New Delhi, India football team striker, Jeje Lalpekhlua, and a bunch of youth from his Mizoram village are making an effort to preserve the ecosystem of a river whose biodiversity is being impacted by rampant fishing.
The SC East Bengal player has formed a group that is working relentlessly to keep a vigil on Tuichang River near their home in Model Veng Hnahthial village to prevent unauthorised fishing.
“Overfishing has greatly reduced the number of fishes in the Tuichang River over the years. It was turning out to be a big problem, even for the local fishermen who depend on the river for their livelihood,” Lalpekhlua told the-aiff.com
The locals have identified a 500-metre stretch along the banks of the Tuichang where the fish are believed to have their spawning ground. They have set up a 24-hour patrol to ensure no fishing activities go on.
“Over the last year, we have all taken turns to patrol this stretch to make sure that nobody catches fish in this area. It’s very important for us to leave the fish alone, at least in the spawning areas. Just with this small step we are already seeing the results,” said Lalpekhlua.
“There are so many fish in the river now. Local fishermen say that they haven’t seen so many in the river for years,” he said. “The guys in the village have really worked hard to ensure that this happens. They have all taken turns around the clock to keep an eye on the river banks. I have also been helping out whenever I’ve been in town. Of course, it’s not always possible during the season, when we had to spend five months in the bio-bubble in the ISL.”
Lalpekhlua and the locals are also in constant touch with the local government authorities, who are also supporting their conservation activities.