Handout image of Manipur fisheries minister N Kayisii

Manipur’s fisheries minister N Kayisii on Wednesday said steps have been taken to conserve the indigenous fish species in view of non-availability of these species.

The department has undertaken the initiative to conserve the indigenous fish species  such as Pengba (Osteobrama belangeri), Meitei, Ngamu (Channa orientalis ), porom (Channa striatus), Ngamu-bogra (channa puntatus)and Meitei-Ngakra (Clarias batrachus), minister said while replying to a question raised by opposition MLA K Ranjit Singh of Congress party in the state Assembly session on Wednesday.

Pengba a very popular medium carp fish species, is the state fish of Manipur.

Minister Kayisii said 10 Murrel Hatcheries in Imphal West district, two in Bishnupur district one each in Imphal East and Thoubal districts have been opened to conserve and production of indigenous fishes under National Fishery Development Board, Hyderabad.

Also with the implementation of BIO FLOC, a new technology of rearing fish, there will be sufficient production of indigenous fishes in the State.

However minister Kayisii informed the House of 60 members that the State is yet to take up necessary move to provide phabou-nga (Puntius chola), a small fish which were widely used for making ‘ngari’, a traditional dry fish in the State.

Earlier raising the issue indigenous fish species during the question and answer session of the ongoing Assembly session, the opposition MLA Ranjit said local fish species play a vital role in preserving the rich culture and traditions of the State besides their food value.

Traditionally, the tiny ‘nganap’ (Pangio pangia) forms part of the meals of newly-wed Manipuris.

Many indigenous fish species of the state have been endangered, according to experts.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature had also listed seven local fishes of Manipur as ‘endangered freshwater fish species’.

These include ngakha meingangbi (Puntius manipurensis), ngatup 1 (Schistura kanjupkhulensis), ngatup 2 (Schistura minutes), ngatup 3 (Schistura reticula), ching-ngakra (Pterocryptis barakensis), ching-ukabi (Badis tuivaiei) and nung-nga (Psilorhynchus microphthalamus).

Besides, nganap, ngahei, sareng khoibi(botia berdmorei), ngasep (mystus bleekeri), etc are also under strain.

The State fish, pengba, which was found in abundance in the Loktak lake and Nambul river, has vanished in its wild habitat and is only bred in farms now.

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