Fish sanctuaries to revive inland fisheries

Five sites in Kollam identified for project

Vellimon Pulikuzhi Kadavu has been declared the first fish sanctuary in the district as part of a comprehensive project to revive inland fisheries sector.

Five sites have been identified by the Fisheries Department in order to replenish the fish stock in Ashtamudi, especially the fast-declining population of pearl spot. Prakkulam, Ashtamudi, Padappakkara and Kanjiramkode in Thrikkaruva and Peryam grama panchayats are also included in the ₹2-crore project.

At Pulikuzhi Kadavu, the department has demarcated two hectares as protected area, allowing the fish to breed and multiply. Apart from improving fish stock, the project will help to conserve the aquatic biodiversity as the area will remain undisturbed for a particular time frame. In the next phase, clam relaying will be done in another five sites and mangroves will be planted to protect the coast and accelerate the breeding process.

Welfare of fishers

Another objective of the project is to upgrade socio-economic conditions of inland fishers, the beneficiaries of the project. The department had conducted some awareness sessions before implementing the project, educating the fishers on the need to conserve certain species. They will skip the area while fishing, and some of the fishermen will be helping the department to prevent poaching.

The department decided to establish the fish sanctuaries in the villages after a considerable fall in fish yield. According to reports, there has been an alarming dip in the stock of short-necked clam (Paphia malabarica), the only Marine Stewardship Council certified fishery in India. In the next phase of the project, aquatic sanctuaries will be set up for clam relaying to tackle the issue.

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