Famous live ornamental fish exporter tried to export an endemic fish species which was recently discovered in Sri Lanka.These species were identified by Mr. Hiranya Sudasinghe (University of Peradeniya). The destination of shipment was South Africa.
Puntius titteya(Cherry Barb) was found in one bag of fish. Puntius titteya is restricted to export under Fisheries & Aquatic resources act No 2 of 1996.The fish bag was immediately detained by the BCNP Customs officials and handed over the fish bag to the NARA for further clarification. As per the NARA report following fish species were found in the bag.
- Schisturanotostigma – Banded Mountain loach
- Schisturascripta – Scripted Mountain loach (Recently discovered species)
- Schisturamadavai – Madava’s Mountain loach (Recently discovered species)
- Puntius titteya – Cherry Barb
Only Schistura notostigma is declared and other two species was not declared by the exporter. This may be attempt to export new genus to foreign countries. BCNP officers are conducting further investigations regarding this case.
Special thanks to Mr. Samantha Gunasekara – Former Deputy Director of Customs, environmentalist for providing guidelines for species identification.