Ayeyawady river faces shortage of fish in peak season

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Locals catch fish in Ayeyawady River on 23 October 2020. Photo: Zayyatu (Magway)

Although this is the abundant fish season annually for the local fishermen, Ayeyawady River is with the shortage of fish in this period, according to a report from Magway region fishers.
Ten years ago, a fishing vessel caught around ten visses of fish daily with the use of the fishing nets. This year, the local fishermen are challenging to catch even five visses of fish per day, said the local fishermen.
“I do not have the vaguest idea of why there is a shortage of fish. Before pandemic, we could work on the land if we could not work in the water. Now, we couldn’t work either on the land or in the water,” said Ma Ei Ei Tun, a fisher.
Some assume that the climate change is the leading cause of changing the natural environment in the river, distracting the fish habitats by growing the alluvial soil and using of agricultural pesticides and herbicides and this is causing the shortage of the fish in the river year by year.
“There are many reasons for the shortage of fish. It is also concerned with the weather condition, illegal fishing and rising of the fishermen. We could not look for anyone space.
The fish may be scarce in this place but maybe abundant in another place,” said U Myint Shwe, the head of the Fisheries Department in Magway region.
There has been illegal electro-fishing in the river for around three years. When we tell the illegal fishers, they pose a threat to the family who is involved. So, we stay quiet for this reason, said Ma Thin Nu Aung, a fisherwoman.
There are some 1,500 fishers in Magway region. Among them, most of the fishers are living onboard the fishing vessel because they don’t have a place to live in, according to the local fishermen. —Zayyatu (Magway)

(Translated by Hay Mar)

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