Thai Magur Fish belongs to the group of Catfishes. It is a group of diverse ray-finned fish. They are named for their highly prominent barbels, which resemble a cat’s whiskers. They range in various sizes and shapes and display a number of behavioral patterns.
Thai Magur is scientifically known as Clarias gariepinus and is a 3-5-foot-long air-breathing fish that can walk on dry land and thrive in mud due to their artificial respiratory system (ARS). Farming of the Thai Magur species has been prohibited since the year 2000 due to its invasive influence on local fish kinds.
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Why has Thai Magur Farming been Prohibited in India?
Farming of a fish called Thai Magur In India was prohibited by the National Green Tribunal in 2000. This was mostly due to the hazard caused by the carnivorous fish to other fishes in an aquatic habitat. As per research, the Thai Magur is responsible for 70 per cent of the reduction in India’s native fish species, which negatively affects the aquatic ecosystem. Moreover, the fishermen feed them rotting meat mixed with spinach, polluting the water and destroying the ecosystem of the water body.
In many Indian states, such as Maharashtra, fish are grown in unsanitary circumstances, posing health hazards to consumers. As a result, the National Green Tribunal prohibited the growing of Thai Magur because it was posing added risks to people and the environment.
Why is Thai Mangur Still Grown Illegally?
So far, the Uttarakhand State Government has arrested numerous fish farmers till September 2020 for unlawfully farming Thai Magur. The Maharashtra State Government has destroyed more than 32 tonnes of Thai Magur. Despite many restrictions and bans, the species is being produced illegally and sold widely.
Production of Thai Magur continues in many fish markets across India due to its ability to survive in a hostile environment. It has an omnivorous diet, can survive on land, and hides in plants. These traits make farming of the fish species simple, cost-effective, and profitable for farmers. The fish also has a high demand in the local market as it is less expensive than other seafood.
Recently, thousands of tonnes of prohibited catfishes illegally produced in over 125 artificial ponds in rural areas of Thane were seized by the local authorities in Maharashtra.
Thai Magurs grow three to five feet tall and weigh up to three to four kg in just two to three months. The fish may wriggle on dry terrain searching for food or suitable habitat due to their air-breathing capability. It dwells in slow-moving or stagnant waters and can withstand all types of adverse aquaculture conditions.
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Health Effects of Thai Magur Fish
According to studies, consuming Thailand Magur raises the risks of getting cancer. Since it is carcinogenic, doctors suggest avoiding this fish. In addition, Thai Magur carries disease-causing parasites like fish lice or Argulosis. The epizootic outbreak can have a deleterious effect on aquaculture operations.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Thai Magur Fish
Why is Thai Mangur profitable for pisciculture?
Thai Magur as a fish variety grows quickly in size, providing breeders with excellent returns in a short period of time. Thai Magur is a fast-breeding species, making a breeder’s production treble if they move to it. If a local variety grows 300 gm in six months, a Thai Magur grows to almost a kg in the same amount of time.
Where is Thai Magur still found in India?
A fish called Thai Magur in India is banned but still found in Noida city of Uttar Pradesh. The fish is sold illegally because of its commercial value. This invasive species is also found in parts of Odisha, especially the Tangi Choudwar Block of Cuttack.
Is Thai Magur an important topic for UPSC?
Thai Magur UPSC is a vital topic since several cases pertaining to the illegal farming of fish have recently come to light. Pisciculture or commercial breeding of fish is an important technique of high economic relevance. The illegal culture of fishes that are harmful to other local varieties will impact the system as a whole.