Chakma refugees threat to ornamental fish

Itanagar: Chakma refugees residing in MPen area under Miao sub-division of Changlang district have resorted to rampant fishing of ornamental fishes from Noa-Dehing river causing concern for the locals.

Fishes of different species weighing up to 35-40 kg and 3-4 feet in length were sold openly in the market by the refugee settlers in the past week despite prohibitory order from the district administration. These aquatic creatures were fished out from Noa-Dehing River in Namdapha National Park (NNP), the tiger reserve in the district, and brought for sale without any fear of action.

Raising concern on the matter, the Singpho Development Society (SDS), Federation of Singpho Youths (FSY) and Miao Mothers Association (MMA) today appealed to the local administration and the NNP authority to take stringent steps to free the protected area from all illegal human activities. NNP field director had recruited nearly 19 local boys as tiger protection force/special task force but they were sitting idle while fishes and other animals were openly killed, the NGOs alleged.

The local administration in the past through widely circulated executive order had banned these activities but despite that the illegal fishing continued unabated. The only environment related NGO active in the area, popularly known as SEACOW, was also immediately informed of the large scale fishing and their sale in the township markets but no action was initiated.

"NNP authority was advised in the past to put the tiger protection force on duty in the entry points and the township to check sale of fishes and other animal meat but till date nothing has been done," they alleged.