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Golden Mahseer: Freshwater Species of the Week


freshwater species of the weekFreshwater Hero Zeb Hogan shot the mesmerizing video above of golden mahseer (Tor putitora) in northern India. The fish was once widely distributed across south and southeast Asia, but is now listed as endangered by IUCN.

According to IUCN, the species has faced steep decline from overfishing and loss of habitat. Proposed dams in the Himalayan region may further block their migration and limit their breeding capabilities.

IUCN estimates the golden mahseer has lost 50% of its historic numbers, and may decline further to 80% if those dams are finished. The agency has called for conservation efforts.

According to Hogan, this calming video was taken in a”temple pool” on the Ramganga River in India, in April 2010.

Hogan told Water Currents via email, “My understanding is that, often, harvest is not allowed in river pools next to temples.  So these pools have more fish, and larger fish, than you find in other stretches of the river.”

Meanwhile, we’re going to watch the video again, because it relaxes us…


Brian Clark Howard is an Environment Writer and Editor at National Geographic News. He previously served as an editor for TheDailyGreen.com and E/The Environmental Magazine, and has written for TheAtlantic.com, FastCompany.com, PopularMechanics.com, Yahoo!, MSN, Miller-McCune and elsewhere. He is the co-author of six books, including Geothermal HVACGreen Lighting and Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.


  1. mieyahmad
    January 29, 2014, 2:01 pm

    In Malaysia we got Malaysian Red Mahseer (Tor Tambroides) or they call it kelah merah.

    For more information, please visit http://www.ikankelah.com


  2. Namgay Dorji
    April 3, 2013, 4:07 am

    National Centre for Aquaculture (NCA) in Bhutan is also making efforts to conserve the Golden Mahaseer. The NCA has been domesticating the fish since 1995 and serious efforts were initiated in mid 2012 to develop a technique to artificially breed it. By February, 2013, the NCA was able to hatch some fry. For more information, please visit http://www.nca.gov.bt.