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Gujarat gets a State Fish

Context:

The black-spotted croaker, or the Ghol fish — considered a fisherman’s lottery — was declared the state fish of Gujarat.

Relevance:

GS III: Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Ghol Fish
  2. Ghol’s Designation in Gujarat: Economic Value and Conservation Significance

Ghol Fish:

  • The Ghol fish is a rare and expensive marine species.
  • Found in the Indo-Pacific region, stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Pacific Ocean.
Nutrient-Rich Profile:
  • Loaded with nutrients, including iodine, omega-3, DHA, EPA, iron, taurine, magnesium, fluoride, and selenium.
Characteristics:
  • Length: Approximately one-and-a-half meters.
  • Price Variation: The longer the Ghol fish, the higher its price, reaching up to Rs 5 lakh per unit length.
Distribution:
  • Primarily found in marine areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • Recognizable by its golden-brown color.
Unique Feature – ‘Sea Gold’:
  • The Ghol fish is nicknamed ‘Sea Gold’ due to a pouch in its stomach with potent medicinal properties.
  • This feature holds high value in the overseas market.
Benefits:
  • Nutrient Boost:
    • Rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins for maintaining eyesight.
  • Skin Health:
    • Collagen content prevents wrinkles and maintains skin elasticity.
  • Brain Health:
    • Omega-3 content enhances infant IQ by stimulating brain cell growth.
  • Muscle Toning:
    • Contributes to muscle toning.
  • Versatile Usage:
    • The fish is in demand for its meat and air bladder, the latter being sold separately.
Diverse Applications:
  • Used in beer and wine production.
  • Air bladder utilized in pharmaceuticals.

Ghol’s Designation in Gujarat: Economic Value and Conservation Significance

Reasons for Selection:
  • Economic Value: The Ghol fish was chosen by the Gujarat government due to its economic significance and uniqueness.
  • Conservation Efforts: The declaration serves the dual purpose of recognizing its economic value and incorporating it into conservation initiatives.
Commercial Importance:
  • Global Demand: Although not widely consumed locally due to its expense, the Ghol fish holds immense market value, especially in China and other nations.
  • Culinary Significance: Recognized as a delicacy in many countries, it is sought after for its taste.
  • Medicinal Uses: In some regions, it is utilized for medicinal purposes.
Export Dynamics:
  • Meat Export: The fish’s meat is exported as frozen fillet or whole fish to European and Middle-Eastern countries.
  • Air Bladder Export: The dried air bladder, obtained by cutting it open from the stomach, is exported to China, Hong Kong, and other Asian countries, particularly valued for its medicinal properties.
Gujarat’s Fish Export Statistics:
  • Production (2021-22): Gujarat’s total fish production estimated at 8.74 lakh tonnes, valued at Rs 11,221 crore.
  • Exports (2021-22): Approximately 2.3 lakh tonnes of fish and fish products, valued at Rs 5,233 crore, were exported.

-Source: The Hindu


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