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Manipur researchers discover 13 new fish species
Sobhapati Samom
 IMPHAL, Nov 24 – Manipur University Prof Waikhom Vishwanath of Life Science department led research team has discovered 13 new freshwater fish species adding to the 220 plus fish species in Manipur.

Altogether 368 fish species were reported discovered across the globe in 2012(http://www.worldfishcenter.org/).

The newly discovered freshwater fish species are Schistura porocephala, Physoschistura tigrinum, Physoschistura dikrongensis, Schistura obliquofascia, Glyptothorax churamanii, Glyptothorax verrucosus, Physoschistura tigrinum, Schistura koladynensis, Physoschistura chindwinensis, Glyptothorax jayarami, Garra namyaensis, Physoschistura tuivaiensis and Barilius profundus.

According to KC Jayaram’s ‘The fresh water fish of the Indian region’, there are 8,411 fresh water fish species in the world.

Prof Vishwanath who heads the Fisheries section of Life Science department of Manipur University told this reporter here that his team discovered most of these species from Irrawady, Chinwin, Barak and Brahamaputra river basins. “Still we need to study more on taxonomy part as correct identification is required in any biological study,”the fish specialist added.

Physoschistura tigrinum locally known as Ngatup was discovered from Changa, tiny river under Chinwin basin in Ukhrul district bordering Myanmar while Schistura koladynensis was found in Kolodyne river of Mizoram bordering Myanmar. Similarly Physoschistura dikrongensis, a type of Ngatum was discovered from Dikrong river in Arunachal Pradesh.

With the new discoveries, Prof Vishwanath’s team has so far discovered 60 freshwater fish species since the discovery of Puntius jayaremi locally known as Heikak Nga in 1986.

Incidentally, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has named Prof Vishwanath and Kerala Senior Researcher Dr Rajeev Raghavan of St Albert’s College, Kochi among its 19 member fresh water fish specialist group to study 18 fresh water region of the world.

Prof Vishwanath and Dr Rajeev are the first Indians to serve as the Co-chairs for the South Asia region to take up technical, advisory, advocacy, action and communication activities to create awareness about fresh water fish species till 2016.

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