Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, today reaffirmed its commitment towards saving the Mighty Mahseer by unveiling a documentary and a booklet spreading awareness towards Mahseer conservation. The documentary video titled – Mahseer – Saving the Mighty Fish highlights the plight of this endangered species and showcases Tata Power’s efforts towards saving it and further breeding the Mahseer. As a part of their ‘Invisible Goodness’ theme, Tata Power had launched ‘Act for Mahseer’ – largest and the most comprehensive campaign on Mahseer conservation. The ‘Act for Mahseer’ initiative encourages people to ‘Pledge’ to save the endangered species.
Till date 674 people have pledged under this initiative. Many of these people have identified the activities which they will undertake towards the cause of Mahseer conservation and are acting towards it. These activities include identifying a habitat that is conducive to Mahseer breeding in various city/state; recommending these destinations by sharing this information with others; undertaking and encouraging others to take simple steps like not polluting any water body and ideating on fund-raising initiatives in association with Tata Power.
Through a reward and recognition programme, Tata Power confers the title of ‘Fish’s Knight’ to individuals who will help in sensitising citizens on ‘saving the Mahseer’. These Knights are further encouraged through various forms of recognition across platforms. The best Knights may also win a trip to a location where Mahseer conservation is being undertaken. The most active Knights will be privileged to speak as Company representatives at various forums like awareness sessions with Club Enerji kids, employee kid’s camp or as an introductory speaker at important Company gatherings.
Commenting on the launch of the documentary and booklet Mr. Ashok Sethi, COO and ED, Tata Power stated, “For over 4 decades, Tata Power has undertaken numerous efforts to conserve the Mahseer species which is still classified as an endangered species undergoing slow extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Through our initiative, i.e. the Act for Mahseer, the Company would like to appeal to all the stakeholders to play a part in the conservation of ‘the tiger of the water’. Our commitment towards the cause has been reinforced with its inclusion in Tata Power’s centenary year initiatives. Our efforts at nation building go beyond lighting up lives and includes caring for the community as well as flora and fauna near our areas of operations. Through this initiative, the Company has fuelled the movement towards preserving nature and its ecosystems for a sustainable tomorrow. I, once again, take this opportunity to appeal to our employees, customers and public at large to participate wholeheartedly and make this movement a huge success.”
Mr. Vivek Vishwasrao, Chief – Biodiversity, Tata Power, further commented, “Tata Power’s mission ‘Act for Mahseer’ aims to sensitise people towards the conservation of the mighty Mahseer. Channelling the movement through this documentary, the Company would like to spread a greater awareness on the importance of Mahseer as well as the environmental and biodiversity issues which could impact our planet adversely. Tata Power undertook the Mahseer conservation initiative in 1975 and set up a breeding centre in Lonavala as part of its eco-restoration and eco-development project for the lakes. Till date, the Company has produced & distributed in various water bodies, seeds in excess of 10 million of Mahseer all over India and internationally.”
The Mahseer breeding programme has entered its 42nd year and is the most successful Mahseer breeding facility in India. Tata Power has developed methods of breeding of two valid endangered species of Mahseer out of six reported by stripping and artificial fertilisation.Tata Power has also established standard techniques of breeding the Mahseer species after in-depth research in breeding several lakhs of fingerlings. Today, the hatchery breeds around 2.5 to 3 lakhs fries every year and releases them back into the lake.
As part of Tata Power’s eco-restoration and eco-development programme, Pisciculture was undertaken in 1970 for ecological improvement of the lakes, for food and sport and for breeding, conserving and rehabilitating the endangered fish species, Mahseer and Indian Trout. The conservation of the endangered Mahseer by Tata Power at Lonavala includes two out of six valid species, of which one is the world famous Golden Mahseer from the Himalayan region. This outstanding initiative has received national recognition. This is one of the biggest conservation efforts in India.
The survival of the magnificent Mahseer, one of the 20 mega fishes of the world is important, for with its success we will have taken one more step towards preserving our eco-system. Tata Power has taken up the conservancy programme of the Mahseer in right earnest. The Company has also carried out cage culture and ranching programmes successfully and demonstrated the use of such research programmes for replication all over the country. Around 300 Fishery Scientists have also been trained to date to continue conservation efforts.