Fishy no more: Wokha villages ban use of explosives and chemicals at Doyang
Dimapur, Oct. 28 (EMN): Sixteen villages in Wokha district have agreed to ban use of explosives and poisonous substances for fishing at the Doyang reservoir and surrounding area, according to a DIPR report.
The villages— Ashaa, Pangti, Sungro, Sunglup, Yonchucho, Yikhum, Englan, Riphyim Old and New, Thillong, Changsu Old and New, Ekhyoyan, Ronren, Meshangphen and Aree Old—adopted a resolution to this end during a seminar organised by the Wokha administration on Oct. 27.
At the seminar, leaders from those villages were educated on the harmful use of explosives for fishing. The deputy commissioner of Wokha, Dr. Manazir Jeelani Samoon told the villagers that when it comes to conservation of indigenous fish species, the authorities would strictly enforce regulations to curb or control ‘illegal activities.’
Asserting that a solution could be achieved only through community participation, he urged all stakeholders to work together to eradicate the harmful practices. The DC assured ‘further deliberation to formulate an action-plan’ in order to help improve the condition of the fishermen in the district.
The district’s divisional forest officer, Zuthunglo Patton shared that destructive fishing practices destroy fish habitat and affects the entire aquatic ecosystem, reduces fish stock. This, she said, causes loss of income/livelihood to the fishermen, loss of biodiversity, decrease in aesthetic value, loss of tourism opportunities, and affects the longevity of the Doyang dam. She encouraged the villagers to stop using explosives/poison/any other destructive practices.
District fishery officer, Sentinaro cited various comprehensive studies to show that the ichthyic (related to fish) fauna of Doyang river system is unfortunately dwindling due to ‘over exploitation’ and lack of conservational measures. Use of illegal fishing techniques is one of the main reasons for the depletion of fish germplasm resources, she said.
She also added that the explosion destroys the underlying habitat that supports the fishes; re-colonisation/recovery of damaged habitat is very slow and complete recovery may take several decades.
The fishermen also requested the authorities for subsidised fishing nets, life-boats and life-jackets for emergency cases. It was suggested that for the ban to be successful, ‘wide publicity’ was crucial.