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SKUAST Faculty of Fisheries Celebrates World Wetland Day

The SKUAST Faculty of Fisheries Ganderbal on Tuesday commemorated World Wetlands Day with experts and students from the faculty interacting here with officials from Wetland division at Ramsar protected Hokersar wetland site.

Ayushi Raina
SKUAST Faculty of Fisheries Ganderbal celebrated World Wetlands Day with faculty specialists and students interacting with officials from the Wetland Division
SKUAST Faculty of Fisheries Ganderbal celebrated World Wetlands Day with faculty specialists and students interacting with officials from the Wetland Division

The SKUAST Faculty of Fisheries Ganderbal celebrated World Wetlands Day on Tuesday, with faculty specialists and students interacting with officials from the Wetland Division at the Ramsar protected Hokersar wetland site. 

While authorities at the wetland informed faculty members and budding scientists about the efforts being made to protect wetlands in the valley, they also discussed the obstacles they have been facing in safeguarding these ecological assets. 

While large-scale sedimentation has always been an issue for them, the officials said that the entry of solid waste into wetlands is a severe matter that requires more attention from specialists since it has resulted in the deterioration of water quality. 

When discussing the significance of wetlands, Ifshan Dewan, Wildlife Warden Wetlands, stated that the notion of wetlands as wastelands must alter dramatically and that the scientific community, as well as the department as a whole, must redouble their efforts to safeguard the fragile ecology of wetlands. 

She stated that the department was successful in delineating the limits of Hokersar and they are optimistic about fixing other issues. She urged students to become interested in migratory waterfowl, which arrive in the valley in September and leave by March, with 10 lakh of these winged visitors expected to visit Valley wetlands this year. 

She said that there is a need for the faculty scientist in safeguarding and scientifically developing the aquatic habitats here. 

Dr. Adnan Abubakr, Head, Division of Aquatic Environmental Management at faculty who coordinated the program sponsored by the JK State Science Technology and Innovation, Department of Science and Technology, told that the primary objective of holding this event at Hokersar was to give students firsthand experience with the challenges that wetlands face and the majors required to protect them. 

He stated that wetlands not only support a variety of bird species, but that fish is also an important component of such a system, and students in the future might work on solutions for the sustainable development of fragile wetlands. 

Suhail Yousuf, range officer at Hokersar, stated that the amount of solid waste entering the wetland is the primary cause of deteriorating water quality. 

Regarding the extinction of some of the fish species previously found in this wetland, he stated that further research is needed to protect what is left. 

He stated that, while more birds were drawn to the wetland this year, they had tremendous difficulties maintaining water levels in the wetland due to a delay in the building of required control gates at the designated sites to keep adequate water in this vital wetland. 

He hoped that because of their recent proposal to authorities, the influx of effluents released straight into the wetland would cease. 

While interacting with students, GN Baba, a block officer at the wetland, stated that community engagement is vital in protecting wetlands. He explained that at ground level they face challenges in confronting people who dump waste in the wetland or resort to encroachments. 

He asked the students that in their research they too will face such challenges, but have to overcome work hard for the betterment of society. 

The program was attended by Dr. Tasaduq Hussain Shah along with Dr. Rizwan Malik besides many of the faculty officials and students. 

The two-day event will conclude today with a painting competition on the topic "Wetlands Action for People and Nature" at the faculty's Campus Rangil. 

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