CHITALA FISH (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     7th September 2023        

Context: Recently, the Union Minister for Fisheries, Livestock and Dairying announced that river ranching of the Uttar Pradesh state fish Chitala will be carried out to increase its population in natural water sources like the Ganga.

Chitala Fish

  • Chitala fish is an obligate, typically nocturnal predator that primarily feeds on smaller fishes.
  • Distribution: The species is commonly reported to have a range throughout most of southern Asia, but it is likely restricted to the Indian subcontinent.
  • Its distribution includes Pakistan, India (specifically states like Manipur, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar), Nepal, and Bangladesh.
  • Habitat: Chitala fish is mostly found in major river channels and freshwater lakes but has also been observed in swamps.
  • It is particularly prevalent in the Indus, Ganges-Brahmaputra, and Mahanadi river basins in India.
  • IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Significance of Chitala's River Ranching

  • The initiative of Chital a’ River Ranching has multiple objectives, including:
  • Balancing the aquatic ecosystem.
  • Increasing the income of fish farmers.
  • Providing a protein-rich diet to the public.
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