Fish Sanctuaries

Fish Sanctuaries in Western Ghats of Maharashtra

Above: Near the fish Sanctuary at Tekpowale, Pune Photo: Sarosh Ali

Introduction .

In India, there has been a rich tradition of communities trying to conserve a part of their ecosystem as a microcosm for the rest. The Western Ghats in particular was home to myriad of such community sanctuaries. These, however, diminished as government policies from the time of the British, and even post-independence, did not realize the importance of community involvement.

There are many community conserved areas (CCAs), some that have existed from ancient times, and some which have emerged in recent times, after having observed some form of degradation, related to local communities are trying to salvage the ecosystem in Western Ghats. While Sacred Groves, or protected patches of forests are relatively well documented, sacred fish sanctuaries which protect the fish as well as rivers, are lesser known. This is an attempt to briefly document a few such sanctuaries in Western Ghats of Maharashtra. Continue reading “Fish Sanctuaries in Western Ghats of Maharashtra”

Fish Sanctuaries · Maharashtra · Western Ghats

White Elephant, Black Fish

How a 15 MW project with 55 mts high dam threatens 5 villages and a fish sanctuary

After an analysis of a particularly nasty dam, I felt like going back to flowing rivers. It is monsoon after all. The plan was to visit Kal River in Western Ghats of Raigad District in Maharashtra to understand how a community in a small village called Walen Kondh is protecting the river and Mahseer fish. Mahseer (Deccan Mahseer, Tor tor) is classified as endangered as per IUCN classification and most wild Deccan Mahseer populations have been wiped out in India. And hence a small, out of the way place, protecting these fish as well as the river voluntarily was like a breeze of fresh air. Continue reading “White Elephant, Black Fish”