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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

fishes .. .. Fukushima Prefecture ..

Fishes look so attractive .. .. to see them swim in a pond could have soothing effect – incidentally seeing ornamental fish in a bowl or in a tank is seemingly different than seeing them in a pond ! Have observed that guppies / mollies give birth to live fingerlings while ornamental fish like goldfish lay eggs.  Incidentally, have read that the famous temple tank at Thiruvallikkeni – ‘kairavini pushkarini’ famous for lily flowers is devoid of fish .. .. have seen so many guppies when tank went dry in mid 1970s.  A decade ago, SYMA undertook extensive cleaning of the Temple tank, which was filled up immediately by timely rains – during that time, we bought, transported and put small fingerlings into the holy tank.

All fish share two traits: they live in water and they have a backbone—they are vertebrates. Apart from these similarities, however, many of the species in this group differ markedly from one another. Fin fish like salmon have gills, are covered in scales, and reproduce by laying eggs. Eels, by contrast, have worm-like bodies and exceedingly slimy skin.  Lungfish gulp air. Whale sharks, the largest fish, give birth to live young and eat only tiny fish, squid, and plankton. Some species, such as the weedy sea dragon, are so bizarre they seem almost unreal.

Fish have developed special senses, too. Because water transmits sounds, disperses chemicals, and conducts electricity better than air, fish rely less on their vision and more on their hearing, taste, and smell. Many can detect motion in the water using a special row of scales with sensors known as the lateral line. Others can find their prey and even navigate by detecting electrical charges. One reason fish are so diverse is that 70 percent of the planet is covered in water. The animals in this group live in a variety of habitats ranging from coral reefs and kelp forests to rivers, streams, and the open ocean.

Miles away, people fish so much in Colorado, it's become a $1.9 billion industry in the state, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW).  Lakes and rivers state-wide need thousands of fish to keep up with demand. CPW focuses on those numbers to provide enough supply -- breeding, hatching, rearing and stocking more than 90 million fish each year for Colorado's waterways.

Japan’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters on Feb. 25 lifted the last shipment restriction on fish species caught off Fukushima Prefecture, resulting in all 44 species becoming available for consumers for the first time since the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011. Tests involving a limited number of fishing trips have been conducted since June 2012, and discussions on resuming full operations are expected to intensify.

After the nuclear accident, the government restricted the shipment of the 44 kinds of fish caught off the prefecture, which had been found to exceed the legal limit of radioactive cesium. Since then, the government has lifted the shipping ban in stages as fish species were confirmed to be safe following testing. Meanwhile, at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant, large quantities of treated water are stored in tanks that are expected to reach their limit in summer 2022.  A panel at the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry submitted two proposals to the government on Feb. 10: release the water either into the ocean or into the atmosphere. Fishermen in the prefecture are opposed to the ocean release.

Fishes have lots of predators – of which their own species ‘fish’ and humans are giant killers. They have many other threats too .. .. recently read of an interesting addition. Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae. The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic or marine, with diets based on fish and invertebrates.  In what is being seen as a reflection of strong ecological conservation in Chilika, Eurasian Otter, a semi-aquatic mammal native to Eurasia, has been sighted for the first time in the brackish water lagoon bringing cheers for wildlife lovers.

Chief Executive of Chilika Development Authority (CDA) Odisha  said the species has been found for the first time in eastern India. Presence of the species in the marshland was confirmed through camera traps and bycatch data used by The Fishing Cat Project (TFCP).  The otters were spotted during TFCP’s survey to camera trap the fishing cats in the fringe villages of Chilika covering an area of 1,070 sq km. The Smooth-coated Otter, found in most of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia whose presence in the wetland had been previously confirmed, was also spotted during the survey.

Otters are found in Singapore – co-existing with humans in the busy city.  However, the rise of the urban otter has caused some conflicts with people. Homeowners in the gated-community enclave on the island of Sentosa reported that their koi carp ponds had been emptied by otters, and one hotel in the same area lost 85,000 Singaporean dollars’ worth of ornamental fish over eight months, according to local news reports.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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