Fishing could save rare species

ENVIRONMENTALISTS are trying to save the population of great maraena, a rare salmon-like whitefish, in Štrbské Pleso by catching some of the other species of fish in the lake.

Štrbské Pleso holds some rare fish.Štrbské Pleso holds some rare fish. (Source: SITA)

ENVIRONMENTALISTS are trying to save the population of great maraena, a rare salmon-like whitefish, in Štrbské Pleso by catching some of the other species of fish in the lake.

Štrbské Pleso may be the only lake in the world that contains a pure breed of the fish. It was planted there 80 years ago, and is now under threat from other fish in the lake, Pavol Kráľ of the State Forests of the Tatra National Park told ČTK.

“We organise fishing trips twice a year to create an environment for the whitefish,” Kráľ said. They catch hundreds of roach and perch there.

The next fishing trip is planned for next spring, after the ice has melted. But Kráľ said it is not clear whether this will be enough to save the great maraena. He didn’t say exactly where the population stands right now.

After being planted in the lake decades ago, the great maraena seemed to disappear. For decades it was assumed that the species had become extinct. The great maraena lives deep in the lake and comes to the banks only at times of glaciation.

Experts found traces of the great maraena in Štrbské Pleso as late as 1980s, since when it has grown into the second most populous in the lake.

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