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Conserving The Endangered Humpback Mahseer

Humpback Mahseer

Humpback Mahseer, one of the most iconic fresh water fish in the world is on the verge of extinct, according to a study conducted by Indian and British biologists. This is because of pollution, sand extraction and hydel power projects. Humpback Mahseer, only found in India’s Kaveri basin, is known to anglers as one of the largest and hardest fighting freshwater fish.

According to the study, Mahseer, one of the 20 mega fishes of the world will be extinct in the wild by the next generation. The survival of the fish is important for the preservation of the eco-system. The health of this fish is linked to the health of India’s big rivers, including Ganga and Kaveri. This is why, the Kaveri Mission has implemented several micro projects to address a broad range of issues that affect the health of Kaveri River catchment and the rapidly declining population status of the iconic Humpback Mahseer fish, which is endemic to Kaveri and found nowhere else in the world.

In order to work towards its conservation, Tata Power has launched the Humpback Mahseer Project to list the Humpback Mahseer with its scientific name, “Tor Remadevii”, on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. According to the organisation, achieving the scientific name of this elusive fish is a key step in placing it on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

To further this cause, Tata Power has conducted an educational drive for 800 school children in Bengaluru and Mysore. A unique state-of-the-art stream model was custom-designed to explain how rivers work, the ecosystem services they provide and the effects of human activities on them. The students learnt the effects of construction of dams, regulated flows, deforestation, drought, pollution and sediment transport on various river water species. Lectures on the importance of smaller critters of the freshwater ecosystem were held. To make them more interactive, drawing competitions were also conducted.

The company successfully manages a Mahseer breeding facility in the northern Western Ghats. The unique coalition between Tata Power and Mahseer Trust, the Kaveri Mission, has undertaken surveys that are being conducted in many tributaries of the Kaveri River for the Humpback Mahseer.

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The CSR Journal Team