Kadinamkulam Lake cries out for conservation

A view of Kadinamkulam Lake from Chilakoor, near Muthalapozhi.

A view of Kadinamkulam Lake from Chilakoor, near Muthalapozhi.  

3.25 sq km lake in Thiruvananthapuram ‘qualifies’ to be declared a Ramsar site

A study conducted last month reports that the brackish water Kadinamkulam Lake is not only the biggest inland waterbody of Thiruvananthapuram district but also one gifted with a rich aquatic ecosystem that qualifies it to be declared as a Ramsar site.

The study, the first of its kind on the lake, conducted by environmental activist V.K. Madhusudanan was consequent upon the statement of Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma that the government was taking steps to double the edible fish wealth of inland waterbodies in five years.

Mr. Madhusudanan has submitted his report to the Minister.

The study says that the 3.25 square kilometre lake is the most neglected wetland of Thiruvananthapuram. The fish catch from the lake which used to be about 500 tonnes annually has now dropped to less than 100 tonnes.

The report says that if the lake is adequately protected it has the potential to provide the means of livelihood to at least 500 women through mussel and oyster farming.

No mangroves

The lake is linked to the sea through the Muthalapozhi estuary, but is almost completely devoid of mangroves though it has the environment to sustain mangrove forests. This is a reason for the drop in the lake’s fish wealth, the study says.

Even now about 300 inland fishermen depend upon the lake for their livelihood, Mr. Madhusudanan says. Human activities, especially encroachment and dumping of plastic waste, are the biggest threats faced by the lake.

The study suggests allocation of funds for planting mangrove saplings along a 10 hectare spread of the lake during this fiscal. Funding is also required for removing wastes and also for sea ranching of pearl spot, freshwater shrimp and mud crab seeds in the lake.

The tourism potential of the lake can also be tapped. He called upon the authorities to approach the World Wildlife Fund and the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management for getting the lake declared as a Ramsar site.

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