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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Glare on ways to catch fish

Jalpaiguri, Dec. 19: Fisheries officials today said banned methods were being used to catch fish as a quick way to make money during the winter when the rivers in the Dooars flowed lower.

Yesterday, dead fish were found floating in the Teesta adjacent to Jubilee Park here with experts suggesting that water contaminated with pesticides had led to the incident.

Today, the deputy director of the fisheries department in Siliguri, Timir Baran Mondal, collected more samples and did checks on the pH (index to measure the alkalinity and acidity) levels and the dissolved oxygen content of the water at the spot where the fish had died yesterday. Today, too, a few dead fish floated up in the Teesta.

“We have seen that some people in the Dooars use explosives, electricity and pesticides to kill the fish. The waters of the river flow low and slow during the winter and the fog prevents the oxygenation of the water making the fish sluggish. The illegal methods of fishing are punishable under Section 5 of the West Bengal Inland Fisheries and entails an imprisonment up to six months and a fine up to Rs 2,000,” said Mondal.

According to the water tests conducted today, the pH level of the Teesta at Jubilee Park was 6.2 (normal 7) and dissolved oxygen 3.9 milligrams per litre (normal 6mg/litre).