Slight increase in fish species in Vembanad

A survey of fish varieties in Vembanad Lake conducted on Saturday by a group of environmental experts indicated a slight increase in the number of species in comparison to the previous year.

The programme, Vembanad fish count 2017, was organised by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), a non-governmental organisation, in association with the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Kerala Biodiversity Board, Vembanad Nature Club, and the Samyukta Vembanad Kayal Samrakshana Samithi, Alappuzha.

The programme was flagged off at 6 a.m. at the Kaipuram boat jetty. About 120 volunteers went out in three groups and conducted the count by collecting fishes at 15 stations, including Thanneermukkam, Kumarakom, R Block, Muhamma, Pathiramanal, Mannancherry, Aryad, Punnamada, Pallathuruthy, Kainakary, and Kuppappuram.

Apart from collection of fish, a scientific analysis of water in the lake was conducted as part of the programme. The fish count conducted in earlier years had indicated a decline in different kinds of fishes in the lake. This year’s fish count was the 10th in the series of annual fish counts organised by the ATREE.

As many as 49 species of fishes and eight kinds of prawns, one species of backwater crab, and one species of clam were found in the fish count conducted on Saturday, ATREE representatives said.

The fish count conducted last year indicated a gradual reduction in species of fish in the lake. It noted a steady decline in carnivorous fishes and an increase in omnivorous fishes. While 45 species of fish were found in 2015, the figure was down to 43 in 2016.

Over-exploitation, wrong practices as well as pollution have been cited as the major reasons for the decline in fish wealth. There has been demand for opening of the Thanneermukkom bund at certain periods during the year to facilitate breeding of some kinds of fish and clams.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 7:35:14 AM |

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