August 19, 2016

Environmental damages have impact on fish population in Taungthaman lake

A fisherman catches fish in Taungthaman Lake in Mandalay.
A fisherman catches fish in Taungthaman Lake in Mandalay.

DAMAGES to the environment has resulted in a decrease in the population of large fish within Taungthaman lake, located in Amarapura township of Mandalay Region, according to local fishermen.
“I’ve been out on the lake since 3am trying to catch fish, but my haul only comprises tiddlers; I’ve not caught any sizable fish. I’ll get about K5,000 for today’s haul. After we’ve paid our daily fee of K2,000 to the keeper of the lake, to be permitted to catch fish on the lake, we’re left will almost no profit despite the fact we’ve been fishing,” said Ko Thein Aung, a fisherman.
The decline in large species of fish in the lake is linked to pollution of the lake from the disposal of chemicals into from the Mandalay Industrial Zone, along with waster material from residential areas, according to the Department of Fisheries.
“The scarcity of fish is also concerned with climate change. The breeding rate of fish has decreased because of the extreme heat we are experiencing. We need to introduce many species of fish offspring into the lake. We could see abundant numbers of fish after introducing fish offspring. Another reason [for a decline in fish numbers], is related to overfishing. The introduction [into the lake] of the Hilsa species of fish should be avoided when introducing fish offspring as the offspring could affect the Hilsa fishes’ reproduction. We could see abundant fish in the coming year if we just fill the lake with fish offspring,” said U Hnin Oo, vice chair of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation. Other problems which are affecting the Taungthaman lake include the current forming of sandbanks and a proliferation of litter, it is known. “We’ve had to open the sluice gate to allow water to flow into the lake, for failing to do so would see the lake completely dry out,” said a local.
It is known that thousands of fish died in 2014 and 2015 in the lake of Taungthaman.


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