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.
About Chitala Fish:
- It is an obligate, typically nocturnal, predator feeding on smaller fishes.
- Although often reported to range throughout most of southern Asia this species is probably restricted to the Indian subcontinent in Pakistan, India (records from the states of Manipur, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar), Nepal, and Bangladesh.
- Mostly known from major river channels and freshwater lakes, but has also been observed in swamps.
- It is found in Indus, Ganges-Brahmaputra and Mahanadi river basins in India.
- Conservation status
- IUCN : Near Threatened
Significance of Chitala’s river ranching
- This initiative aims to balance the aquatic ecosystem, increase the income of fish farmers, and provide a protein-rich diet to the public.
- Projects worth over 1000 crore are also underway in Uttar Pradesh under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.
Q1) What is Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana?
The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) is an initiative launched by the Government of India to promote the sustainable development of the fisheries sector in the country. The scheme was announced in the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021 and aims to enhance fish production, employment opportunities, and income for fisherfolk while also ensuring the sustainability of aquatic resources.