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Catfish Native to Amazon Found in Varanasi, Scientists Term it Dangerous for Ganges' Ecology

Suckermouth Ctafish found in Varanasi's Ganges.
(Credit: Twitter/@kerketta_punam)

Suckermouth Ctafish found in Varanasi's Ganges. (Credit: Twitter/@kerketta_punam)

A team of Ganga guards, who were on a mission for the protection and rescue of dolphins, found the fish from the river Ganga.

A species of catfish native to the Amazon River in South America has now been found in the River Ganges in Varanasi.

The discovery of the Suckermouth Catfish has gotten zoologists at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) extremely worried. As per the report, the fish is considered to be extremely dangerous for the ecology of the river.

A team of Ganga guards, who were on a mission for the protection and rescue of dolphins, found the fish from the river Ganga.

Ganga sentinel Darshan Nishad, who works for the conservation of aquatic life associated with the Indian Wildlife Institute and the Namami Ganga project, said he found the strange fish for the second time in the river. These carnivorous fish neither have food quality nor have any medicinal properties.

A Live Hindustan report mentioned that the fish was caught in the nets on September 24 near the Ramna village, south of Kashi.

BHU's zoologist Prof. Bechanlal informed that the zoological name of the fish is Hypostomus plecostomus and it is known as pleco elsewhere in the world.

According to the professor, while native fish require specific conditions for breeding, the suckermouth catfish can breed in water under any circumstances and anywhere, making it a threat to the balance of the ecosystem.

This is not the first time that a species of catfish native to the Amazon basin was discovered in India. Back in August, a strange looking fish was discovered in Narsimhulugudem village, Telangana by fishermen.

According to a report in Telangana Today, Dr Joe K Kizhakudan, a Principal Scientist at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, spoke to the publication and said it is the Amazon Sailfin Catfish which is often confused with the Suckermouth Catfish. The species is native to the Amazon River Basin in Brazil and Peru.


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