FL11 All pages - Page 16

isolated River Moyar, Tamil Nadu. The
results revealed that the DNA
sequence of the hump-backed mahseer was unique, distinguishing it
from all other previously described
species of mahseer.
This led Pinder’s team to believe
that they were on the cusp of naming
a new species, until a paper published
in the proceedings of a 2006 conference in Kuala Lumpur came to light.
This described a new species of mahseer called Tor remadevii. The description was extremely limited in detail
and based only on a sample of small
juvenile fish from the River Cauvery’s
most southern tributary, the River
Pambar, which flows through the state
of Kerala before joining the lower
reaches of the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu.
This revelation sparked new lines of
investigation to find Tor remadevii at
the ‘type’ locality (the geographic origin of the species description) and to
undertake detailed examination of the
‘type’ specimens deposited in
museum collections. The results of
these investigations confirmed that
the hump-backed mahseer was, in
fact, synonymous with Tor remadevii.
In a paper published in the international scientific journal Plos One,
Adrian Pinder of Bournemouth University, UK and colleagues have fixed the
scientific name of the hump-backed
mahseer as Tor remadevii. This discovery triggered an emergency meeting with IUCN experts in Pune, India,
where a draft Red List assessment of
Tor remadevii was generated, with the
s pe c i e s qua l i fy i ng a s ‘C ri ti c a l l y
This assessment will now be
reviewed and find a place on the IUCN
Red List of Threatened Species, in its
next update. Adrian Pinder explains,
“This will be a pivotal move in securing much needed protection and
immediate conservation planning to
save the species from extinction.”
Co-author Dr Rajeev Raghavan,
Assistant Professor at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies
(KUFOS), and IUCN’s Freshwater Fish
Red List Authority Coordinator said,
“The hump-back could probably be
the most restricted of all mahseer
species, and is now the most threatened, requiring urgent conservation
attention, both in-situ and ex-situ.
Securing the future of the humpbacked mahseer will depend on the
strong willingness and cooperation of
a range of stakeholders from three
southern Indian States; Kerala, Tamil
Nadu and Karnataka, in one of India’s
most contested rivers – the Cauvery.”
Adrian Pinder concluded, “When
we think of endangered species, we
often think of ‘flagship’ species such
as the Giant Panda and Bengal tiger,
which are currently and respectively
assessed on the IUCN Red List as
‘Vulnerable’ and ‘Endangered’.
However, with the hump-backed
mahseer we are talking about a creature which is actually more imperilled
that these better known icons. Now
that we have verified the scientific
name and can officially categorise the
perilous conservation status of this
fish, we can continue to take positive
steps to ensure its survival long into
the future.”
• For more information about the hump-backed mahseer or the Mahseer
Trust, visit www.mahseertrust.org. n
Illuminating response on
Durham hydroscheme
Durham City Council is currently trialling optical acoustic deterrents to stop
migrating salmon and trout entering and becoming trapped in the chamber of a
hydroelectric scheme at Durham weir on the River Wear. The move follows pressure from Fish Legal and the publication of video evidence of salmon being
caught on the turbine blades and thrown against the turbine chamber to highlight the inadequacy of the Environment Agency approved fish screens currently
in place. The Wear Anglers Association hoped for a successful outcome, but it is
understood the trials are in difficulties with fish still being seen in the turbine
chamber. The Council had indicated that they would consider reducing turbine
operation in preference to further screens if necessary. Fish Legal is awaiting the
outcome of the trial before advising affected members further. n
Consultation failures over East Midlands
Airport de-icer discharges into the Trent
Fish Legal has criticised an Environment
Agency-led review of the discharge permit for East Mildlands Airport, which
fails to take into account the airport’s
plans to double passenger traffic and treble the existing freight tonnage handled
annually by 2030-35. Each year the
Derby Railway Angling Club sees
sewage fungus caused by discharges of
de-icers into the River Trent during the
winter months. Fish Legal has made representations on behalf of the club who
were provided with very little information in order to properly comment on the
permit changes, stating that the existing
permit is not fit for purpose and the proposed permit variation is not adequate to
tackle the existing problems, let alone
making it suitable for the 21st century. n


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