The inauguration of a Fish Conservation Zone (FCZ) at Rymben River in Lapalang, East Khasi Hills, was held today.
The FCZ was created as part of the project “Saving the fish from Mekong to Meghalaya”. The Mekong River is a large river system in South East Asia.
Funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund in collaboration with St Anthony’s College, Shillong and others, this project aims to enable local communities to manage their local resources.
The programme was chaired by Bashida Massar, Associate Professor of Zoology at St Anthony’s, who is also the Co-Principal Investigator of the project, in the presence of village elders of Lapalang, Ri Massar, Nongtyngur, Lum Wahñiai and Sordars of Raid Mawshun and Raid Lyngkhat and various local organisations.
Primin Khongjee, headman of Lapalang, extolled the initiation of the project in the village. Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Principal Investigator of the project and four research coordinators – Susan Varghese, Girish Varma and Manish Kumar – were also present at the inaugural programme. In his address, Krishnaswamy remarked that the Lapalang FCZ will enrich the communities along the river and save fish species in the region and the intention to conserve aquatic species in the river is an attempt to replicate what has been successfully carried in the Mekong River system.
Banteilang Majaw, Department of Fisheries Supervisor, lauded the initiative and assured the assistance of the government in the venture. He also spoke about the involvement of the department in the effort made to conserve and promote areas and communities with the potential for fish farming to boost the quality of life and financial stability of people in the state.
The programme concluded with a short walk to Rymben River where the formal unveiling of the FCZ plaque and declaration of the opening of the Fish Conservation Zone was made by Krishnaswamy and Majaw.