Officer has made considerable effort and sacrifice to achieve the objective of the project. The commendable accomplishment by the team has been realized through the release (ranching) of indigenously bred and reared Chocolate Mahseer fingerlings for the first time in North East India into Doyang Reservoir, Wokha on the 5th of December 2019 by the Department in the presence of Ketusielie Angami, Deputy Director and the Anglers Association Nagaland. 

The project has achieved its primary objective i.e the importance of stock enhancement of fish to restore our already depleted endemic fish population.  This program has also proved to be a powerful tool to increase the productivity of our water bodies’ in the perception of recreational and commercial significance. This pioneering and noble venture will lead to the development of unparallel model of conversation of the “State fish of Nagaland” with tangible social gains for the present as well as the future generations. (DIPR feature)

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