Important steps for fish conservation

DADELDHURA : Rangun wetland area is rich in aquatic biodiversity. This wetland is extended to Doti and Dadeldhura districts.

The belief and life of thousands of people of embankment area have been connected to Rangun wetland. But the natural shape of Rangun has been changing gradually due to the destructive activities of the past. The main cause of the loss of biodiversity in Rangun wetland is attributed to the destruction of Chure.

As a result, people living in the embankment area have been facing the repercussion at present. Rangun wetland area was surrounded by a dense forest in the past, Gore Thapa of Parshuram Municipality-6 said. The river expanded after people cut down the trees of Rangun wetland area.

Once upon a time, Rangun used to be a popular river for fish.  But the situation has changed now. People cannot find fish like in the past. The problem surfaced because of natural and human activities. The habitats of fish have been destroyed due to human activities. This is the result of population growth, use of explosive devices, poison and electricity to kill fish.

Rangun river

“There is a vast difference between the past and present. Lots of fish used to go to the canal of rice field in the past. All of them have vanished now. People used to catch 50 to 100 grams of fish from the canal,” Fisheries Management and Conservation Group member Krishna Bhattarai said.

“People used to find many fish in Rangun,” Devidutta Bhattarai of Parshuram Municipality-12 said. “Construction companies extract sand, pebbles and gravel from Rangun River for constructing roads. People are constructing houses with the riverbed materials of the same river. The number of fish has been dwindling due to the destruction of their habitats,” Fisheries Management and Conservation Group member Dil Bahadur Raute said.

With the decrease in the number of fish in Rangun River, people have started an initiative to conserve the river. People have joined hands for a sustainable conservation of aquatic biodiversity.

“We have made some rules, banning fishing during their breeding season,” Raute said.

Chairperson of Aalital Fisheries Management and Conservation Group in Aalital Rural Municipality-3 Khima Devi Rana expressed her hope that the number of fish could increase in the Rangun River if it is conserved properly. The fish group formed in Rangun wetland area has been playing an instrumental role in conserving the river and in protection of aquatic biodiversity.

“People used to kill fish haphazardly in the past. Now, the fishing has been brought under control because of Fish Conservation Group,” Mahakali Rangun Fisheries Management and Conservation Group Chairman Ruplal Dangi said.

Yadav Bogati of Aalital Rural Municipality-8 said that the destructive method to kill fish such as poisoning water and using electric current has been completely brought under control. “The destructive method to kill fish by using explosive devices has also been halted. Now, we are working to save the small fish and to not kill the big fish unnecessarily,” he said.

Fish Conservation Group has already been registered at the local level. They are working seriously to conserve the aquatic animals. Local level has also been extending support to the Fish Conservation Group to conserve the aquatic animals. Parshuram Municipality and Aalitaal Rural Municipality, which fall under Rangun wetland area, have also been helping the Fish Conservation Group.

“We have been providing orientations to the Fish Conservation Group on behalf of ward. We have also started a discussion program to provide information to the Fish Conservation Group about the type of net to be used and species of fish to be killed among other things,” Aalitaal Municipality-3 ward chairman Lokesh Mahara said.

There used to be 15 to 20 fishermen at a time in the river in this season. Now, this trend has been changed. Aalitaal Rural Municipality-8 ward chairman Ganesh Bahadur Thapa Magar said that people used to kill fish freely in the past. Now, the destructive fishing practices have been completely brought under control.

Aalitaal Rural Municipality Chairman Bal Bahadur Gurung said that the Municipality has also endorsed the policies to conserve and promote aquatic biodiversity, natural environment and water sources.

Bhim Bahadur Saud, Chairman of Parshuram Municipality, said that the municipality will address the demands of three Fish Conservation Group of Aaalitaal and three Fish Conservation Group of Parshuram to conserve the aquatic animals. Destruction will invite crisis and conservation will resolve the problem. The fish conservation campaign started in Rangun wetland area could be a strong basis to resolve the crisis. That is why, this kind of joint work should be continued.

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