Love Fish? Then Get To ‘KnowYourFish’

Seafood is revered here in the coastal state of Goa. In almost every household in the Konkan state, fish and seafood-based dishes are a regular, if not daily, meal. But in the past decade or so, the population of these delicious creatures has been depleting and certain species among them are at the brink of extinction.

To avoid such an unfortunate fate of the beloved marine life, three young postgraduate alumni of wildlife biology and conservation programme from WCS-India and National Centre for Biological Sciences, launched the website www.knowyourfish.org.in website earlier this week, on April 19. Pooja Rathod (27), Mayuresh Gangal (31) and Chetana Purushottam (27) spent two years compiling the data and information after referring to about 100 publications from three decades and online databases about biological information of fish species on India’s western coast.

Prawns (Did You Know?) – Courtesy DNA

The bottom trawling method employed to catch prawns and tiger prawns, points out Pooja Rathod, is harmful for marine ecology. “Along with prawns, the nets catch large proportion of non target fish, including already threatened ones like certain species of sharks and rays,” explains Rathod. Tonnes of the non-targeted catch die in the process and simply thrown back into the sea as waste. Another side effect is that the ocean floor also gets ‘ploughed’ in the process, causing habitat destruction for many fish.

The website features a calendar that suggests which species to consume in different months so as to spare “them during their breeding season and early stages of life” as well as avoid “collateral damage”.

The myth that the only time you are supposed to stay off seafood is during the monsoon has been busted by this website.

Pooja Rathod explains, “There is no single breeding season for all the species of fish; different fish breed at different times of the year.” – DNA

The website is an initiative that the trio began in order to prompt seafood consumers and hotel and restaurant owners to be responsible about their choice of fish.

Currently the calendar features 25 species from the West coast and the team hopes to update and add more information on the new species regularly.

KnowYourFish, despite being barely a week old, has already got eight restaurants (4 in Mumbai and 4 in Goa) readily committing to display the calendar on their premises to enable customers to make responsible ecological choices.

Visit their website now, to refer to the recommendations for this month.

(Content and quotations for this article was used from an article published by DNA)

Image Credit: KnowYourFish website

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