The Cauvery is subject to an intense range of anthropogenic impacts which act either independently or in combination to threaten the existence of fish populations and all aquatic flora and fauna, Adrian Pinder, a fisheries scientist, said.(Peter Dracup)
The Cauvery is subject to an intense range of anthropogenic impacts which act either independently or in combination to threaten the existence of fish populations and all aquatic flora and fauna, Adrian Pinder, a fisheries scientist, said.(Peter Dracup)

Fish in Cauvery face the risk of extinction

Threat Fish at risk include various mahseer species found in the river.
By Sibi Arasu | Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2019 03:09 PM IST

A combination of factors, including extreme weather events stemming from climate change, habitat fragmentation and unregulated fishing, has placed many of the endemic fish species in the river Cauvery, which flows through Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, at the risk of extinction, researchers say.

The fish at risk include the various mahseer species found in the river, including the giant hump-backed mahseer (Tor remadevii), which can grow up to 1.5 metres in length and weigh 55 kilograms. It is considered one of the 20 mega fish of the world.

Other fish species such as the red-tipped halfbeak, the slender stone loach, the mrigal, the Wayanad mahseer, the Korhi barb, the Nilgiri barb, the Nilgiri mystus, the Bhavani barb, the Cauvery barb, and the Nemacheilus pulchellus (which is so rare it doesn’t have a common name) are at risk of extinction as well.

“The Cauvery is subject to an intense range of anthropogenic impacts which act either independently or in combination to threaten the existence of fish populations and all aquatic flora and fauna,” Adrian Pinder, a fisheries scientist at Bournemouth University in England and director of research at the UK-based Mahseer Trust said in an emailed response to queries from HT .

“These include pollution, habitat destruction and blocked migration pathways, overfishing using illegal methods such as dynamite and poison, and alien species which are generally stocked intentionally by the fisheries departments.”

For example, the hump-backed mahseer was once found throughout the Cauvery, but today its distribution and population have declined by more than 90%, according to Pinder. The species was recently assessed as being critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Pinder added: “This fish is considered an umbrella species. If it is present, then we know that the water quality habitat and migratory pathways are good. Today we are aware of only two small spawning populations, both sited within tributaries of the main river Cauvery.”

Unlike large mammals or marine life, there are no dedicated protected areas for India’s freshwater fish species. In the Western Ghats, some 50 % of endemic fish species are threatened with extinction although the region is considered one of only two biodiversity hotspots in India, researchers say.

“Fish are not even considered as wildlife and protection is only restricted to the existing wildlife sanctuaries and national parks,” said Rajeev Raghavan, South Asia coordinator for the IUCN’s freshwater fish specialist group and an assistant professor at the Kerala University for Fisheries and Ocean studies (KUFOS).

Unlike the habitat of large mammals, the habitat of a fish species can spread across both protected and so-called ‘non-protected’ areas of the river and its tributaries.

Raghavan added: “Most endemic fish in the Cauvery is found in its upper reaches – places like Coorg, in the Cauvery’s tributaries such as the river Moyar, Bhavani and Kabini. The area from Shivasamudram to Hogenekkal also harbours populations of endemic and threatened species. The fish are mostly microhabitat specialists, restricted to specific areas of the river.”

Scientists say awareness creation among local communities and officials is essential to stave off the spectre of extinction of the Cauvery fish species.

“Improving awareness among local communities and frontline forest staff on ground enforcement to stop illegal and destructive fishing is required. Also, we need to demarcate ‘no-take zones’, close fisheries during the spawning seasons and begin to consider fish species in the management and environmental impact assessment plans associated with developmental projects,” Raghavan said,

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Representational image. (PTI)
Representational image. (PTI)

Kashmir: National Conference, PDP welcome ceasefire along LoC

By Mir Ehsan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:46 PM IST
A joint statement issued by the armies of both countries said the move followed a discussion between India’s DGMO Lt Gen Paramjit Singh Sangha and his Pakistani counterpart, Maj Gen Nauman Zakaria
Close
A UK judge cleared Nirav Modi's extradition to India on Thursday(Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint Archives)
A UK judge cleared Nirav Modi's extradition to India on Thursday(Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint Archives)

'Money laundering charge established': UK judge clears Nirav Modi's extradition

Reported by Neeraj Chauhan | Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:32 PM IST
Prima facie CBI case has been established, a UK court said, adding that Nirav Modi and his brother conspired to defraud the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
Close
Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav addresses a press conference.(ANI)
Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav addresses a press conference.(ANI)

'When will smart cities be built, rivers cleaned': Akhilesh Yadav asks BJP

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:12 PM IST
"BJP should give an answer to the people when will smart cities be built. They took the oath of 'Maa Ganga' to clean the river, but why is it still not clean. They had taken the 'Sankalp' of cleaning all the rivers in the country, but it is not happening," Yadav said.
Close
People wait in queue outside an airport. (HT FILE)
People wait in queue outside an airport. (HT FILE)

Indian expats in UAE seek exemption from self-paid Covid tests on arrival

PTI, Dubai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:05 PM IST
India has since February 23 made it mandatory for passengers to produce the negative report of the RT-PCR tests.
Close
Images using Landsat data from the US Geological Survey and topographic data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). (Photo Credit: NASA Earth Observatory)
Images using Landsat data from the US Geological Survey and topographic data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). (Photo Credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

Months before Chamoli tragedy, satellite images showed crack in mountain ice

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:00 PM IST
Scientists from Dehradun’s Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, who visited the disaster scene, have come up with similar findings, minus the crack being visible months before
Close
In just 9 days, the doubling rate of coronavirus cases in Mumbai has reduced to 294 days..(PTI)
In just 9 days, the doubling rate of coronavirus cases in Mumbai has reduced to 294 days..(PTI)

Covid-19 spike in Mumbai: Here's how the hotspots changed in 9 days

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:55 PM IST
Here is the list of Covid hotspots in Mumbai, as of February 23.
Close
In written response to a question in Lok Sabha earlier this month, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said a total of 10,752 cases of ceasefire violations have taken place along India's border with Pakistan in the last three years, in which 72 security personnel and 70 civilians were killed.(AP)
In written response to a question in Lok Sabha earlier this month, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said a total of 10,752 cases of ceasefire violations have taken place along India's border with Pakistan in the last three years, in which 72 security personnel and 70 civilians were killed.(AP)

India, Pakistan agree to follow all ceasefire pacts

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:29 PM IST
The decision on ceasefire, effective since Wednesday midnight, was taken at a meeting between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan.
Close
India for decades has been subject to such proxy cross-border and relentless state-supported terrorist attacks from its neighbourhood.(PTI)
India for decades has been subject to such proxy cross-border and relentless state-supported terrorist attacks from its neighbourhood.(PTI)

Would be compelled to take pre-emptive strike against imminent attack: India

PTI, United Nations
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:24 PM IST
Naidu told the meeting that exercising self-defence is a primary right of States to be exercised when the situation is imminent.
Close
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami made the important announcement in the state assembly on Thursday.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami made the important announcement in the state assembly on Thursday.

‘All pass’: Tamil Nadu CM says no final exams for classes 9,10, 11

By Divya Chandrababu | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:02 PM IST
  • The state board exams are usually held in March, but had been postponed to April this year, due to the pandemic.
Close
At Ficci’s International Conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Sector, Piyush Goyal also said that developed countries are under pressure. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse(REUTERS)
At Ficci’s International Conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Sector, Piyush Goyal also said that developed countries are under pressure. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse(REUTERS)

57 countries back India's demand for IPR waiver on Covid-19 vaccine: Goyal

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Ayshee Bhaduri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 02:49 PM IST
  • In October of last year, India and South Africa proposed a TRIPS waiver for all WTO members to allow greater access to affordable Covid-19 healthcare facilities
Close
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announcing the social media guidelines on Thursday,(ANI Photo)
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announcing the social media guidelines on Thursday,(ANI Photo)

Self-regulating body, monthly compliance reports: Govt's social media guidelines

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:57 PM IST
So far, online news media has not been unregulated, with the information & broadcasting ministry brining it under its ambit last year, but not yet formalising rules for it.
Close
NSA Ajit Doval led the back-channel negotiations with his Pakistani counterpart that led to joint statement by the Indian defence ministry and the Pak military (PTI)
NSA Ajit Doval led the back-channel negotiations with his Pakistani counterpart that led to joint statement by the Indian defence ministry and the Pak military (PTI)

NSA Doval led secret back-channels talks with Pak for months before DGMO pact

By Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:26 PM IST
  • The first sign that India-Pakistan back-channel conversations were on track came this month when Pak army chief Gen Bajwa said it was time to extend a hand of peace in all directions
Close
The signboard of the Delhi High Court.
The signboard of the Delhi High Court.

Centre opposes same sex marriage in Delhi HC

By hindustantimes.com | Reported by Richa Banka | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 02:56 PM IST
The Centre on Thursday said in the Delhi high court that living together as partners and having sexual relationship by same sex couple not comparable with Indian family unit.
Close
A health worker shows Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, in Pune earlier in January this year. (HT file photo)
A health worker shows Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, in Pune earlier in January this year. (HT file photo)

India's healthcare workers balk at taking homegrown Covid-19 vaccine

Reuters, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 02:30 PM IST
  • India has vaccinated more than 10.5 million health and front-line workers since beginning its immunisation campaign on Jan. 16. But only 1.2 million, or about 11%, of them have taken COVAXIN, the locally developed vaccine from Bharat Biotech.
Close
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar.(HT photo)
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar.(HT photo)

'Needed level playing field': Govt announces new online media rules

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:35 PM IST
  • As per the new guidelines, social media platforms are required to disclose the first originator of mischievous tweet or message, the information and technology minister announced.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP