YEREVAN, July 21. / ARKA /. A prominent Armenian environmentalist Inga Zarafyan has accused today the nature protection ministry of hiding real data on the critical situation in the cultivation of salmon in Lake Sevan.
Ms. Zarafyan, head of EcoLur non-governmental organization, told a news conference that after her organization cited a statement from the nature protection ministry’s official website saying that according to the findings of a monitoring 60 percent of the lake was not suitable for cultivation of salmon because of swamping the statement was immediately removed from the site.
Arthur Grigoryan from a civil initiative called Save Teghut (it is created by young Armenians concerned with environmental threats in Armenia) said it is unclear where the money released by the government for cleaning up the lakeside vegetation went to.
He said in parallel to restoring the water level in the lake coastal trees and shrubs appear under water, which makes it unsuitable for fish, while the money for cleaning up the lakeside came both from the government and international organizations.
He said ex nature protection minister Aram Harutyunyan (now governor of central province of Kotayk) and Viktor Martirosyan, head of a ministry’s bureau for implementation of environmental projects must be called to account.
ARKA news agency asked the nature protection ministry for comments, but it promised an answer within five days.
According to the National Academy of Science, at the end of 2013 there were 324 metric tons of whitefish in Lake Sevan and about 90-100 tons of other fish, down from 30,000 metric tons in the early nineties of the last century.
Lake Sevan, one of the largest alpine lakes in Europe and Asia, is located in the heart of the Armenian Highland, at an altitude of 1914 meters. The lake is a major drinking water resource in the region. -0-