KOCHI: In an effort to conserve the various fish varieties that are on the verge of extinction, the State Government will set up fish sanctuaries in selected rivers/backwaters in Kerala.
Neelamperoor (Alappuzha), Kumarakom (Kottayam) and Kolacherry and Payyannur (Kannur) have been identified for constructing the sanctuaries.
Similar facilities will be built in the Muvattupuzha, Pampa and Sasthamkotta water bodies also. The civil works on the project will be started by October-November, and are likely to finish by the end of the financial year.
Build on an area of five hectares, the Sanctuaries will act as feeding and hiding places for fish varieties such as pearlspot, milk fish, chanos, sea bass, mullets and giant fresh water prawns.
The area will be declared as ‘No-fishing’, and an aquatic habitat for the growth of fishes will be created.
The State Fisheries Resource Management Society is the implementing agency for the project.
Earlier, the Kerala Agricultural University had set up a sample fish sanctuary at Kumarakom. The new project will stand like an all-Kerala expansion of the pilot project. “This is a unique project aimed at conserving the endangered fish species. Due to reclamation and human interference, the fish wealth in the State has been decreasing drastically. Without initiating the conservation of fishes, it is difficult to control the erosion. Fish species will be released to the sanctuaries after declaring the space as No-fishing area,” said S Sahadevan, executive director, the State Fisheries Resource Management Society.
The project also envisages to conserve the fishery resources in the inland water bodies, conservation of indigenous varieties of fishes and to create awareness among the people on the need for the conservation of fishery resources, with the ultimate aim of increasing fish production.