Some pockets of Tiswadi, Bardez, Ponda and other areas are witnessing a revival of tisreo. However, with small businesses and employment impacted by the Covid pandemic, neo fishermen are tapping this resource indiscriminately to make a few bucks.
This insensitive extraction is likely to impact their habitats and the entire rejuvenation process, experts said.
“The rejuvenation of shellfish and other species is being seen after many years. Unregulated exploitation of tisreo may limit the availability of brooding stock for not only next season, but also the future,” former chief scientist, biological oceanography NIO, Baban Ingole, said.
A member of the Chicalim Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC), Cyril Fernandes, said that it was neo-fishermen who travel on two and four-wheelers, who think more of their profits and harvest undersized clams. “Locals who appreciate the dynamics of sustainable extraction avoid entering the river bed as the tisreo are undersized,” he said.
The ready market and unregulated extraction create havoc with shellfish biodiversity hotspots. “Insensitive extraction has destroyed the habitats that had witnessed bumper crops in the past,” an activist said.
The management of the habitats for sustainable fishing poses a major problem. In Chicalim, the local BMC with the police held off extractors during the pandemic. But the resource was plundered due to problems in controlling bigger crowds and odd hours of fishing.
“A more marketable size would benefit the fishermen and ecology. Proper regulation would ensure a win-win situation for stakeholders,” Ingole said.
Goa State Biodiversity Management Board is working on guidelines for some areas to regulate harvesting activity. “The stakeholders need to be sensitised and this we will tackle through our livelihood programme,” member secretary Pradip Sarmokadam said.
“Sensitising them to make them aware of the loss of biodiversity has to be taken up like a campaign,” G B Sreekanth, a fisheries scientist said.