House boat oriented tourism has been harvesting huge profits. But Vembanadu backwater has polluted by heaps of plastic waste. As its waters’ temperatures are already higher due to global warming, many species of fish have disappeared. Mangroves have disappeared and mosses have spread everywhere.
“Moss, instead of fish have been caught by the fishermen in their nets spread over the water” said Mr Poov , leader of the Backwater Protection Forum. At this juncture ATREE has come with an innovative fish conservation system, a ‘fish sanctuary’.
“We deposit vegetation in selected locations over the backwaters. This process generates nutrients and breeding of juvenile fishes” explained Ashish George Mathew, an environmental scientist working with ATREE. Today in the Vembanadu backwaters, 23 fish sanctuaries have been successfully set up and are functioning. As communities, especially in Kerala, feel the impact of dwindling fish varieties, these fish sanctuaries have become an excellent system to combat climate change.
This first appeared on Kairali TV in February 2017.
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