Of declining Golden Mahseer
Pema Samdrup, Gelegphu
May 12 2016
Department of Livestock under agriculture ministry says the endangered fish species, Golden Mahseer could decline up to 80 percent in the future, if conservation efforts are not initiated.
Golden Mahseer, locally known as Sernya, is found in major rivers of Bhutan.
The fish population has already declined by 50 percent in the country.
Livestock Production Officer with National Centre Aquaculture Research in Gelegphu, Drukpola said the decline is because of rapid human population growth, fishing pressure, and economic development.
Mining, quarries and hydropower projects have also added to it.
“These activities have disturbed the habitat,” said Drukpola.
The species is most threatened in Punatshangchhu and Mangdechhu because of hydropower plants, the officer said.
The Department of Livestock’s preliminary study shows construction of dams of these two hydropower plants have affected Golden Mahseer’s migration route and breeding habitat.
Mangdechhu Hydropower Project has given the centre Nu 12.96 M to conserve Golden Mahseer.
Drukpola said they will pump the fund into releasing 15,000 fingerlings into the affected basin of Mangdechhu.
They will also strengthen the centre and enhance capacity to conserve this species of fish in Bhutan.
As conservation effort, the National Centre for Aquaculture Research has developed a technology to artificially breed the species.
Through the technology, the centre has been able to release about 5,000 Golden Mahseer fingerlings.