Mackerel presence in Ashtamudi points to saltwater incursion

Mackerel presence in Ashtamudi points to saltwater incursion

Kollam: Edible sea fish is now swimming around the backwaters cutting through coastal areas of Kerala's Kollam district. For fish lovers this may be good news, but the bountiful sighting of mackerel in the Ashtamudi Lake is an ominous sign of saltwater incursion into freshwater bodies in the area. It is feared that the backwaters would be affected adversely and the natural resources of Ashtamudi would get depleted, thus affecting the livelihood of inland fisherfolk. This phenomenon may adversely affect the ecosystem of several coastal regions, including Munroe Thuruth, in Kollam district.

Of late mackerel ('ayala' in local parlance) has been found in large numbers in the backwaters here. Fishermen in Pezhumthuruthu and Muttam areas netted lots of mackerel over the past few days. They also caught other marine fish and this strange catch has become the main talking point along the shores. Even netizens have been sharing pictures of the catch.

In sea, oily fish mackerels are found in zones with a specific amount of salinity. When such saltwater enters the backwaters, mackerel (Scomber scombrus) too follow suit.

Ashtamudi Lake is renowned for its unique wetland ecosystem.