Kerala

No harvesting of baby clams in Vembanad Lake

Clam collectors at work on Vembanad Lake.— File Photo  

Restrictions have been imposed on harvesting clams of less than 12 mm in Vembanad Lake. The move is intended to prevent overexploitation of the species.

Officials said harvesting of clams of less than 12 mm has come to the notice of the Fisheries Department. Fishing operations in the lake were subject to rules and regulations on inland fisheries and aquaculture, the officials said.

Action would be taken against those who violated the rules, a statement by the Fisheries Deputy Director said.

Vembanad Lake has been facing erosion in fish wealth due to various reasons, with fishermen complaining of reduced catch. Experts have attributed the phenomenon to overexploitation of fish resources, wrong practices as well as pollution in the lake.

An annual fish count conducted by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) has indicated gradual reduction in number of fish species in the lake.

It found that the number of fish species was less in comparison to the previous year’s count. While 45 species of fish were found last year, it was 43 this year. More importantly, there were differences in the species found this year, which meant that the reduction in species could be more than the numbers indicated in the count.

Various reasons have been cited for the damage to marine ecosystems in the lake. The clams in Vembanad Lake have contributed to cleansing the marine ecosystem and baby clams have a role in balancing the chemical composition of water, Ashish Mathew George, a researcher at ATREE, told The Hindu .

Opening of Thanneermukkom bund at appropriate periods will be necessary to help the growth of various species, including clams.

The opening and closure of the bund to facilitate farming have had an impact on the growth of fish and clams.

High acidity in the lake due to inflow of water with pesticide content from farms is said to be one of the major reasons affecting growth of various marine species.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 1:53:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/No-harvesting-of-baby-clams-in-Vembanad-Lake/article14518375.ece

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