In what is being termed as the first of its kind, an octopus species was apparently spotted in the estuarine zone of Narmada river.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, no such sightings have previously been observed in inland waters along the Indian coastline.
Octopuses generally inhabit coastal sea waters, but are rarely found in estuarine brackish waters. According to the report published in HT, 17 specimens of the Cistopus indicus, also known as the old woman octopus were spotted by the scientists of the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) on December 16, 35 km off the Gulf of Khambat as a part of their routine survey. These specimens are about the size of a human arm.
The scientists revealed their findings on Friday, January 4, 2019.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Dr Dibakar Bhakta, scientist, CIFRI Vadodra, said:
“According to data collated by us since 1988, in India, octopuses are caught mainly as by-catch in trawl nets used for shrimp trawling, shore seines, boat seines, hooks, lines and stake nets, but they have never been caught within brackish estuarine water bodies.”
According to scientists, inflow of high tide water, or environmental disturbances may have caused this alteration in their habitat.
Apparently, it is difficult for the species to survive in estuarian waters and therefore more research is being carried out in this regard.
Original article published in HT.