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‘Katley’ declared state fish of Sikkim

GANGTOK: Neolissochilus hexagonolepis commonly known as Copper Mahseer and locally known as ‘Katley’ has been declared as the state fish of Sikkim.

In an official notification, the state fishery department highlighted the importance of the fish and given the emphasis on its conservation.

In India, Katley is found in the Himalayas and mostly in the North-Eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim.

There are almost 48 indigenous species of Mahseer in Sikkim.

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Additional Director of Directorate of Fisheries, CS Rai said, “Katley is found in varying altitudes in the 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).”

He went on to say that the Sikkim government has also declared the state’s reservoirs open for fishing.

The Directorate of Fisheries will issue licences to interested individual fishermen or fishermen co-operative societies or SHGs to fish in the reservoirs in accordance with the existing provisions of the Sikkim Fisheries Rules, 1990, he said.

The reservoirs are in Chungthang in North Sikkim, Legshep in West Sikkim along with Dikchu and Rorathang in East Sikkim.

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