Malpe: Large numbers of 'Kargil fish' are falling into the nets of local fishermen here. The original name of this fish variety is Redtoothed triggerfish (Scientific name - Odonus niger). It was given the name Kargil fish as it was first caught by fishermen in coastal Karnataka during the 1999 Kargil conflict. The fish is not liked by almost everybody in the fisheries industry because of its lower edibility, colour and extreme odour. When kept along with other fishes, they ruin the colour and taste of the other fishes.
Presently, at Malpe port, these fishes are selling for Rs 15 per kilogram.
For the past few days, fishing boats are bringing in about 10 to 40 tonnes catch of these fishes. Some boats have even brought a catch of up to 70 tonnes.
About a week ago there were high sea winds blowing in the Arabian Sea causing most of these fishes to move northwards from their usual areas in the Lakshadweep Sea.
These fishes mostly live about 30 to 40 metres deep in the sea, under coral reefs found near the coast off Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Lakshadweep and Karnataka.
Dr Shivakumar an Assistant Professor of Oceanography at Karwar states that the main food of this Kargil fish and other fishes are plankton. However, as the number of other fish varieties are declining the Kargil fish is taking over their space.