ALAPPUZHA: In the wake of low availability of pearl spot (karimeen) in the Vembanad lake, the Forest Department (FD) has brought out a project to increase the pearl spot population with the support of Kuttanad Package.
More than 30,000 pearl spot juveniles were ranched in different parts of the lake. The project is being implemented along with the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) and Somyukta Vembanad Kayal Samrekshana Samithi with the participation of fishing communities of the lake. So far, the project has been implemented at Aryad, Shanmugham, Saryithodu, Varanam and Kannankara.
ATREE project coordinator Ashish George said that the lake is going through drastic ecological changes.
The rise in unethical extraction of fish resources, delay in the operation of Thannermukkom Barrage, and the pollution from agriculture discharge, settlements and nearby towns and tourism houseboats have led to the decline in fish resources. The fishery resources in Vembanad has come down drastically in the past few decades from 150 species to 60 species, according to the final fish count report by ATREE, he said.
Thanneermukkom panchayat vice-president Saju inaugurated the ranching programme at Kannankara on Saturday.
ATREE programme officer Ashish Mathew George, environmental activist K V Dayal, Assistant Conservator of Forest (Alappuzha) Sreekumar, Social Forestry (Alappuzha) staff Biju and Matsyafed manager Maniyappan spoke at the meet.
The project was conducted through the participation of Kannankara Kayal Samrekshna Samithi. The karimeen juveniles were provided by Matsyafed.