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| Last Updated:: 24/02/2022

State Fish: Pearl spot


State fish - Pearlspot (Etroplus suratensis)


The state fish is the Pearl spot, locally known as Karimeen in the family Cichlidae. It's scientific name is Etroplus suratensis. It is an indigenous fish extensively found along the east and south-west coasts of Peninsular India. It dwells fresh and brackish water habitats, found throughout Kerala especially in Backwaters around Alleppey, and in western flowing rivers in Karnataka, and backwaters of Andhra Pradesh. It attains an average length of 22 cm and weighing about 250 g. Its body is short, oval in shape and strongly compressed. Eyes large, mouth small. Jaws equal. Caudal fin slightly emarginate. Scales ctenoid. Light green coloured with eight transverse bands; the first over the occiput, the last across the base of the caudal, the other six intermediate. Most of the scales above lateral line have a central white pearly spot; some irregular black spots over the abdomen. Dorsal, ventral, anal and caudal of a dark leaden colour; the pectoral yellowish, with a jet - black base. Matchless taste of the flesh of Pearl spot makes it a favorite item among the food lovers all over the world. This fish is fairly expensive and is available throughout the year. Kerala produces 2000 tonnes of Karimeen annually, but it is insufficient to meet the growing demands for Kerala Karimeen in our country. Karimeen delicacies also tops the list of Kerala cuisines. The hot and spicy ''Karimeen Pollichathu'' (fried-pearl spot) is the most favourite among both domestic and foreign tourists. Pearl spot is prone to many diseases mainly caused by wide fluctuations in environmental parameters. The most common disease causing agents are bacteria including Pseudomonas, Alcaligenes, Flavobacteria, Moraxella, Vibrio and gram-positive Micrococci and Bacillus spp. To create awareness about its commercial potential and promote its production, the state decided to observe 2010-11 as 'The Year of Karimeen'.