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19th April 2022 (6 Topics)

New shrimp species discovered off Lakshadweep


Scientists from the ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), focused on documentation of aquatic genetic resources with special attention on fish and shell fish resources, have discovered a new species of shrimp.


About the new species:

  • It is named Actinimenes koyas.
  • The species was collected at a depth of 1.0–2.0 m from the coral atoll of Agatti Island, which is part of the Lakshadweep group of islands.
  • This new species has been named ‘Koyas’ to honour the local community on the Lakshadweep islands.
  • Koyas form an important ethnic community on the islands, who have made a significant contribution to the development and preservation of the heritage of the society.

About Agatti Island:

  • The Agatti Island is at a distance of 459 km (248 nautical miles) from Kochi and is located the west of Kavaratti Island.
  • Agatti has one of the most beautiful lagoons in Lakshadweep.
  • In Agatti coral growths and multicoloured coral fishes abound in its lagoons.
  • Fishing is the most important industry of Agatti which is perhaps the only island besides Minicoy getting surplus fish.
  • Next to Fishing, Coir and Copra are the main industries.
  • The airport is built on this island.
  • Agatti is the virtual gateway to the islands.

About National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources:

  • ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBFGR) was established in December 1983 in a rented premises at Allahabad under the aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research to undertake research related to the conservation of fish germplasm resources of the country.
  • The Bureau’s permanent infrastructure was developed at Lucknow, U.P in 1999.
  • Vision: The Institute's vision is assessment and conservation of fish genetic resources for intellectual property protection, sustainable utilization and posterity.
  • Mandate: The mandate of the Institute includes collection, classification and cataloguing of fish genetic resources of the country, maintenance and preservation of fish genetic material for conservation of endangered fish species and evaluation and valuation of indigenous and exotic fish species. 
  • The Institute has taken up capacity building programmes for the sustainable utilisation of the native germplasm for livelihood upliftment of the local people.
  • NBFGR is also attempting to document the biodiversity of shallow water organisms in the waters off different Lakshadweep islands.
  • NBFGR has been conducting many exploratory surveys off the Lakshadweep islands with special focus on fish and shrimp species.
  • The studies have revealed great diversity of symbiotic communities, which mostly comprise colourful and undescribed shrimp species.
  • Recently, NBFGR scientists had discovered new shrimp species - Periclimenella agattii (2019) named after the Agatti Island and Arabianensis (2020) named after the Arabian Sea.

About Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
  • Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture.
  • The ICAR has its headquarters at New Delhi. 
  • The Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. 
  • It is engaged in cutting edge areas of science and technology development and its scientists are internationally acknowledged in their fields.

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