Have you ever thought of how an octopus look factually..? The Narmada estuary in the Bhadbhut region of Gujarat constituted the Cistopus indicus (Rapp, 1835), commonly known as old woman octopus for the first time in Narmada, as reported by the ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute . The octopus was cought in Bag Net catch during the routine survey carried on 5th of December last year by the research team from ICAR-CIFRI, Vadodara.
In India, octopuses are caught mainly as by-catch in trawl nets used for shrimp trawling, shore seines, boat seines, hooks and line and stake nets.“Cistopus indicus comes under the Class Cephalopoda of Order Octopoda in the family Octopodidae. In an around 200 species of Octopidae are reported from world Oceans and 38 commercially important species reported from Indian seas.”, reported the statement by the ICAR.
The species is mostly distributed in the Indo-Pacific region mainly Philippines, China, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Other important species of Octopus occurring in the West coast of India are Octopus dollfusi, Octopus membranaceus, Octopus lobensis and Octopus vulgaris.
Octopus is a marine benthic species occurring up to the depth of 50 m, which is used to inhabit the coastal sea waters, but rarely observed in the estuarine waters. A total of 17 specimens with the total length ranging from 190-320 mm have been recorded from the catches. The maximum total length of the species was recorded as 325 mm with a weight of 56.2 gram.
“The bag net is locally known as ‘Golava’ fishery usually commenced at the winter season (October to March) composed mainly with the marine fish species including juveniles of Hilsa, while the occurrence of Octopus in the catches is reported for the first time from this water.”, asserted the report meanwhile.
The salinity of the Bhadbhut and the adjacent Mahegam region was in the range of 18-20 ppt during the month of December 2018 and the high salinity along with the flow of flood tide may be the reason for the ingress of true marine species like octopus into the estuary.