YEREVAN, March 17. / ARKA /. According to the latest estimates, fish population in Armenia’s largest Lake Sevan has slashed from 21,000 metric tons in the 1980s to about 300 metric tons now, an aquatic ecosystem expert, Seyran Minasyan, said today.
Speaking at a news conference, Minasyan said the main reasons for the dramatic drop in fish population are regular release of water for irrigation and pollution of the lake, which gradually change the chemical composition of the water reducing the proportion of phosphorus and increasing the proportion of nitrogen.
On January 30 the Armenian government approved an increase in the release of irrigation water from the lake from the current 170 million to 240 million cubic meters per year until 2019. The parliament will hold hearings on this issue on March 19.
Former head of a parliament committee on social, health and environment issue Gagik Tadevosyan, who co-authored the current law on Lake Sevan, blamed the dramatic drop in fish population on ruthless poaching by residents of nearby villages.
Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and the South Caucasus region and one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. The lake is situated in the central part of the Republic of Armenia, at the altitude of over 1,900m above sea level. It is fed by 28 rivers and streams. -0-