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Arunachal

Arunachal: A great initiative of river ranching to replenish the fragile aquatic life of Namchucha river

During the 60s, 70s and even 80s, our rivers were teeming with fishes of all shapes and sizes. But rampant use of battery has dwindled or annihilated the fish population.

NAMSANG-  ( By Denhang Bosai, former Dy Director, IPR, Arunachal Pradesh   A great and welcome initiative of river ranching to replenish the fragile aquatic life of Namchucha river near Namsang village, one of the major tributaries of Chatjo river was launched recently by Fisheries department in conjunction with district administration.

Thanks to electrocution (use of battery) to catch fish, most of the rivers and streams in Tirap district are today, bereft of any fish or other aquatic life. All the water bodies have been adversely affected by rampant use of battery.

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Creation of mass awareness on the destructive and harmful effect of electrocution needs to be carried out more vigorously. Villagers may constitute volunteers to keep vigil and catch the defaulters and hand over them to the Police. Some people use battery even during the breeding season.

Local people should be encouraged to practise traditional methods of fishing like Ngah chaen or Jochaen, Haptang, Longphongtuuk or Longtak etc which are eco-friendly and sustainable. During the 60s, 70s and even 80s, our rivers were teeming with fishes of all shapes and sizes. But rampant use of battery has dwindled or annihilated the fish population.

Here, more than the administration and concerned department, CBOs, NGOs, village elders, Panchayat Members and student leaders should contribute their mite to prevent the people from using destructive modes of fishing.

Stringent punishment be given to those who are found indulging in such crimes. In many other districts, the villagers themselves have banned fishing. They use only traditional methodologies of catching fish.

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Fishing during breeding season must be banned. We need a pragmatic approach to save our rivers. Heavy fines may be imposed on those who use bsttery. We must understand that unlike Kameng, Lohit, Siang and Subansiri rivers which are snow-fed, our rivers are rain-fed.

They dry up during the winter and rampant extraction of boulders, gravels and sands are not helping the cause of safeguarding our rivers at all. Anyway, river ranching is a small step forward towards replenishing and enriching our rivers. But a lot remains to be done.

Rampant use of battery  is going on at Chatjo river in Tirap district, even during this breeding season. We always look forward to the Longphongtuk (traditional mode of fishing) season but if use of battery continues at this pace then no fish will be left in the Chatjo river.

The youth leaders may please devise mechanisms to check this menace. Imposing heavy fines on culprits if caught, is an option. This issue may be taken with a greater degree of seriousness  before it is too late.

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