Puntius denisonii breeding programme announced

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Fisheries scientists from India have announced a programme to breed the threatened barb Puntius denisonii.

The Indian government's Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) told Practical Fishkeeping that it had been working on developing techniques to breed denisonii for several years.

It had now achieved success using two different techniques: one in which aquarists recreated the natural breeding conditions of the species, and another in which hormones were used to artificially trigger spawnings.

Puntius denisonii, which has become the most sought after endemic fish from the Western Ghats area, has been heavily exploited for the aquarium trade and several studies have highlighted its vulnerability.

The project, which sponsored a study at Kerala Agriculture University's College of Fisheries, conducted a stock assessment on Puntius denisonii and developed techniques to breed the species in captivity.

Dr Mercy has a track record in breeding indigenous species from the Western Ghats, with successes recorded in 12 other prioritised species.

Elsewhere, experts in Tamil Nadu have been developing a hormone technique to breed Puntius denisonii artificially.

R Murali from Chennai had been using a hormone technique to breed denisonii for the past couple of years.

MPEDA said that its programme manager, Dr Satish Sahayak, had also recorded spawning details with the species. It hopes to start commercial production shortly.