Conserving 'Fighting Tigerfish' in Corbett Park

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By Vipul Goel

Vanghat (Uttarakhand), Apr 9 : Residents living in the periphery of Jim Corbett national park in Uttar Pradesh are trying to salvage the rare 'Fighting Tigerfish', locally known as Mahaseer.

The project, which aims to tap the potential of eco-tourism in the buffer area of Corbett national park, has involved people of nearby villages who are employed to patrol the area and stop illegal activities.

With the aim of enhancing the prospects of tourism, residents from several villages have been working to conserve Mahaseer in the River Ramganga and other streams in the region.

Locals were taught about the importance of conserving the Mahaseer species and it was only after this that this specie has increased in number.

"We have taken some villages within the area of 15 to 17 kilometers and have formed committees there. Two people have been kept as the guards from every village who keep patrolling the entire area. We even catch people who indulge in illegal fishing," said Parmanand, a resident.

An avid angler, Prasannjit said that the conservation of these fish is as important as the conservation of tiger for the government.

"The Mahaseer fish is the tiger of the water and its conservation is equally important. If Mahaseer survives in the Himalayan waters, you can be sure that the quality of the water is good, as the breed is very sensitive and survives only in fresh water. If the quality of water is not good, the fish would be pushed to extinction," said Prasannjit, author and fish angler.

Anglers from the world over have been thronging the place, which is a paradise for the golden coloured Mahaseer.

The golden Mahaseer also named 'Barbus Tor Putitora' by zoologists is the main species found in the Ramganga River. The golden Mahaseer has a magnificent appearance with its sap green body bright orange scales. It is considered to be one of the most prized fish for anglers all over the world. These fish play a major role in the ecological balance of the region.

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