Mass Awareness Program at Polavaram, Andhra Pradesh
A mass awareness programme on ‘Fisheries and habitat conservation in river Godavari
for sustainable livelihood’ (గోదావరి నదిలో స్థిరమైన జీవనోపాధి కోసం చేపల పెంపకం మరియు
నివాస పరిరక్షణ) was organised at Polavaram, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, on 27 th
September 2018 jointly by ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore,
Kolkata and Department of Fisheries, Government of Andhra Pradesh. About 100 fishers,
dependent on river Godavari for their livelihood, participated in the meeting.
The initiative was taken by Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore and the Joint
Director, West Godavari District, Dr. S. Anjali took special interest in organising the
programme. Dr. S. Samanta, Principal Scientist, Dr. Sajina A.M., Scientist, Dr. S. Bhowmick,
Chief Technical Officer and Mr. S. K. Paul, Senior Technical Officer from CIFRI and Dr. S.
Anjali, Joint Director, Mr. Saida Naik, Assistant Director, Mr. Abbul, Assistant Inspector,
Department of Fisheries, West Godavari District took part in the event.
The program started with the welcome address given by Mr. Saida Naik. Dr. S. Samanta
highlighted the importance of aquatic habitat, pollution status and its probable impact on
aquatic life and especially on fishes in river Godavari. Dr. Sajina A. M. and Shri S. K. Paul
briefed on the status of fisheries of river Godavari and livelihood issues and stressed on the
importance of conservation of fishes and river habitat. Dr. S. Anjali, Joint Director, West
Godavari emphasised the importance of CCRF (Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries),
mesh size regulations, closed season and other fisheries management tools for conservation
of riverine fisheries. Dr. Sanjay Bhowmick spoke on fish diseases in inland open water
systems and also relevance of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for targeting a clean River Godavari.
The programme in total highlighted the importance of river Godavari for earning the
livelihood of thousands of fishers in the district. The fishers assembled expressed their
concern over declining fish catch and also reduction in size of fish, especially carps. The
steep decline in the once abundant prawn catch was reflected in the discussion with fishers
and officials. They also expressed their concern over the upcoming Polavaram project and its
impact on their livelihood to which the state fisheries officials explained the various welfare
schemes by the Government. Arranging more such events on different aspects of inland open
water fisheries will increase the awareness among the fishers about the riverine fisheries,
which is already facing various levels of stress for earning their livelihood in a sustainable