Jammu and Kashmir: Alarm bells ring among scientists, authorities after Alligator Gar Fish found in Dal Lake

In a major threat to the native fish species, the discovery of a carnivorous Alligator Gar fish in Kashmir’s famous Dal Lake has set the alarm bells ringing among scientists and authorities.
The ray-finned euryhaline fish having a mouth like that of an alligator was caught during a deweeding operation in the famous lake.
“This is an Alligator Gar fish which is normally found in North America and some parts of India like Bhopal upper lake and Kerala backwaters. Being a predator fish and a carnivore, it poses a threat to native species of Dal Lake,” Dr Shafeeqa Peer, a scientist at the Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) told PTI.
Peer said it was a matter of concern as to how this fish has invaded the water system of Kashmir. “What will be the fate of our native fishes? In certain places like Bhopal, it has been banned as it thrives on other small fishes. It poses a threat to other species and we have not yet come across this type of species here,” she added.
The LCMA has now collaborated with the Department of Fisheries and Fisheries division of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) to look for any other Alligator Gar fish in the lake, informed the scientist.
“We will launch a massive hunt to ascertain whether it is just one fish, is it accidental or somebody has played mischief? There are a lot of questions, especially from the ecology and biodiversity point of view,” Peer said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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