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'Tsunami has resulted in over-fishing along east coast'

Written by: Staff

Lucknow, Sep 17: The devastating tsunami not only caused widespread destruction along the country's east coast, it has also resulted in over-fishing in the Indian maritime.

However, the phenomenon is not caused by damage to coastal flora and fauna in the 2004 tsunami aftermath, but due to measures taken to rehabilitate affected fishermen in the coastline.

''A large number of fishing boats were provided to fishermen and consequently fishing along the coastline has recorded a significant rise since then,'' Dr S Ayyappan, Deputy Director General (Fisheries), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi also the Chief Executive National Fisheries Development Board told UNI here today.

He claimed the area within 10 kms from the east coast is being over-exploited as far as fishing is concerned, because the fishermen are now equipped with better boats and fishing equipment.

On December 26, 2004, an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 ritcher scale shook the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia with epi-centre under sea water. This was the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900.

The earthquake generated tsunamis, which swept across the Indian Ocean within hours.

An estimated 120,000 people lost their lives in this disaster, which affected Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and places as far as Somalia in Africa.

Meanwhile, Dr Ayyappan is here to attend a two-day national workshop on 'Fish Introductions in India: Status, Challenges and Potentials' being organised at the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), Lucknow. The workshop, which started yesterday aims at documenting the spread of exotic species in the country, assesing emerging requirement in relation to the need for diversification of aquaculture and threat to aquatic bio-diversing and developing suitable strategy to mitigate the impact of imported aquatic germplasm.

About 60 delegates from different state fisheries department, ministry of agriculture, universities, central fisheries organizations and private aquaculture industries are participating in the deliberations.

NBFGR Director Dr W S Lakra informed the Bureau has the specific mandate for evaluating the introduction of exotic aquatic species into Indian waters.

''NBFGR has been recognized as a nodal organization under ICAR by the union ministry of agriculture for undertaking advanced research programmes on exotic fishes and quarantine,'' he said.

Dr Lakara also warned of some important exotic food fishes like Big Head (Aristichthys nobilis), African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) and Pangasius suchi as posing a big threat to Indian species, he warned.


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