Awareness drive to be launched to protect Kerala's fish



Awareness drive to be launched to protect Kerala`s fish Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) will launch a campaign to protect the fish wealth of the state Tuesday on the occasion of 'International Day for Biological Diversity' (IDB).

"There are two dozen endangered fish species in the sea off Kerala and almost a dozen critically endangered species in our 44 rivers. Due to various reasons, the numbers are fast depleting," K.P. Laladhas, member secretary of KSBB told reporters here.

Laladhas added that apart from Tuesday's function, the KSBB is also organising an awareness campaign in Kerala's nine coastal districts.

The campaign has been named as 'greening the blue' and the National Biodiversity Authority is playing a key role in the awareness campaign.

"Attending tomorrow's (Tuesday's) awareness campaigns are students, researchers in this subject, experts from the field of academics besides the fishing community representatives," said Laladhas.

According to experts, the main reason for the fast depletion of Kerala's fish species is the excessive use of pesticides in farming activities as water from the fields finally reaches the rivers.

Another reason is the fish being caught at the time when they are about to procreate.

The KSBB feels that the time has come for an awareness campaign as the coast occupies about 16.4 percent of the state's total geographical area and approximately 10 percent of the country's total coastline -- extending over a length of 590 km.

Data reveals that 30 percent of the state's population lives in the coastal area, while the fishermen population in the state is about 1.1 million.

IANS