Indawgyi Lakes faces drops in fish population
Although the number of fish species still remains stable in the Myanmar’s largest natural inland lake, fish population decreases because of the in-crease in the fishermen from outside the lake area, said U Maung Win, administrator of Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary.
“According to our monthly record, there is no change in the number of marine species, but local fishermen complained that their catch rates dropped. According to them, in the past, they captured five viss (one viss = 3.6 pounds) of fish in one net throw, but now they could not get that amount even in ten net throws. They also said that they rarely find nga dain and nga phein, which are included in the native species,” the administrator told the media.
In connection with the efforts for international recognition of the Indawgyi Lake in Kachin State in the north of the country, he said, “We have been try-ing to become a world heritage for long. But, Khagaborazi is the priority project in Kachin State. Because of the problem in demarcating the extended area, the issue of putting the ice capped mountain area into the list is not going well. Fishes like migyaung thwagya htoe-dan and yaynaya can be found only in Indawgyi Lake. If these two native species go extinct, our lake and its area may lose its Ramsar site (2016), and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status.”
Indawgyi area branch of the Department of Fisheries is taking severe action against electrofishing practiced mostly by the outsiders. In fact, the success of the natural reserve area and wildlife sanctuary largely depends on the active involvement of the local people.
Indawgyi is the largest natural inland lake in Myanmar. It has the Indawgyi Wildlife San-ctuary which has an area of 314.67 square miles, including
the surface lake with a surface area of 100 square miles. Esta-blished on 4 March 1999, the wildlife sanctuary is providing home for 37 mammal species, 350 bird species, 99 aquatic bird species, 88 amphibians species, 80 fish species, and 50 turtle species. Moreover 85 tree species, 56 herbal plant species, 11 bamboo species, 14 grass species, five rattan species, 70 orchid species are flourishing in the sanctuary.
The 29th UNESCO Biosp-here Reserve meeting held in France on 14 June 2017 designated Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary and its surrounding area as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Apart from its natural beau-ties, Indawgyi Lake is renowned for its Shwemyintzu Pagoda, and island pagoda, built by the Buddhist monk by the religious title U Myintzu and birth name U Tha Aye in 1896 (ME 1290).
Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary was set up with Mongnong forest reserve in 1905 during the colonial period. In 1912, Nantkhayin forest reserve was added to the sanctuary. In 2004, Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary was established with five forest reserves -- Mongnong forest reserve, Nantkhayin forest reserve, Nantmon forest re-serve, Muhso forest reserve, and Indawgyi forest reserve – and 64,003 acres of protected areas. The total area of the sanctuary is 201,383 acres.