- NET Web Desk
In a bid to protect the indigenous fish varieties, the Manipur Chief Minister – N. Biren Singh has released 1 lakh Pengba fishlings into one of the largest waterbodies of Asia – Loktak Lake; and expressed hope to release around 1 crores by May 2022.
Addressing a formal event, Singh appreciated the concerned efforts and schemes of the ICAR-CIFRI, Manipur Fisheries Department and Loktak Development Authority to revitalize the Pengba (Osteobrama Belangeri) – State Fish of Manipur.
During the event, inputs such as – Cage Net and Fish Feed were also distributed to beneficiaries at Sendra in Bishnupur District.
Expressing concern about the environmental hazards caused by human neglect; Singh asserted that out of 54 indigenous fish species, just 35 are still into existence.
He spoke out against the public practice of throwing trash into rivers, which then flows into Loktak Lake, making it difficult for fish and other animals to thrive.
“During air travels, noticed a large length of swampy territory around Loktak that was laying idle, and therefore decided to carry out the Loktak Livelihood Mission in 2018.” – Singh commented.
Following clearance of phumdis or floating islands, Singh attained the notion to utilize the concerned region for fish rearing via pen culture, which he stated would be converted into organic fertilizer.
According to Singh, a total of Rs 15 crore has been approved for developmental works along the surrounding regions of Loktak Lake, but roughly Rs 2.5 crores has been spent so far.
He also made a sincere plea to fish growers in raising public awareness and refrain from catching fishlings. The chief minister also warned fish farmers against catching fish with electric current.
Previously, the state government spent over Rs 400 crores per year on fish imports. However, during the last four to five years, it has been reduced to roughly Rs 300 crores, according to Singh.