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Fish Otolith UPSC NOTE

 Why in news

  • Ornaments from fish otoliths, named ‘Sea gems’, have made a market debut.

  • Thanks to efforts of a group of enthusiastic fisherwomen in Vizhinjam.

  • Trained by scientists from Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

  • The otolith ornaments crafted by fisherwomen under self-help group Sea Gems Mahila Sahrudam Group recently went on display at Kerala Arts and Crafts Village showroom in Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram.

  • Fish otoliths are biomineralised ear stones that help fish hear and provide it a sense of balance. Otoliths are important in fish studies as they have species-specific shapes and grow throughout their life.

What is Fish otolith

  • A fish otolith, also known as an earstone, is a hard structure made of calcium carbonate found inside the head of bony fish. 

  • It's located behind the brain and plays a vital role in two key senses for fish:

  1. Balance: Otoliths help fish maintain their balance and sense of orientation in the water.

  2. Hearing: They contribute to the hearing process by detecting vibrations and sound waves.

  • There are three pairs of otoliths in a fish, each with a slightly different shape and size

  • The largest and most commonly studied one for age determination is called the sagitta.

Here's an interesting fact about otoliths:

  • They grow throughout the fish's life in layers, similar to tree rings. 

  • By examining these layers under a microscope, scientists can estimate the age of the fish

  • The wider, translucent zones indicate periods of fast growth, while the thinner, opaque zones represent slower growth periods. 

  • This technique is a valuable tool for fisheries management and understanding fish populations.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Fish Otolith UPSC NOTE
Fish Otolith UPSC NOTE
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