Goa's Wetlands & rivers are home to over 80 fish species, say experts

Goa's Wetlands & rivers are home to over 80 fish species, say experts

On the occasion of World Wetland Day, data on freshwater species found in Goa's rivers & wetlands was released for the first time ever
In a first, data on freshwater species found in Goa's river and wetlands was released on Wednesday. According to this account, there are about 84 species of fish across four of the seven recently-notified wetlands and several rivers, so far. Notably, this report was shared in honour of the World Wetland Day celebrated annually on February 2, across the globe.

The current status of wetland & river conservation

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As per the findings of this report, as many as 18 new species of fish have been identified in Goa. In addition, 15 other crustacean species were also collected and catalogued. Out of the total lot of 84 varieties, five fall under the vulnerable category, while four are near threatened, as per the IUCN criteria.

The research to identify more species is still on said ICAR-CCARI scientist, in a recent event organised here by the Goa State Wetland Authority (GSWA). In the next couple of months, the number is expected to even exceed the 110 mark. Reportedly, Goa’s rivers and wetlands produce around 150 tonnes of fish per year.

Wetlands provide nutrition, food and livelihood, besides other ecosystem goods and services, but are among the most threatened ecosystems. There is immense potential to cultivate the fish yield in Goa's wetlands and rivers, the scientist added. This can benefit nutritional and livelihood security in the state.

What is required to conserve the freshwater ecosystem in Goa?

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In order to sustainably develop the freshwater ecosystem, mitigation measures are required. These include the desiltation of wetlands, sensitisation of stakeholders, opening and widening of linkage channels and integrated approach towards wetland management, among others.

As per the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) directives, the river rejuvenation committee is working to prepare an action plan to restore polluted riverine stretches in Goa. This would require expediting coverage of the sewerage network in Goa, with treatment plants to help reduce pollution of the state rivers.

- With inputs from TOI

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