Indigenous fish species facing extinction in Netrakona


NETRAKONA, Oct 4, 2017 (BSS) – Many indigenous fishes are disappearing from the water bodies of the district gradually due to various reasons like siltation of rivers, canals and other water bodies, indiscriminate and unabated catching of fish fries and adverse impact of climate change.

People of the district, which was once popularly known as “grain vowel and fish resourceful area” of the country, are now facing scarcity of the native fish species.

According to elderly people and fishermen, the native fishes were found in abundance in all the rivers including Sumeswari, Mogra, Khongso and Dhono and all the haors, canals, beels and other water bodies of the district.

Native fishes like mohasoal, ruhi, katla, chitol, khoi, sorputi, gozer, ayir, bowal, taki, gulsey, talapia, baim,vedory, kholsey and tengra were surplus in the past.

These native fishes which were abundantly available in the natural water bodies particularly in the down-stream areas of the district were used to supply many places of the country including capital city Dhaka after meeting the local demand.

Even, adequate quantity of various species of the fish remained surplus and those were used to store after drying.

Among these fishes, “Mohasoal fish” which was easily available in the hilly river Sumeswari at Durgapur upazila and another hilly river Khongso at Kalmakanda upazila was very much tasteful and delicious.

But with the passage of time, the scenario has been changed and the district lost its past glory as a “fish rich” area as most of the traditional fishes including mohasoal have now disappeared from the open water bodies.

Talking to BSS, a number of elderly fishermen and local people said that during the seventies and eighties they could catch many fishes by simple nets from the river Dhono, Sumeswari, Khongso Mogra and different haors, beels and canals and other natural water bodies.

“Even we could catch many fishes easily by putting a branch of tree in any corner of any river, haor, canal and beel,” they said.

But, now-a-days, not a single ayir, gazer, kholsey, talapia, vedory, chitol, and other traditional fishes could be found easily here, they regretted.

Senior officials at the district fishery department acknowledged it saying “Production of native fishes in the open water bodies had decreased to many reasons including iltation of rivers, canals, beels and other natural water bodies, indiscriminate and unabated ching of fish fries by casting nets or current nets and spraying fertilizers and cticides on the crops lands without proper planning as well as adverse impact of
climate change.

District fishery officer Ashraf Uddin Ahmed said that the present government has already taken different programs including fish management program, releasing of fish fries into the natural open water bodies, setting up fish sanctuaries for protecting brood-fishes during their breeding period and beel nurseries for rearing small native fishes in the down-stream areas to increasing production of native fishes in the natural open water bodies of the district.