‘Carnivorous alligator gar’ threat to Srinagar’s Dal Lake
ContextRecently, a non-native alligator gar fish, was found in one of Kashmir’s idyllic lakes, raising apprehensions about its impact on the native fish species.
- The rare, carnivorous fish was caught by the Jammu and Kashmir Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA).
About Carnivorous alligator gar:
- They are known for its crocodile-like head and razor-sharp teeth.
- The alligator gar is a close relative of the bowfin species.
- It is a ray-finned euryhaline fish and is one of the biggest freshwater fish in North America and the largest species in the ‘gar’ family.
- The alligator gar fish is not an Indian species and normally found in Northern and Central America and also in Mexico.
- But in recent years it was also found in some parts of India like Bhopal, Kerala and from the water-bodies of Maharashtra and Kolkata.
- Being a predator fish and a carnivore, it can eat all types of fishes and therefore poses a threat to native species and to the overall ecosystem.
- For example, gar fish grows rapidly and has a life span of 20-30 years.
- It would kill all fingerlings of fish species already present in the water body and has a tendency to destroy natural aquatic life of Dal Lake.
- The lake, which is linked to the livelihood of thousands, has witnessed extreme loss in water quality, mainly because of anthropogenic pressures such as discharge of untreated sewage.
- Thus, crocodile fish can further aggravate the loss of Lake Habitat.
- In India, the Biological Diversity Act 2002 prohibits the presence of any kind of invasive fish species that can be hazardous to natural fish fauna.