Alburnus tarichi

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Alburnus tarichi
Darekh.gif
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Alburnus
Species: A. tarichi
Binomial name
Alburnus tarichi
(Güldenstädt, 1814)
Synonyms
  • Cyprinus tarichi Güldenstädt, 1814
  • Chalcalburnus tarichi (Güldenstädt, 1814)
  • Leuciscus vanensis Günther, 1868
  • Alburnus timarensis Kuru, 1980[2]

Alburnus tarichi, known as the tarek or pearl mullet or Van fish (Turkish: İnci kefalı/balığı; Kurdish: darex darach; Armenian: տառեխ taṙex), is a species of cyprinid fish, found only in Turkey, where it is the only fish known to inhabit Lake Van. It is endemic to Lake Van basin.[3]

The tarek is the jewel of Lake Van in Turkey. Found nowhere else in the world, this fish thrives in the lake's salty and carbonated waters,[4] which are inhospitable to other forms of freshwater and marine fish. In May and June of each year it travels upstream through the lake's tributaries to lay eggs, flying through the air like salmon. And there lies the problem.

Many locals have become accustomed to the ease of sticking out bags and catching troves of fish as they jump out of the water. They catch so many fish in May–June that they don't have to fish for the rest of the year. And locals prefer to catch the fish during reproduction season, when the females are filled with eggs, which are considered a Erciş delicacy. YYÜ and Doğa Gözcüleri Derneği (www.incikefali.net) have been developing conservation strategy since 1997 (Sari, 2012).

This is also the best recipe for killing off the species. Despite a government ban on fishing during reproduction season, this kind of fishing has become a big business. In the 1960s only 600 tons of the fish were harvested annually; today that figure has jumped to 15,000 tons. The species were put on an Endangered species list in 1994, but upgraded to Near Threatened in 2014.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Freyhof, J. (2014). "Alburnus tarichi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Synonyms of Alburnus tarichi (Güldenstädt, 1814) Fishbase
  3. ^ Sari, 1997
  4. ^ "İnci kefali göç ediyor, Van şenleniyor" (in Turkish). Cumhuriyet Newspaper. 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 

External links[edit]