Thirty per cent of the fresh water fish species in the Western Ghats fall in the ‘endangered category’ and habitat protection holds the key to protecting them from extinction said B. Madhusoodana Kurup,Vice Chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies here on Monday.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the two-day national workshop on native freshwater fishes, organised by the university. He said that protection of fish habitat should get priority in conservation efforts.
Eighteen species of fishes are endemic to Western Ghats, particularly in Kerala. Germ plasm of these species can be preserved by enhancing captive breeding techniques, he added pointing out the “alarming decrease” in local species.
Scientists speaking at the workshop called for change in management approach for protecting the endangered species.
Unscientific and unsustainable fishing methods, pollution and damages to biodiversity have led to habitat destruction, they said.
The Vice Chancellor called for developing captive breeding technology and stressed the importance of reaching the technology to the targeted community. He also released a manual on breeding of native fish species.
The national workshop is being organised under the aegis of the Prof. Alikunhi Chair for Sustainable Aquaculture System functioning at KUFOS and is aimed at familiarising farmers with artificial breeding and seed production techniques.
It is part of the project to popularise diversified aquaculture practices of native species such as snake heads, climbing perch, cat fishes, large barbs and ornamental varieties.