Gambusia fish released in water bodies to fight dengue, malaria

Gambusia fish released in water bodies to fight dengue, malaria

Photo for representational purpose only

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29

The Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department, UT, today released seedlings of Gambusia fish (mosquito-killer fish) in various water bodies of the city to prevent malaria and dengue and maintain ecological balance.

Three water bodies

  • The Fisheries Department released seedlings of Gambusia fish at Butterfly Park, Sector 26; Botanical Garden, Dhanas; and Rose Garden, Sector 16. The Gambusia fish will be released in other water points soon.

The step was initiated in coordination with the Forest Department to fight against mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue, which are common in the ongoing season when mosquitoes breed rapidly causing the spread of these diseases.

The department released seedlings at Butterfly Park, Sector 26; Botanical Garden, Dhanas; and Rose Garden, Sector 16. The Gambusia fish would be released in other water points soon.

Dr Abdul Qayum, Deputy Conservator Forest, and Tejdeep Singh Saini, Director, Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, were present on the occasion.

“Dr Qayum appreciated the efforts of the Animal Husbandry Department for playing an active role in conservation of the ecology of the Sukhna wetland. The problem of mosquitoes breeding in clear water, especially aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry dengue virus, can be controlled in an ecological manner through Gambusia fish,” he said.

Saini said the Gambusia fish released in the water bodies was being produced at Fish Seed Farm at the regulator end of Sukhna Lake functioning under the Fisheries Department.

The department breeds this fish in March and then releases it up to December as per the requirement. He said in the Northern region, Government Fish Seed Farm, Chandigarh, at the regulatory end, Sukhna Lake, was the only farm that breeds the rare fish and supplies to several agencies free of cost for stocking in stagnant water bodies to prevent mosquito breeding.

Dr Kanwarjit Singh, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, apprised that Gambusia has a voracious appetite. An adult fish can eat up to 150 mosquito larvae in an eight-hour period. This makes them an excellent biological tool for mosquito control because the fish consume the larvae before they have a chance to develop into adult mosquitoes.

He appealed to public to approach the Fish Seed Farm for collecting fish for releasing in stagnant water points, artificial fountains and ponds inside houses to check and control mosquito breeding.

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