Kerala government bans fishing for Puntius denisonii

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The government of Kerala in India has banned fishing for the endangered barb Puntius denisonii.

As reported by Practical Fishkeeping last month, new research by teams of scientists from India had suggested that the species was being over-exploited for the aquarium trade, potentially placing it at risk of extinction.

According to a report from The Hindu, India's leading broadsheet newspaper, the government has now introduced a series of conservation measures to help protect the species, including a ban on fishing for the species during its breeding season.

The report says that fishermen are now no longer allowed to fish for denisonii in June, July and October.

They've also banned the use of gill and cast nets for catching the species, as these reportedly kill up to 75% of the fish caught.

It says that only seine nets will be allowed, and fishermen must obtain a licence to fish for the species from the district fishery office.

It has also introduced a size limit, and is not allowing exports of fish below 10cm/4" - train stations and airports shipping the fish have been asked to check that they are properly certified, and customs authorities have been alerted.

It says most of the wild fish were exported from India to Singapore, Malaysia, the USA and the UK.

The species is currently the focus of a conservation project which is investigating the potential of using it as the basis of a sustainable fishery, along the lines of Brazil's Project Piaba initiative. For more details see: 'Buy a fish, save a tree' project may work with Puntius denisonii

There is an in-depth analysis of the exploitation of the species in the January issue of Practical Fishkeeping, which is on sale now.