GUWAHATI: State Forest Department seized 500 rare fish valued at Rs 4.5 crore in the international market , officials stated on Friday.
This is the biggest Exotic fish seizures in the country post-independence.
It was seized from the from Dibrugarh airport in upper Assam when the aquatic animals were being smuggled to Kolkata from where it was likely to sent foreign Asian countries.
Divisional Forest Officer BV Sandeep told Borok Times, ” In a response to a tip-off, forest officials confiscated the shipment of the locally known endangered “Cheng garka” fish and detained the driver of the car that had transported it to the airport.”
The fish referred to as “Channa Barca” are protected under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
This unique species of snakehead fish is exclusive to Bangladesh and northeast’s upper Brahmaputra river basin.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the fish was classified as severely endangered in 2014 .
The forest official said that the fish would be released again in the river.
” The fishes would be disposed again to its natural habitats from where they were brought. “ Officials stated to Borok Times.
The fishes were brought from Tinsukia district of upper Assam which is a nearby district of Dibrugarh.
Three more persons were brought for interrogation today. More persons likely to be arrested from Guwahati and Kolkata as the investigation continues and going ahead on its advance steps. A big syndicate on illegal fish businesses are supposed to be involved with it , Forest Department Officials stated.
These fish were brought from Dibru-Saikhowa Park at Guijan in Tinsukia which make the incident more serious natured as more Aquatic-animals, flora and fauna are found in the Park surrounding Brahmaputra river , islands and forests including elephants, wild horse and ducks .
On the other hand Arunachal Pradesh Government has issued a notice to its Forest Department to remain on high alert ahead of Christmas to protect vulnerable animals of the state .
Moreover, taking to tweeter , Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma wrote , ” In a successful anti- smuggling operation carried out by @ Assam Forest 500 Channa Barca fishes have been seized at Dibrugarh airport. ”