Bombay Duck / बोंबिल

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The name has nothing to do with ducks. During the British Raj, the Europeans could not stand the smell of the fish drying in the sun. It reminded them of the odour of the wooden railroad cars of the Bombay Mail train. The Hindi word for mail is “dak”, hence the Bombay-Dak, or Bombay-Duck.” They have a distended stomach and are voracious predators. The fish is rapidly disappearing from the city’s coastal waters (decline by 25% in the past decade), due to a combination of overfishing and climate change, says a study by Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), India.

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