An artificial cultivation base for Salmo Trutta Fario, a rare salmon species under the protection of the local government of Tibet, has been established in Yadong County, Xigaze Prefecture of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
The salmon species, transplanted from Europe by the British to the Himalayas in 1866, now only live in a reach of the Yadong River at an altitude of 3,000 meters in China.
With no scales, Salmo Trutta Fario is famous for its delicious taste. The fish grow in the wild to about half to one kilogram, while those artificially cultivated can reach as heavy as two to three kilograms.
As a fish species under local protection, fishing for Salmo Trutta Fario is banned by the local government.
In 1996, research on artificial cultivation of the salmon species began under the direction of scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. And last year Yadong County invested one million yuan (US$120,482) to enlarge the base.
"Salmo Trutta Fario has its own special living and propagation conditions, the water temperature should be between 2 Celsius and 5 Celsius, and the water must be clear and flowing," said Lin Shaonan, farm manager.
"And the hatching period is as long as 120 days because of high altitude, much longer than fish living in the hinterland," said Lin.
According to Lin, the Salmo Trutta Fario mainly feeds on a kind of parasitic creature living on stones in the Yadong river. As the parasite can not live outside its natural habitat imported feed has to be used.
As a move to improve the natural propagation ability of the Salmo Trutta Fario, 400,000 fry from the 1.5 million cultivated this year will be released to the Yadong River, said Lin.
(Xinhua News Agency April 4, 2004)