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Chalcalburnus tarichi

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Title: Chalcalburnus tarichi  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lake Van
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Chalcalburnus tarichi

Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Alburnus
Species: A. tarichi
Binomial name
Alburnus tarichi
(Güldenstädt, 1814)
  • Chalcalburnus tarichi
  • Alburnus timarensis Kuru, 1980
  • Chalcalburnus tarichi (Güldenstädt, 1814)
  • Cyprinus tarichi Güldenstädt, 1814
  • Leuciscus vanensis Günther, 1868[2]

Alburnus tarichi, known as the tarek, pearl mullet, Van fish (Kurdish: wikit:darex (darach), Turkish: İnci kefalı (balığı), Armenian: տառեխ taṙex) is a species of cyprinid fish, only found in Turkey, where it is the only fish known to inhabit Lake Van.

The tarek is the jewel of Lake Van in Turkey. Found nowhere else in the world, this fish thrives in the lake's salty and carbonated waters,[3] which are inhospitable to other forms of fresh-water and marine fish. In May and June of each year it travels upstream through the lake's tributaries to lay eggs, flying through the air like salmon. And there lies the problem.

Many locals have become accustomed to the ease of sticking out bags and catching troves of fish as they jump out of the water. They catch so many fish in May–June that they don't have to fish for the rest of the year. And locals prefer to catch the fish during reproduction season, when the females are filled with eggs, which are considered a delicacy.

This is also the best recipe for killing off the species. Despite a government ban on fishing during reproduction season, this kind of fishing has become a big business. In the 1960s only 600 tons of the fish were harvested annually; today that figure has jumped to 15,000 tons. The species were put on an Endangered species list in 1994.[1]

Other taxonomic names for this species include Chalcalburnus tarichi (Güldenstädt, 1814), Alburnus timarensis (Kuru, 1980), Cyprinus tarichi (Güldenstädt, 1814), and Leuciscus vanensis (Günther, 1868).[4]



External links

  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). FishBase. April 2012 version.
  • Informations and Images
  • World Conservation Monitoring Centre 1996. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 19 July 2007.
  • Turkey - Sustainable Fishing and Consumption of Pearl Mullet [1]

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