A rare fish called Mahseer (scientific name Tor) was sighted and fished out from the upper part of Sileru river, by a team of researchers from the Department of Zoology, Andhra University, on Monday. This fish is listed under the endangered category by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
Mahseer, as commonly called, is normally found in the Himalayan region in the rivers running through the cooler climes of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Nepal and Bhutan. But it is rare to find it in this part of the country, said Professor D.E. Babu, whose team spotted the fish.
According to Prof. Babu, the specie of fish, which is called the Golden Mahseer is found in the Himalayan region, where the temperature around year does not exceed 20° Celsius. “Finding this variety in this region is a rarity and calls for a much detailed study,” he said.
Earlier, it was sighted and picked up in 2018 from this region, but the fresh finding indicates that they are breeding and are native to this region.
“In the Godavari river there are about 135 recorded fish species and the Grey Mahseer is one of them, but the golden one is rarely found,” he said.
It can grow up to 20 kg and the one found weighs around 7 kg and is over 47 cm long.
Useful for troops
“Animals, including fishes are sensitive to temperature and it is a limiting factor. This Golden Mahseer can withstand extreme temperature up to zero degree Celsius, as it has the unique anti-freezing protein,” he said.
Since the Golden Mahseer is found in Sileru and the grey ones are found in the Godavari, the government should explore the possibility of conserving and rearing it for its commercial and medicinal values.
“We can extract and use the anti-freezing protein for developing alternative therapy for our troops posted in Siachen and at other hostile places. This protein does not allow the formation of ice cones in the blood, which normally happens in sub-zero temperatures,” he said.
The upper part of the Polavaram dam, where the depth is good and the area is vast, provides a natural environment for conserving and breeding this fish, said Prof. Babu.
Brooders can be arranged through special techniques and the upper Polavaram suits for natural breeding, he said.
Source: The Hindu