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Jammu and Kashmir: Kashmir’s Dwindling Wular Lake Threatens Livelihood by ATHAR PARVAIZ September 13,2017   |  Source: The Wire

When 67-year-old Mohammad Subhan Dar fished in Wular Lake in his youth, fish were abundant in the expansive lake tucked in the lap of lush green mountains in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. The fish, Dar and other villagers said, have almost vanished now. “As compared to the past, fish turnout in Wular has gone down considerably,” Dar told VillageSquare.in. Earlier a fisherman could catch up to 15 kg of fish in a single day. “These days if a person catches even five kg in a day, we call him the king of Wular,” said Dar. For thousands of Kashmiris living on the fringes of its water bodies, fishing, besides collection of water chestnut and fodder have been their sources of livelihood for a long time. But with the water bodies shrinking in size due to encroachment and in depth due to siltation, their livelihoods are at stake.

Water livelihoods

According to a study by Wetland International, 32,000 families including 2,300 fisher households living on Wular’s shores depend on it for livelihood. In Dar’s village, 600 fisher families live off Wular’s resources. “Kashmir’s water bodies such as Wular, Mansbal, Dal lakes and Jhelum have served the people since ages as sources of livelihood and served the region ecologically,” Masood Hussain Balkhi of

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)