Pro­tect­ing the Golden Ma­haseer

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As part of its ini­tia­tives to­wards con­ser­va­tion of pris­tine aquatic bio­di­ver­sity the Na­tional Cen­tre for Aqua­cul­ture (NCA), Bhutan’s nu­cleus cen­tre for de­vel­op­ment of Aqua­cul­ture in Bhutan, un­der the guid­ance of the Depart­ment of Live­stock (DoL) has re­leased 3527 num­bers of Golden Ma­haseer fin­ger­lings few miles up­stream of Rongchhu River at Tsachu un­der Sarpang Dzongkhag. This is the 2nd batch of Golden Ma­haseer fin­ger­lings on 30th Septem­ber 2014.

The Golden Ma­haseer is an en­dan­gered fish species and the ini­tia­tive is fo­cused on re­viv­ing the pop­u­la­tion of Mah­seer in the de­pleted Rongchhu and Mowchhu River. NCA pro­duces about 3000 to 5000 fin­ger­lings ev­ery year of which 1258 num­bers of fin­ger­lings have al­ready been re­leased into Rongchhu River last year.

Mr. Nam­gay Dorji, Pro­gram Di­rec­tor, Na­tional Cen­tre for Aqua­cul­ture (NCA) men­tioned that re­al­is­ing the alarm­ing de­cline in the pop­u­la­tion of Golden Ma­haseer in the rivers of Bhutan due to sev­eral hy­dro­elec­tric projects and other hu­man in­ter­ven­tions, the Na­tional Cen­tre for Aqua­cul­ture (NCA), Gele­phu un­der­took a mas­sive Golden Ma­haseer breed­ing and prop­a­ga­tion trial since 2012. Fur­ther, post in-depth re­search and con­ser­va­tion of Golden Ma­haseer for the past 2 years, the NCA has es­tab­lished stan­dard fail-safe tech­niques of breed­ing the Golden Ma­haseer species and has bred over 10000 fin­ger­lings till date.

Dr. Tashi Samdup, Di­rec­tor, Depart­ment of Live­stock said that the Golden Ma­haseer Con­ser­va­tion Project and break­through in breed­ing tech­niques will pro­mote aquatic bio­di­ver­sity and en­cour­aged eco­tourism, while giv­ing a fresh lease of life to one of the most pris­tine world’s aquatic won­ders.

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