SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) discovered a rare type of fish for the first time during the ongoing cleaning of Dal Lake on Thursday. The fish, which is said to be an “Alligator Gar,” is known for its crocodile-like head and razor-sharp teeth and is native to North America.
Masood Ahmad, an expert from J&K LCMA’s research and monitoring department, said that they will conduct an analysis of the discovered fish with the help of the fisheries and SKUAST-K’s fisheries department.
“We are going to seek help from the fisheries department and SKUAST-K to find out the effects of this type of fish on our existing fish species inside the Dal Lake,” he said.
During the normal de-weeding routine in Dal Lake, officials found the rare fish on the conveyor. “It was the first of its kind here,” said the official.
Videos of the rare fish found during the cleaning of Dal Lake went viral on social media, where the fish was displayed and exhibited. Netizens expressed surprise, with many saying that the fish type is an invasive species and a threat to aquatic life.
Dr. Farooz Ahmad Bhat, Dean at the Faculty of Fisheries, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology – Kashmir (SKUAST-K), confirmed that the fish seen in Dal Lake is an alligator gar fish, sighted for the first time in Kashmir.
“This fish is not harmful, but we don’t have any research on it as this is the first time it has been seen here in the Dal Lake,” Dr. Farooz said.
He added that in 2016, grass carp fish were seen in Dal Lake. “Later, our team also found another in the Manasbal Lake, but this alligator gar has been heard for the first time in Kashmir,” he said, adding, “We will look into how and where it came here in Kashmir and how long it has been here.”
Dr. Farooz said that proper research will be done to determine how it reached Kashmir and whether it poses a threat to the local fish varieties. (KNO)