Mass Awareness Programme on Impact of Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) in Vembanad Lake, Kerala
Edakochi, 15th February, 2024
ICAR-CIFRI Kochi Centre organised a mass awareness programme and stakeholders’ meeting on 15th February 2024 in Edakochi, to address the issue of weed infestation (Eichhornia crassipes) in the Vembanad lake and evaluate its impact on the fishing activities and livelihood of fishermen. A total of 100 fishermen from Aroor, Perumbadappu, Arookutty and Edakochi panchayats of Alappuzha and Ernakulam districts participated in the meeting. The meeting started with a welcome speech by Dr. Deepa Sudheesan, Senior Scientist and Incharge, Kochi centre of ICAR-CIFRI. She welcomed the dignitaries and participants and gave an overview of the institute activities. Mr. A. R. Sivaji, Chairman of the Vembanad Kayal Samrakshana Samithi, delivered the presidential address with remarks on the growth and proliferation of water hyacinth and associated issues in the Vembanad lake. Mr. V. D. Thilakan, General Convener of the Vembanad Kayal Samrakshana Samithi, expressed his concerns of the degrading health status of Vembanad lake. Mr. Joseph Xavier Kalappurackal, General Secretary of the All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association, stressed on the need of reduction of water hyacinth from the source itself for the complete removal of this weed from the aquatic ecosystem. Mr. V. Padamanabhan, Mr. Amminikkuttan, and Mr. Chandrabose commented on the need of sustainable conservation of Vembanad lake.

The meeting was based on a questionnaire prepared by the CIFRI team. The meeting helped us to get a broad purview on the impacts of Eichhornia crassipes that the fishers are affected with. The questionnaire included aspects related to their personal details, effects of the weed on the fishing inventories, fisheries and fishers livelihood, and suggestions for mitigation measures. The fishermen sensed large seasonal variations in the impact of Eichhornia on fisheries and mentioned its impacts on the ecological health of the ecosystem over the years.

The programme was conducted under the over-all guidance of Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, organized by Dr. Deepa Sudheesan, and co-ordinated by Dr. Thankam Theresa Paul (Senior Scientist), Ms. Tanuja Abdulla (Scientist), and Mr. P.V. Shajil (Technician).

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2017 Last updated on 19/02/2024