Warning sign among scientists and officials after crocodile garfish was found in Dal Lake

The discovery of a carnivorous alligator garfish in Kashmir’s famous Dal Lake has raised alarm bells among scientists and authorities as a major threat to native fish species.

The ray-finned euryhaline fish with a crocodile-like mouth was caught during a dewatering operation in the famous lake.

“It is an alligator garfish commonly found in North America and parts of India such as Bhopal upper lake and Kerala backwaters. Being a predatory fish and a carnivore, it is a threat to the native species of Dal Lake.

Pir said it is a matter of concern how this fish has invaded the water system of Kashmir. “What will happen to our native fishes? It has been banned in some places like Bhopal as it thrives on other small fish. It is a threat to other species and we haven’t seen this type of species here yet.”

The scientist informed that the LCMA has now teamed up with the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) and the Department of Fisheries to find another alligator gar fish in the lake.

“We will launch a massive hunt to find out whether it is just a fish, is it accidental or has someone played a prank? There are a lot of questions, especially from the point of view of ecology and biodiversity,” Peer said.