Adrian Pinder, Director of Research at the Mahseer Trust was recently supported by a FSBI Travel Grant to deliver the opening keynote at the International Mahseer Conference (2-7 December 2018), Paro, Bhutan http://mahseerconference.org/
Hosted by the Fisheries Conservation Foundation (USA), WWF and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan, this conference successfully brought together researchers, resource managers and conservation professionals in a forum which exchanged and developed existing knowledge, and identified knowledge gaps to develop conservation guidelines and research strategies to promote the conservation of mahseer as ‘flagships’ of the ecological integrity of large Asian river systems.
Adrian’s keynote, entitled ‘Mahseers of the world’, was an overview of a paper currently in review, which has revised the genus Tor to 16 valid species.
Adrian presented the processes and research which informed these revisions, along with current knowledge of species distributions and population status that have fed into the recent re-assessment of each species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This set the Bhutanese scene in a regional context and was of considerable relevance to subsequent workshop break-out sessions, which focussed on six specific topics to formulate strategies to educate and inform decision-makers, both in Bhutan and across the mahseer range countries of South and Southeast Asia.
In addition to learning a good deal from the research and experience of international peers, the IMC also facilitated an excellent opportunity for networking, resulting in new collaborations and exciting new research concepts. Conference field trips included a day trip to the National Research Centre for Riverine & Lake Fisheries in Haa and a hike to Tigers Nest monastery, which revealed an insight to the incredible beauty of Bhutan.
Conference proceedings, white papers and a Bhutan Declaration will be published on the conference website http://mahseerconference.org/ and Mahseer Trust website in due course.
Adrian Pinder and Mahseer Trust would like to extend a massive thank you to the FSBI for their generous support!