: The State Fisheries Department has set up an aqua park, the first of its kind in the State, on the banks of Pookode Lake in Wayanad district to sensitize the people to the significance of conserving fish diversity.
The aqua park will be a breeding centre for almost all varieties of indigenous fish, including Channa marulius (locally called Vatha varal), Channa micropealtis (Cherumeen), Eteroplus suratansis (Karimeen), Lactus calcariser (Kalanchi), Tor kudree (Decan Mahseer), Heteropneustes fossilis (Kari) and Clarius dismerri (Kadu or Mushi), B.K. Sudheer Kishan, Assistant Director, Fisheries Department, Wayanad, told The Hindu .
Those fish varieties would be bred in separate floating cages set up on the lake for the purpose, Mr. Sudheer said.
The park with 10 units of floating cages has been set up at a cost of Rs.30 lakh, including a lake reclamation cost of Rs. 5.60 lakh, construction of floating cages with platform and solar lights Rs.18.5 lakh, fish seed Rs.1.5 lakh and fish feed Rs. 2.5 lakh, he said.
The park is envisaged to propagate suitable technology to protect indigenous fish resources, beside protecting natural fish diversity, Mr. Sudheer said.
This endeavour would have the potential to provide awareness to tourists, public, students and researchers, he added.
Training centre for farmers
The park will also act as a training centre for farmers in handling and feeding fishes, checking water quality and disease diagnosis and packing and marketing of fish after harvest, Mr. Sudheer said.
The scientists of the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Bengaluru, would provide the technical assistance to the park.
The park will have the potential to provide awareness to tourists, public, students, and researchers.
B.K. Sudheer Kishan,