Gyeonggi Province releases 7,000 slender catfish fry in valleys such as Gapyeong Stream as part of conservation efforts

Createdd 2021-07-14 Hit 6

Contents

○ Gyeonggi Province released 3,000 slender catfish fry, a protected provincial species, into Gapyeong Stream in Gapyeong County on July 14
– 4,000 more young slender catfish will be released in Baegun Valley this August in conjunction with the province’s Clean Valley restoration project
– Gyeonggi Province will continue to release the protected fish until 2025, and work on registering slender catfish as a species officially designated for release

As part of its fish resource conservation efforts, Gyeonggi Province will release 7,000 slender catfish, a species of clearwater fish, at five locations including Gapyeong Stream in Gapyeong County.

Following the release of 3,000 slender catfish fry in Gapyeong Stream on July 14, the Gyeonggi Provincial Maritime and Fisheries Research Institute will release 4,000 more slender catfish fry next month in five other valleys including Baegun Valley in Pocheon City.

The slender catfish fry released on July 14 were hatched by the institute from 10,000 fertilized eggs provided by 10 female slender catfish between May and June. The institute placed the eggs in a cylindrical incubator, utilized artificial seed production equipment, circulated water and moved the eggs regularly to ensure high oxygen and fluidity levels.

In natural conditions, the survival rate of slender catfish eggs is less than 10%. However, the cylindrical incubator boosts the survival rate up to 70%; the hatch rate is as high as 80%. The institute also explained that young slender catfish grown in a cylindrical incubator develop better swimming skills and have a higher survival rate in a natural environment than those grown in conventional farming tanks. This is attributed to the superior water distribution method of the cylindrical incubator.

Following the initial release, slender catfish fry will also be released in valleys and streams that are currently part of the Clean Valley restoration project – including Baegun Valley in Pocheon City, Jurongni Valley in Yeoju City, and Yongso Valley in Gapyeong County – as well as the existing slender catfish habitats of Sasana Valley and Gapyeong Stream in Yangpyeong County.

With the demonstrative designation of slender catfish as a species for release, Gyeonggi Province will continue this release project for the next five years. If slender catfish are officially designated as a species for release in 2025, eggs raised by private operators could also be released into nature, which is expected to increase income for fish farmers and further restore natural resources.

Lee Sang-wu, Director of the Gyeonggi Provincial Maritime and Fisheries Research Institute, said, “We have once again confirmed the stable production potential of a protected native species of Gyeonggi Province by increasing the hatch and survival rates using the cylindrical incubator. We will continue to work on production and research to increase the population of native species through steady farming.”

Slender catfish – known as sanmegi or ggalttakmegi in Korean – is an indigenous species that has a high conservation value. Slender catfish live in clean water found in the upper stream areas of rivers where riverbeds are covered in gravel. Possessing a small dorsal fin and a body length of 15 to 25 centimeters, this species is longer and slimmer than general catfish. They are usually found in Gapyeong Stream, Baekdun Stream, and Seungan Stream in Gapyeong County.

In 2012, the Gyeonggi Provincial Government designated slender catfish as a protected species of the province. In 2015, the Gyeonggi Provincial Maritime and Fisheries Research Institute and Gapyeong County also signed an MOU on mutual cooperation for the conservation of slender catfish, and have continued research on slender catfish farming and the development of slender catfish feed.