As part of the government's mosquito control efforts to prevent the spread of epidemic diseases, the Fisheries Department has started a larvivorous fish seed hatchery at Thevally in the city. From the hatchery six species of fish that feed on mosquito larvae can be purchased for Re.1 each.

Deputy Director of the department, K.G. Prasanna Kumar said that this method of mosquito eradication could contribute towards bringing down the use of harmful pesticides. They could be introduced into water bodies and wells where mosquitoes breed.

The fish species are Aplocheilus panchax, locally called Manathukanni; Gambusia, Guppi, Plati, Molie and Barbus conchonius, locally called Paral. All are freshwater fishes. They thrive in any climatic conditions and also in both deep and shallow water bodies.

Mr. Prasanna Kumar said the species could also thrive even in polluted water bodies. He wanted this environment-friendly mosquito eradication method to be introduced wherever possible. The programme has been started with support from the Health Department and the local bodies. The hatchery now has a stock of one lakh such fish.

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