Encroachment, pollution main causes of decline: Dir Fisheries
Srinagar, Jun 08: As the pollution and encroachment has destroyed the water bodies in the state, fish production as severely declined with the state importing 5,000 tons per year for the consumers.
Vital water bodies including the river Jehlum, Wullar and Dal Lake and other major streams in the state are natural abodes to varieties of fish, but the continuous encroachment and pollution has drastically impacted the fish production.
Not only has the declining production hit the consumers and the market, but the livelihood of thousands of fishermen has also been negatively impacted.
In the Asia’s largest fresh water lake, Wullar, in Bandipora district fishermen says livelihood of around 15,000 people is associated with fishing in the lake.
Abdul Majid, a fisherman, told KNS fifty years ago, the lake would produce 10,000 metric tons of fish which would be sold in the local market and also a huge quantity would be exported to other states.
Majid rues that the fish production has decline and not the fishermen like him find it difficult to makes their ends meet by fish catching.
The fishermen said that World Bank released 387 crore for Wullar conservation but the lake has seen no improvement in its environment as the Forest department did not spend the money on the lake protection.
Director Fisheries, R K Pandita told KNS fish production in the water bodies in the state has decreased owing to increasing pollution and encroachment of water bodies.
Pandita said the people living around streams, lakes have become reckless and insensible to protection of water bodies.
“Household solid and liquid waste is recklessly dumped in the water bodies. Due to pollution, the seeds of the fish do not sustain to grow into fish. Though big fishes manage to survive in polluted water, yet small fishes and seeds cannot live in such an environment due to decreasing biological oxygen demand,” Pandita told KNS.
Citing example of Wullar lake, the director fisheries said the production has declined but fishermen living around the lake and floods are responsible for it.
He said that due to floods, large quantity slit, sewage got accumulated in the water bodies which affected the fish production in the water bodies.
“Encroachment of Wullar and Dal lakes had reduced its area and also human interference has polluted its water which hit fish,” he said, adding that the state produces 20,000 tons fish per year against the annual consumption requirement of 25,000.
The director said that rather than harming the water bodies, fishermen should become guardian of lakes from pollution and encroachment.
He said the department has launched programme from 2015 to increase fish production by supplying seeds to the water bodies and also producing huge quantities of fish in the farms spread across the state. (KNS)