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Sikkim Government Proclaims ‘Katley’ as State Fish

The state government of Sikkim has designated the Copper Mahseer, also known as Katley, as the state fish.

Moreover, the freshwater fish, Katley can be found at various altitudes across Sikkim, but it is mostly restricted to the Teesta and Rangit rivers and their tributaries.

It is generally found in the Himalayas, and also particularly found in northeast states in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Nagaland.

According to the Fishery department, the state government has named the state fish to highlight the importance of the fish and to give emphasis to its conservation measures

However, the fish has a high market value and is greatly preferred by the public and therefore the directorate seeks to emphasize the importance of the fish in the state while also emphasizing conservation efforts.

Furthermore, there are up to 48 indigenous Mahseer species in Sikkim.

“In Sikkim, Katley is found in varied altitudes covering entire state predominantly confined in Teesta and Rangit rivers and their tributaries. In the year 1992, ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBFGR), Lucknow had categorized Katley fish as endangered species. Later on, in the year 2014 the fish was also categorized as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature),” said Additional Director of the Directorate of Fisheries, C. S. Rai.

Meanwhile, the State administration has declared four dam reservoirs in Sikkim accessible to fishing. Chungthang (Teesta-III), Dikchu (Teesta-V), Legship (Rangit-III), and Rorathang are the reservoirs open for fishing.

According to the directorate, it was done with the goal of providing livelihood options for fishermen while also ensuring the nutritional security of the inhabitants of the state.

The licence will be issued by the Directorate of Fisheries to interested individual fishermen or fishermen co-operative societies or SHGs for fishing in the reservoirs in accordance with the existing provisions under the Sikkim Fisheries Rules, 1990.

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