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Gujarat: In a first, octopus spotted in Narmada river by Badri Chatterjee January 10,2019   |  Source: Hindustan Times

In a first along the Indian coastline, an octopus species was recently spotted in the estuarine zone of Narmada river, said scientists. Marine biologists confirmed that there were no previous reports of octopuses being spotted in inland waters along the Indian coastline. Octopus is a marine species that is spotted up to the depth of 50m and is known to inhabit coastal sea waters. It is rarely observed in the estuarine brackish waters.

Seventeen specimens of the Cistopus indicus, commonly known as the old woman octopus, were identified by scientists from the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) Vadodra, Gujarat, under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The octopuses were spotted during CIFRI’s routine survey as a part of a fish catch at Bhadbhut village, 35kms off the Gulf of Khambhat on December 16. CIFRI scientists declared their findings on Friday. “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,” said Dr Dibakar Bhakta, scientist, CIFRI Vadodra.

The 17 specimens, which are 190-320mm in length, are about the size of a

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