The origin of the term "Bombay duck" is uncertain. One popular etymology relates to railroads..When the rail links started on the Indian sub-continent, people from the eastern Bengal were made aware of the large availability of the locally prized fish on Indias western coasts and began importing them via the railways. Since the smell of the dried fish was overpowering, its transportation was later consigned to the Mail Train. The mail train — the Bombay Mail or the Bombay Daak — thus reeked of the fish smell and You smell like the Bombay Duck, was a common term in use in the days of the British Raj. In Bombay, the local English speakers then called it so, but it was eventually corrupted into "Bombay duck".
According to local Bangladeshi stories, the term Bombay duck was first coined by Robert Clive, after he tasted a piece during his conquest of Bengal. It is said that he associated the pungent smell with that of the newspapers and mail which would come in to the cantonments from Bombay. The term was later popularized amongst the British public by its appearance in Indian restaurants across the country.
Phylum ChordataClass Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)Order Aulopiformes (Lizardfishes)Family Synodontidae (Lizardfishes)Subfamily Harpadontinae (Bombay ducks)Genus: HarpadonSpecies H. nehereus, H. squamosus
The genus Harpodon comprises of two species Harpodon nehereus $ Harpodon squamosus The body is slender, soft, and gelatinous in appearance. Reported to be phosphorescent in fresh condition. Large head. Small eyes; cleft of the mouth wide and deep, lower jaw prominent of unequal recurved.Depressible teeth in the jaws, caudal is tri lobed. Scales commence opposite to the origin of the dorsal fin color brownish to grayish-white
Worldwide distribution, from Zanzibar to China, seas and estuaries of India, EastPakistan, Burma and straits of Malaca. In India it occurs in large quantities on the West Coast, in Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat and along the Congon coast of Maharashtra, particularly in Kolaba and Thane districts. On the east coast it is taken in small numbers along the Coromandel coast, in appreciable quantities along the Andhra-Orissa coast and in the estuaries of West Bengal.
Inhabit deep water offshore on sandy mud bottom for most of the year, but also gathers in large shoals in deltas of rivers to feed during monsoons Benthopelagic; Oceanodromous ; depth range 50 - m
In the early stages food consist of wholly prawns As the growth progresses the prawn diet is supplemented with fish(clupeids). As the fish grows clupeids make up 16% of the food while the percentage of the prawn varies between 74 and 78. When the adult stage is reached they constitute 37.8 and 47.8 respectively.
The fish is indiscriminate voracious ,carnivorous and cannibalistic feeder. It does not show preference for any particular type of food but feeds mainly on fishes and crustaceans
The wide gape of the mouth and the elongated lower jaw enables the fish to swallow large sized prey. The teeth in both the jaws are thin, long and recurved which prevent the prey from escaping The stomach is greatly distensible and when gorged with food becomes almost translucent. Instance are known where a Bombay duck of 210 mm long has a 250 mm Trichiurus in its stomach.
The Bombay duck is a continues breeder; but twopeaks of spawning activity are apparent duringNovember-December and March – April. The lengthfrequency studies which are normal procedure fordetermining the age and growth of a fish. year Length 1st year 50mm 2nd year 150mm 3rd year 230mm 4th year 290mm
The sexes are separate and instance ofhermaphroditism have not been reported so farThere are also no external sex differentiatingcharacters.
The ratio between the two sex is found tobe fluctuating during the various months inthe year. The males predominate in thecatches in the monsoon months of July andaugust but from September to may thefemales are dominant. The overall catchingshows that the females predominates in thecommercial catches, the ratio being 100males to 171 females
In males testis is differentiated when the male reached 170mm long In females the ova is first differentiated when the females reached 120-140mmMinimum size at maturity in females 2OOMM. 200-210MM. 240MM.
It has been assumed that the species is a continuesbreeder with intense activity from OCTOBER TO APRILand slack from MAY TO SEPTEMBER.DIVERSE OVER THE SPAWNING PERIODICITY•The individual spawns twice a year, though thebreeding season extends practically through the year•Later on it has been observed that the individual fishspawns only once while the species as a whole breedsthroughout the year with two peaks. Once in APRIL-JULY, and the second in NOVEMBER-DECEMBER
The number of mature ova produced by Harpadon nehereus ranging in size between 229 and 318 mm has been found to vary from146000 to 146400 There is a relation ship exist between the weight of the ovary and the number of mature ova. It has been observed that the larger females maturing on the second or subsequent occasions produce more ova
The bag nets or doll nets on the west coast in Maharashtra and Gujarat The gill nets or khanderi in Gujarat Behundi jal or a fixed bag net in the estuaries of Bengal and Mutla river
The Doll net is operated in depths varying about 15 to 50m.The operations being carried out at greater depths as the season advances. In Gujarat the gill net khanderi is operated in the 10 mile zone between kosambo and kolak, In Andhrapradesh the boat seines called Iragevala are operated by two catamarans during the July to November periods. Fixed bag nets are used in Orissa coast. The Behundi jal is used in the estuaries of west Bengal from October to June
The catch statistics indicate a remarkable increase in landings from 7262 tones in 1951 to 1,28,618 tones in 1956. In 1958 and 1959 recorded poor landings. The fishery revived in 1960 and since then it has more or less stabilized around 80,000 tones comprising 80% of the catch of immature fish. 80% of total Bombay duck landings come from the west coast of India, which exclusively from the States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. In 1989, 1,30,689 tones have been landed. In 2010- 2011 the total contribution of Bombay duck was 3.1%(94,942 tonnes)
YEAR EAST COAST WEST COST1990 17936 1242991991 23620 1424181992 23923 1537381993 6595 1420741994 11884 1263961995 25485 1337861996 25750 1593621997 25229 1878871998 35141 1447741999 35229 1465912000 35544 133156
YEARS WEST COAST EAST COAST2001 141027 349202002 100302 353822003 101869 406402004 135285 359812005 158778 294862006 152788 295282007 185043 265202008 218590 155132009 177959 170902010
.The estimated total catch of Bombay duck in Gujaratduring 2010 was 37,879 t (7.5% of the total fish landing).The landings by dolnets from the inshore grounds ofNawabunder, Rajpara and Jaffrabad were 25,178 t, which isnearly 22%of the total dolnet catches with a catch rate of742.2 kg/unit. Higher catch and catch rates were seenduring October - December. The size of H. nehereus rangedfrom 180 to 309 mm
250000200000150000 East coast West coast10000050000 0 1980 2000 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1985 1990 1995 2005
The only possible method by which age or size at first can be adjusted by regulating the mesh size at an appropriate size. The experimental study was conducted by CMFRI at Bassein in Maharashtra using doll nets with different cod end mesh to determine the selectivity of the gear and to evolve an optimal mesh size for the escapement of the undersized fish The immediate reduction in the Bombay duck catch with 30mm mesh was 37% of the catch by 15mm conventional mesh and with 40 mm mesh the catch had dropped by 23%.Besides Bombay duck, the golden anchovy and non penaeid prawns also registered considerable decrease
In case of the exploited stocks it is essential to find out the current fishing intensity and determine the level of fishing intensity to obtain a maximum sustainable yield. Studies on the eggs and larvae and the area of spawning, migration of fishes needs exploratory survey. Emphasis on the laminated Bombay duck from traditional sundried ones are to be given to its export potential. Study of fluctuations of annual catches will be helpful in predicting fishing success on a short term basis.
In 1997, Bombay duck was banned by the European Commission(EC) of the European Union. The EC admitted that it had no "sanitary" evidence against the product and the UK Public Health Laboratory Service confirmed that there are no recorded cases of food poisoning, or bacterial contamination, associated with Bombay duck. It was banned because the EC only allows fish imports from India from approved freezing and canning factories, and Bombay duck is not produced in factories. Prior to the ban, consumption in the United kingdom was over 13 tonnes per year.
The wanderings of the Bombay duck, which bring about fisheries of much regional importance along certain coasts seem to be influenced by two main factors i.e. the availability of food and the favorable condition of the water temperature. The low surface temperature in the areas of occurrence is probably responsible for the peculiar distribution of the species to a great extent than the other factors.