In an effort to encourage and preserve more fish sanctuaries in the region, the Mandal Wari Fish Sanctuary along the Ganol River at Ganol A’pal near Tura was inaugurated today by Thomas A. Sangma, Adviser to the Chief Minister, Government of Meghalaya. The programme was organised by the Department of Fisheries, West Garo Hills, Tura.
Expressing his gratitude for being able to grace the occasion, Sangma lauded the efforts of the concerned department for making this stretch of the Ganol river as a Fish Sanctuary which aims to protect and preserve various kinds of locally available fish in the region.
Moreover, he stated that preserving fishes in the running water is unique which people in other places are also trying their best, but not flourishing as expected and therefore, people come to see this fish sanctuary adding that it should be made popular in order to attract and promote eco-tourism in the area and generate revenue as well.
Further, Sangma informed that there are about six varieties of Mahseer which is prevalent in our region, but could not thrive well due to fishing for consumption by people and with the preserving of this fish sanctuary both the water and fishes will be protected stating that preserving this extinct variety of fishes in the region is our responsibility which needs to be passed on to our future generations.
Moreover, he expressed hope that since the place is a popular picnic spot frequented by many, other development activities with the help of the Tourism Department along with other line departments would be implemented for the benefit of the people, however, he urged everyone to keep the place clean and conserve the fishes as well.
West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Ram Singh said that there are about 159 species of fish spread on the water bodies in Meghalaya which, if not preserved will tend to become extinct in future and therefore, the government have taken the initiative to encourage people to conserve more fish sanctuaries in the region, adding that the intervention will help to increase the production of indigenous fishes of the region and promote fish culture in the area.
Moreover, Singh cautioned the people to avoid the use of illegal and destructive methods of fishing and also to avoid washing clothes and utensils with soap in the river especially those living upstream so that fishes can breed in the natural habitat and multiply.
Meanwhile, delivering his keynote address, the Superintendent of Fisheries, West Garo Hills, Rozer B R Marak informed that the Mandal Wari Fish Sanctuary at Ganol A’pal, Rongram Block was established under the Scheme Blue Revolution 2016-2017 which was launched in 2018 focusing on preserving the endangered species of fish in the rivers of the region and also to enhance fish production as well as to increase their income.
Marak also mentioned that financial assistance was sanctioned for the said fish sanctuary and informed that local people of the area will look after and maintain the fish sanctuary by collecting nominal fee from the visitors.
The Block Development Officer, Rongram, C&RD Block Shelley Momin, Assistant Director of Tourism Bulbully S Marak, District Project Manager (IBDLP) V Valentine Hembron, officers of line departments, Nokma and people of the area were among others present at the function.