FISHERY (Aquatic biodiversity)

A total of 289 species of faunal and floral aquatic diversity are listed as per available records. There are 118 species of macro-aquatic fauna and 40 species of macro-aquatic flora ( table 4 ). The micro level diversity is not fully known yet. It was also not possible to carry out study at this time to identify the range of micro level biodiversity due to paucity of time and resources. So far only 69 species of aquatic microfauna and 62 species of aquatic microflora are known. The aquatic organisms include a large variety of fishes, arthropods, reptiles. mollusks, amphibians and annelids. Many of them are economically important as they provide food and cash income besides the maintenance of ecological balance. Due to overexploitation and habitat loss over a long period, many of the species are threatened; some are near extinction. Exotic species have also been introduced mainly because of economic and productivity reasons. Endangered aquafauna: Indian sports fish, known as sleeping giant (Mahsheer), comprising of Tor tor and Tor putitora are the fast growing economic species. These were once abundantly available in Gumti reservoir in the upper reaches of Raima and Surma rivers. The breeding ground for these fishes is destroyed due to siltation of rivulets (in the stony bed) and use of different kinds of herbicides and pesticides. Puntius sarana, an economic fish, was abundant in all the river systems of the State. This species is now endangered. Once this variety dominated the total catches of Gumti reservoir. Channa striatus, C. marulius, Labeo bata, L. pangasia, L. dero, Mystus seengala, M. aor, Ompak pabda, O. bimaculatus. O. paba, Wallago autto, Natopterus chitala Macroganthus aculeatus, Mastacembelus armatus, Xenentodon concila, Rita rita, Bagarius bagarius, Pangusius pangusius and Danio debario were once available abundantly from natural resources. 

Fresh water turtle (trinyx sp.) was also available Gumti reservoir and adjacent areas in past. But this is now almost extinct. The other varieties of tortoise and turtles nowadays are rare and nearly endangered due to loss of natural habitat by indiscriminate hunting, want of conservation measures and lack of awareness among the people. Some of the threatened species are listed .

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