State Fish of Sikkim: The fisheries department of Sikkim recently announced that Sikkim Government has declared ‘Copper Mahseer’ locally named ‘Katley’ as the State Fish.
- The decision has been taken to highlight the importance of the Katley fish and to give emphasis to its conservation measures.
- The fish also has a high market value and is highly preferred by the public in the State.
- In Sikkim, katley is found in varied altitudes covering the entire state and predominantly confined to the Teesta and Rangit rivers and their tributaries.
- This dominant fish species in Teesta River originates from the glaciers of the North.
- There are as many as 48 indigenous species of Mahseer in Sikkim.
- In 1992, ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBFGR), Lucknow, had categorised katley as endangered species.
- Then in the year 2014, the fish was also categorised as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
- Sikkim government had also declared the reservoirs of the state to be open for fishing activities.
- The reservoirs are at Chungthang in North Sikkim and Legshep in West Sikkim, along with Dikchu and Rorathang in East Sikkim.
- License shall be issued by the Directorate of Fisheries to the interested individual fishermen or fishermen co-operative societies or SHGs for fishing in the reservoirs in accordance with the existing provisions under the Sikkim Fisheries Rules, 1990.
- Katley is the local name for Chocolate or Copper Mahseer.
- The name Chocolate Mahseer has been given because of the morphological body colour of this fish.
- Its scientific name is Neolissochilus hexagonolepis.
- Katley fish can grow up to around 120 centimetres and can weigh over 10 kilograms.
- In India, Katleys are primarily found in the Himalayas, especially in the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Nagaland.
- They are found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Bhutan, Pakistan and Vietnam.
- Sikkim is a state in northeastern India.
- It borders China in the north and northeast, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south.
- It is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states and is also located close to India’s Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh.
- A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kangchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth.
- It is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers.
- Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union on 16 May 1975.
- Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim.
- The current Governor and the Chief Minister of Sikkim are Ganga Prasad and Prem Singh Tamang respectively.