Vol. 5 Num 413 Mon. July 25, 2005  
Letters to Editor

Stop wanton capture of brood fish

The capture of a 'katla' fish weighing 29 kg reported on 12 June 2005 in different newspapers should not be considered a success. Rather, the fisherman and other persons who were involved in capturing the fish must be brought to face the Fisheries Act.

I think that the incident hurt every concerned person very much. A few days ago news on this subject with my opinion was published in a Bangla newspaper titled "Determination of genetic condition of katla fish using DNA micro satellite marker". People should know the fact that the egg laying fish (brood fish) in natural water bodies are the important biological resources. Approximately 99% fish seeds are now being produced in the hatchery. But the genetic quality in hatchery produced seed is decreasing day by day due to inbreeding depression and negative selection. However, if a stock is genetically deteriorated, then it is not possible to increase its production by supplying adequate feed or improving culture systems. As the genetic variability of the natural fish (river) is relatively high, it is possible to improve the genetic quality of hatchery produced fish thorough selective breeding programme. Parent fish derived from hatchery could be partially replaced by wild fish. Halda river and its branches are important breeding ground of Indian major carps (rohi, katla, mrigal etc) and the fishes of this natural water body are genetically more sound than hatchery produced fish. Unfortunately, wanton capture of brood fish especially in the breeding season reduces fish seed production at a rate of 25-30% in the Halda river that may adversely affect the total fish production in the country. So it is essential to take necessary steps for implementation of rules to stop capture of brood fish from natural water bodies. The government should declare some natural water bodies especially the Halda river and its branches as "sanctuary" for fish.