of fishing on the riverine fish diversity of Sikkim
N. Haque, Saroj Toppo and H. Rahman
ICAR Research Complex for
NEH Region, Sikkim Centre, Tadong, Gangtok - 737102, Sikkim,
A survey was conducted on the
fisher communities in all the four districts of Sikkim to
evaluate the existing fishing activities and its impact on the
fish germplasm. The fishing-gears predominantly used in the
rivers were rod and line, cast net, loop and line and hook and
line. The frequency of predominantly available fish was as
follows in descending order: Schizothorax spp >
Neolissocheilus spp > Garra spp > Pseudecheneis
spp > Barilius spp > Semiplotus spp though
48 riverine fish species have been reported from the state.
During the month of May Schizothorax spp and
Neolissocheilus spp comprised 78.82 percent of the catch.
There was strong awareness about fish-diversity where 82.94
percent acknowledged decline of different kind of fish in the
rivers. The respondents expected that the government gave
topmost priority to patrolling of the water bodies, organizing
awareness programmes and trainings, issuance of license for
controlled fishing and enact some regulations for judicious
use of water in hydroelectricity projects for conservation of
riverine diversity. It was concluded that the riverine fish
diversity of Sikkim showed decreasing trend. It could be
improved with the fishers’ participation in the implementation
of different Government / agency sponsored programmes for
conservation and maintenance of diversity of fish germplasm.
Conservation, diversity, fish, fisher, river, Sikkim
Sikkim is blessed with plenty of
water resources in the form of rivers, streams and lakes. The
estimated length of rivers of the state is 900 km and area of
ponds and lakes are 0.1 and 3.2 thousand ha, respectively. Two
main rivers namely, Teesta and Rangeet and their tributaries
drain the state. Majority of the lakes of the state are
located in the alpine zone which remain frozen during winter.
In general the fishing activities in the lakes of Sikkim are
very limited with prohibition in the lakes which are
considered sacred. Studies on fish and fisheries in Sikkim
were carried out by Talwar and Jhingran (1991) but details
about fish catch and its commercial aspect was not available.
Hooker (1854) reported about Cyprinoids – big fishes that were
abundantly found in crystal clear water of river Rangeet.
However, Das and Mukherjee (2005) observed a strong decline in
the diversity of fish fauna in the river Teesta. As a
precautionary measure towards conservation of fish, the
Directorate of Fisheries, Government of Sikkim has enforced
the State Fishery Act, 1980. State Government has also
initiated fisheries development programme to increase fish
production, generating supplementary income to fisher,
promoting angling for tourism and conservation of riverine
fish germplasm. However, very little data is available
regarding activities by the fisher communities and their
impact on fish germplasm in the state. The objective of the
study was to evaluate the existing fishing activities and its
impact on fish germplasm.
Amongst the many
floral treaties of Sikkim Himalaya one of the earliest ones may be
found over the genus Rhododendron (Gk. rhodo = red, dendrons = tree
known for their brilliance in colors, unusual shapes
attractive growth habits, variety in fragrance and
exquisite beauty can attract any nature lovers.
with its total geographical area of 7,096 sq km is
bestowed with a huge diversity of flora and fauna.