Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mahseer (National Fish of Pakistan)

Masheer is the National Fish of Pakistan.The word Masheer is made up of two local words: Maha means "big" and sher means "lion".They are commercially important game fish, as well as highly esteemed food fish.

Mahseer is the common name used for the genera Tor, Neolissochilus, and Naziritor in the family Cyprinidae (carps). Mahseer fetch high market price, and are potential candidate species for aquaculture. Several of the larger species have suffered severe declines, and are now considered threatened due to pollution, habitat loss and overfishing.

Mahseers inhabit both rivers and lakes, ascending to rapid streams with rocky bottoms for breeding. Masheer are omnivorous, eating not only algae, crustaceans, insects, frogs, and other fish, but also fruits that fall from trees overhead.

The first species from this group were scientifically described by Francis Buchanan-Hamilton in 1822, and first mentioned as an angling challenge by the Oriental Sporting Magazine in 1833.In addition to being caught for sport, mahseer are also part of commercial fishing and ornamental or aquarium fish.

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