Satkosia fishermen community have demanded alternate measures for them before imposing fishing ban in the 22-km long gorge.
Bhubaneshwar: Over-exploitation of fish resources, water pollution or lack of proper supervision seem to be taking a toll on the population of the endangered Gharials in Odisha’s Satkosia gorge.
Though no official figure is provided regarding the number of Gharials in the gorge, nestled in the river Mahanadi in Angul district, the locals said Gharials are not being sighted in the volume as they used to be in the past years. Taking concerns of the local people, the officials of the forest department have decided to initiate measures to prevent the decline in the population of the endangered species.
According to sources, prior to the arrival of monsoon in Odisha, five Gharials from Nandankanan would be released in lake for successful breeding of the animals. Further, the officials are likely to impose a ban on fishing.
Though the idea gained positive response from the locals, the Satkosia fishermen community have demanded alternate measures for them before imposing fishing ban in the 22-km long gorge.
“It’s a very good initiative by the government. After releasing new species, care should be taken by the department for the protection of the species,” said Binod Kumar Samal, a local resident.
“We don’t agree that overfishing is the reason for decline of Gharial population. Steps should be taken to ensure that livelihood of the fishermen community is not affected,” said Manas Pal, advisor of Satkosia fishermen community.
On the other hand, environmentalists are of the opinion that the existence of muggers and gharials together could be the reason for Gharial extinction.
“It’s necessary to study the problems in the ecosystem that affect the survival of Gharials. Initially, a few Keto Gharials would be released and monitoring will be done to identify the problems that prevent their growth,” said Angul regional chief conservator of forests (RCCF), Pradeep Raj Karat.