Manipur: All activities at Loktak Lake restricted till March 2023
Loktak Lake

Imphal: The All Loktak Lake Areas Fishers Union, Manipur (ALLAFUM) has restricted all activities, including the entry of fishers along the Loktak Lake at night, for three months so that migratory birds visiting the lake during the season remained undisturbed as well as grow more fingerlings at the lake.

The restriction, which came into force on December 30, 2022, will be in place till March 30, said Heisnam Arunkumar, president, ALLAFUM. Similarly, there will be no movement of tourist boats in the lake, he added.

According to Arunkumar, the annual restriction at the northeast’s largest freshwater lake has been observed since 2016.

“The winter season is for fingerlings to grow into more mature fish and overfishing can lead to very quick depletion of the fish population. Moreover, the migratory birds visit Loktak Lake during this season and it is important that we do not disturb them, particularly at night,” Arunkumar said.

The union has also imposed restrictions on the use of LED bulb and Injao Thaba/Inao Thaba technique (use of small or large-sized fishing nets) at night during the period.

Moreover, the use of other deadly techniques such as poison and dynamo at Loktak Lake has been strictly restricted in all seasons.

Arunkumar further stated that migratory birds from many countries come to visit Loktak lake during the winter season.

“Using LED bulbs at night does disturb their behavior and we must not allow this to happen. To respect them and to ensure that Loktak continues to be a migratory bird’s paradise we must stop using LED during this season. Remember, it has potential for huge eco-tourism,” he said.

Further stating that motorised boats are harmful to the aquatic vegetables as well as to fish, he said, “The union has expressed hope that all motor boats, both small and big, plying at Loktak Lake must stop operating except for some essential ones like those plying between Thanga and Karang and for medical emergencies. Earlier, the union has written to the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change.” 

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Our appeal has been heard and the Ministry also has asked the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) to take action on this. However, LDA has been silent on this matter, he alleged.

ALLAFUM has appealed to all fishers of Loktak to respect this decision. We also appeal to the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) to begin the ban of motor boats and the use of LED Bulbs for night fishing, he added.

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