Mangaluru: September 8, 2015: For the first time, the Biological Park at Pilikula Nisargadhama will have an added attraction for visitors and fish lovers. Come September 13, and visitors can see endangered fresh water fish species of Western Ghats, both in mini open water tanks and aquariums.
The new breeding and conservation of endangered fresh water pond as well aquarium, set up a at the cost of Rs 1 crore, will have nearly 50 species of fish, collected from various parts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts, from rivers, streams, tanks and paddy fields, said S A Prabhakar Sharma, executive director, Dr Shivarama Karanth Pilikula Nisargadhama. After breeding at the centre, the fish are released to their habitat.
Ronald D’Souza and Ashwin Rai, both PG holders in fisheries course, have shouldered the responsibility to supply rare species of fish to the centre. They run Aquatic Biosystems, a firm that is into breeding of local and ornamental fish.
Ronald told sources that they have trekked Karkala, Agumbe Ghats, Uppinangady, Gundya and Shishila forest region to catch endangered species of fish.
"These edible fishes are vanishing due to use of deadly fertilizers (copper sulphate) in farming, imbalance in ecology, bursting of dynamite and taking up projects like Yettinahole," he said, adding that fish species are red listed by International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Some of the fishes, which are bought from these region are unfamiliar to people and will go extinct if not conserved, he said adding these include Anomalochromis thomasi, Jardini, Tetnai, Channa Gachua, Garra, Golden Chromide and Assimillis. "Though names sound weird, these are very beautiful fish species", he averred.
These fish species require different breeding methods. "The aim of the new project is to conserve the aquatic fauna and cultural heritage of the Western Ghats and Coastal Karnataka," he said.