Chilika lake museum comes up in Odisha to showcase its marine diversity

The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) has constructed a museum near Barkul, on the banks of the Chilika lake, to showcase the marine diversity of Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon.

The project has been executed under the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) at an investment of around Rs 50 lakh.

Chief Executive of CDA Susanta Nanda said around 80 commercially important varieties of prawns, crabs and fish will be on display in the fish-shaped museum. “A total of 330 species of fish and 12 species of prawns of  Chilika sustain the lives of two lakh fishermen and account for nearly 20% of sea food exports of Odisha,” Nanda said.

However, the annual fish production, which stands at around 1,400 tonne, is much less than the maximum sustainable yield of the lake. Besides, there will be a mini-aquarium in the museum where CDA will showcase the incredible diversity of marine life found in Chilika. The museum is expected to be inaugurated shortly.

Visitors will be charged a nominal entry fee of Rs 5 to be utilised for maintenance of the museum. The school and college students, however, will not have to pay. Apart from the museum, CDA has given a proposal to MoEF to set up a butterfly park in Maa Kalijai island under the NPCA project with a funding ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and State. The park has been planned in one hectare of land on the island.