The Vembanad Lake in Kerala is fast losing its indigenous fish species. Marine scientists put reason as ranging from pollution to increasing tourist influx.
The second fish count in the Vembanad Lake commenced on May 27, and will last for two months.
The initiative is aimed at creating awareness amongst the people to protect bio-diversity in the region. The two month long exercise will use different methods of sampling and collecting data, to determine the number of fish species remaining in the lake.
In the initial survey done by the scientists, 62 species of fish and 14 species of crustaceans and molluscs, including shrimp, were identified.
"Because of pollution and over fishing the fish population has decreased to mere 51 number in 2008 fish count. We are trying this time also just to see whether improvement in bio-diversity has occurred or taken place," said Jayachandran, Head of Biology Department, Panangad Fisheries College, Kochi.
Professor Jayachandran further added that at one time more than 150 varieties of fish were found in the lake.
The Vembanad Lake is India's longest and the largest covering over 1500 square kilometres in Kerala.
The survey was organised with the joint effort of numerous voluntary organisations and institutions involved in the preservation of aquatic flora and fauna.
The lake is famous for its scenic beauty, and is a major tourist hub in the state.