Scientists, naturalists, fishermen and students came together in the third participatory fishery resource inventory and monitoring of the Vembanad Lake on 26 and 27 May which was organized by CERC-ATREE. The count revealed a fall in population of various species. There were 52 species of fin fish as compared to 62 species found last year. However, the Kumarakom-Pathiramanal belt reported the highest species count, indicating that the area is still a biodiversity hot-spot. Citizens were shocked at the sight of several hundreds of fish trapped to death in plastic bags and diapers that lay on the lake-bed.
A CD produced by CERC-ATREE containing the detailed report of the fish count in 2009 was released by Prof. K. Jayachandran of Fisheries College Panangad. Dr. T.M. Thomas Isaac, the Honorable Minister of Finance, Kerala, received the survey teams and inaugurated the valedictory function. Collaborators with ATREE in the fish count were: Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS) Kumarakom, Kerala State Biodiversity Board, School of Environmental Sciences - Mahatma Gandhi University Kottayam, School of Applied Life Sciences Pathanamthitta, St Albert's College Ernakulam, College of Fisheries Panangad, Vembanad Nature Club Muhamma and various Kayal Samrakshana Samithys (Lake Protection Forums) around Vembanad. The effort created mass awareness among the general public on conservation of Vembanad Lake through more sensible management practices.
Press reports on this event:
Report of the Participatory Fish Resources Surveys of Vembanad Lake (Kerala) done in 2008 and 2009 by ATREE - India Water portal
The New Indian Express