Fish wealth in Vembanad lake increased after flood: Studies

Researchers at the institute said that the average annual production of clam before the flood was nearly 25,000 tonnes.

Published: 11th September 2019 05:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2019 05:38 AM   |  A+A-

Black clam

By Express News Service

ALAPPUZHA: Studies carried out by the International Research and Training Centre for Below Sea Level Farming (IRTCBSF) after the worst deluge of 2018 found that the fish wealth in the Vembanad lake has increased. Collection of black clam has increased significantly, which makes many farmers in the Kuttanad region, who are dependant on black clam production, very hopeful. Catch of kuttanadan karimeen (pearl spot), one of the popular seafood varieties from the lake, has also increased.  

Researchers at the institute said that the average annual production of clam before the flood was nearly 25,000 tonnes. After the flood of August 2018, production increased by as much as 5,000 tonnes, taking the total catch up by 30,000 tonnes, they said.

“The pollution in the lake was reduced by the flood. The lake bed was cleaned and all pollutants washed to sea in the floodwater. The level of dissolved oxygen increased and water became more transparent, which helped the species to breed,” said KG Padmakumar, director, IRTCBSF. However, the study found that the flood has adversely impacted the production of kuttanadan konchu (prawn). Prawns with poor swimming ability were washed downstream in the flash flood, the scientists said.

Black clam contributes to 70 per cent of production of fisheries in Vembanad and 
60 per cent of India’s clam production takes place here. Vembanad lake, acclaimed as an ‘inland fish basket’, witnessed a drastic decline in inland fishery resources in recent years owing to several anthropogenic activities, the scientists said. 

Decrease in prawn production
The study, however, found that the flood has adversely impacted production of Kuttanadan Konchu (prawn). Prawns with poor swimming ability were washed downstream in the flash flood

Clam production increases

Collection of black clam has increased significantly, which makes many farmers in the Kuttanad region, who are dependant on black clam production, very hopeful. Researchers at the institute said that the average annual production of clam before the flood was nearly 25,000 tonnes. After the flood of August 2018, production increased by as much as 5,000 tonnes, taking the total catch up by 30,000 tonnes

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