Monday, January 20, 2020

Part 5: Contact Information and Department Roles

We met with Mr. Kumar Swamy, the Assistant Director of Fisheries (North) at the Department of Fisheries and with Dr. Rajanna K.B, an Assistant Professor at Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University (KVAFSU) at FRIC Hebbal. They were really helpful, and helped us better understand the roles their respective. The contact information and department roles of both the departments are given below.

The Department of Fisheries
1st floor, Matsyadarshini, Cubbon Park Road, Near Vidhana Soudha, KR Circle, Bengaluru 560001
Phone: 080-2235-5129

  • In charge of giving fishing rights by lease/ tender-cum-auction
  • Produces and supplies quality fish seed for aquaculture
  • Conducts training programs for fishermen
  • Provides subsidies for purchase of fish seeds, fish marketing equipment,
  • Supplies fisheries requisite kits
  • Engaged with the Fishermen Cooperative Society Has a distress relief fund for fishermen

For more information on their roles please refer here

Fisheries Research and Information Center (FRIC)
There are two centers in Bangalore, one in Hebbal and the other in Hesaraghatta, the role of the centers and contact information of both the centers are given below.

(1) FRIC Hebbal 
Address: 10th Cross, Mayura Street, Papanna Layout, Hebbal Outer Ring Road, Bangalore 560094
Phone: 080-2351-6451

(2) FRIC Hesaraghatta 
Address: 10th Cross, Mayura Street, Papanna Layout, Hebbal Outer Ring Road, Bangalore 560094
Phone: 080-2846-6244

  • Provide soil and water testing services
  • When approached by lake custodian, FRIC conducts study on fish kill
  • Carryout research on genetics, breeding, nutrition, health, rearing practices and marking of inland fish/prawn species

For more information on their roles please refer here.

Part 4: What is the process of applying for a fishing license?

The fishing lease for inland water bodies falls under the Jurisdiction of Department of Fisheries or the Grama Panchayat.

Jurisdiction of Department of Fisheries entails
a. All government owned water resources having achcut area more than 40 ha
b. All government owned water resources having achcut area up to 40 ha are in the jurisdiction of local bodies apart from the Grama Panchayats

Jurisdiction of Grama Panchayat entails
c. All water resources having achcut area up to 40 ha

*Achcut area refers to the command area for the fishermen to fish in the water body. 

Water resources are leased for a period of 5 years, first preference is given to Fisheries Cooperative Societies (FCS). Water resources that are not leased to FCS are disposed through tender-cum auction for a period of 5 years. The highest amount mentioned among the tender forms or during auction shall get the lease. To learn more about the leasing process please click here

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Part 3: Who to approach when you see fish kill?

Fish kills can happen due to various reasons, one major cause of fish kill is variation in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels. DO levels can change when raw sewage is discharged into the lake or due to temperature changes. When fish kill is seen at a lake, the lake custodian should be the first point of contact, who will then bring it up to the Department of Fisheries. BBMP is the lake custodian at most lakes. BBMP can be contacted through phone on 080-22660000 or through email at This is a list of contacts at the Lake Department found on the BBMP website, the english translation of the same list can be found here.

Some lake groups have signed an MoU with BBMP and are the primary lake custodian. More information on which lake groups have signed an MoU can be found here, ( 

Refer to our previous blog here, on how to respond to bird kills at a lake.

Part 2: Where can fish seeds be procured from?

Nomenclature of fish seed
Hatchling → Spawn → Fry → Fingerling
Fish seeds can be procured from government hatcheries, the list of hatcheries in Karnataka can be found here. They can also be procured from private hatcheries. Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are two of the largest fish producing states, often fingerlings are procured from these states and brought to Bangalore.

Fish farms near Bangalore
Name of the Farm
Phone Number
Hessarghatt Fish seed Production & Rearing CentreAsst,Director of Fisheries(G.II) Hessarghatta Fish Seed Production Centre, Bangalore North Taluk Bangalore9886932801
ThippaganahalliFish seed Production & Rearing CentreAsst,Director of Fisheries(G.II) Thippaganahalli Fish Seed Production Centre, Thippaganahalli, Gowribidanuru Taluk Chikkabalapura Dist9972189781

Part 1: Common Fish Found in Bangalore Lakes

Karnataka is known to have the richest fish diversity in the country, there are about 240 species of fish found in Karnataka. A detailed list of all fish found in Karnataka can be found here and a list of fish found in Bangalore lakes can be found here (from line 725). Some of the most common fish found in Bangalore lakes are Rohu, Mrigal, Tilapia and Catla. Another common fish found is the African Catfish, an invasive species from Africa and the Middle East that has endangered many native species. 

Rohu is a common freshwater fish that belongs to the carp family. It is a native species of India and is found all over South Asia. The usual harvestable size of rohu is 1-1.5kg and is achieved within 12-18 months. This type of fish feeds from the middle level of the water. It is an extremely popular carp species as it is highly consumed. As it is the preferred fish for consumption it has made its way to become the most important cultivated fish in India. The market price for Rohu varies between Rs.120 to Rs.160 per kg.
Source: Walk Through India

Mrigal also known as Bngari in Kannada, is another important native carp fish species found in India. Like the Rohu, Mrigal is also widely aquafarmed. This is due to its rapid growth rate. Mrigal can weigh upto 2kgs and grow upto 60 cm within two years.  It mostly dwells at the bottom of the water. The Cauvery river is one of the few places the Mrigal can be found in the wild. The market price for this fish ranges between Rs.150- Rs.200 per kg.
Source: Apni Kheti

Tilapia is also known as Jilebi in Kannada. It is native to Africa and the Middle East was illegally introduced in India. It is highly adaptable to a wide range of conditions and is known for its prolific breeding. However, it is an important species for aquaculture as there is high demand for this species. Tilapia can live longer than 10 years and can reach a weight of 5 kgs. It is sold for approximately Rs 140-160.    
Source: Walk Through India

Catla is also known as Dodda Gende in Kannada is another important carp species in the Indian peninsula. It is mainly found in rivers and lakes in Northern India. It lives in the upper reaches of the water. The price ranges from Rs 150-200per kg.
Source: Walk Through India


Tilapia farming 
Common freshwater species

Database on freshwater fishes of Karnataka

Fish from Bangalore and Kolar Districts, Karnataka

Images of fish species

Monday, January 6, 2020

Biome Environmental Trust at the World Water Week 2019

The World Water Week is the biggest conference on water organised annually by SIWI.
The theme of World Water Week 2019 was Water for Society: Including All, seeking to draw attention to the fact that humanity’s major challenges are interlinked and can only be solved through broad solutions. The escalating water crisis has increased focus on the importance of good water governance, to make sure that there is enough clean water for the many competing needs. 

The Freshwater Biodiversity Seminar was a Roundtable / World Cafe Discussion on harnessing unconventional knowledge and actors.

Session abstract: What role can communities and private citizens play in strengthening conservation and development efforts at all levels of governance? What are the opportunities, benefits and challenges of integrating the knowledge they generate into national and international programs? The session featured case study presentations on citizen involvement in conservation.

The conference program mentions Shubha Ramachandran's presentation on page 27 (page 117 on the program schedule).

Biome presented the role that grasscutters, fishermen and well-diggers play in water conservation in an urban context. Here is the presentation.

What BIOME Environmental Trust does

TEDx: Million Wells for Bengaluru