KOCHI: The Vembanad Fish Count, evaluating the fish diversity in central Kerala’s Vembanad Lake every year, has recorded 117 species of fish this year. Compared to the previous years, there has been a considerable increase in the fish count with more areas surveyed this year.The survey coordinated by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) and the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), announced their findings here on Saturday.
While in the previous years, only the southern areas from Punnamada to Thannermukkam were included, the expert team has also surveyed the areas towards the north of Thanneermukkam bund, including Arookutty, High Court, Poothotta, Murinjapuzha, and Kanakkankadavu, this year.
Newcomers in these waters
The team has found that there has been a decrease in the fish found in the southern regions of the Thaneermukam Bund to 49 compared to 55 species last year, said M K Sajeevan, Associate Professor, KUFOS.
For the first time in Vembanad Lake, exotic species of shortfin molly, poecilia Mexicana, moon gourami and trichopodus microlepis were recorded. The high numbers of jellyfish in the waters could be a worrying trend, said Jojo T D, project coordinator, ATREE. In the northern region, the team also observed a threadfin sea catfish, arius arius, with its young in its mouth, they carry their young ones to protect them from other predators.