River ranching cum
fishermen awareness under the ‘Namami Gange’programme.
ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute organized a river ranching cum
fishermen awareness programme on 6th November, 2018 at Swarupganj Ghat, Nabadwip,
Nadia, West Bengal under the ‘Namami Gange’ programme. The prime objectives of NMCG
sponsored project includes exploratory survey of the riverine fish diversity, stock assessment
& enhancement of the popular food fishes like Rohu, Catla, Mrigal, Calbasu and Mahaseer by
ranching in the depleted stretches of river Ganga. Released fishes like Calbasu, Mrigal & Rohu
will not only provide increased fish catch and improved livelihood but also help in maintaining
the cleanliness of the river as they feed on organic remnants. Till date, a total of 12 ranching
cum awareness programme have been organized in several states like Uttarakhand, Uttar
Pradesh and West Bengal with an aim to restore and conserve the depleting fish stock of the
The event was encouraged by the local MLA (Nabadwip) Mr. Pundarikakshya Saha.
Giving credit to the efforts of ICAR-CIFRI, Sabhapati Panchayet Samiti (Nabadwip), Mr.
Haridas Debnath pointed about the ill effects of sugar mill effluents coming from neighbouring
districts of Bangladesh through adjacent river Jalangi (a tributary of river Ganga) causing large
scale fish mortality and requested for immediate interventions at Government level on this
transboundary issue. Mr. Sirajul Seikh, Pradhan, Swarupganj Gram Panchayet, highlighted the
need of improved coordination between central, state and local administration for better
management of the river. He also requested the fishers not to use zero mesh seine net (locally
known as ber jaal) which is highly detrimental to the fish diversity of the river. Dr. B. K. Das,
Director, CIFRI, urged the fishermen community to adopt suitable management strategy like
allowing the released fishes to grow and proliferate for restoration of the fish stock. He also
mentioned about all the activities of the ongoing NMCG project like restoration of Hilsa at
upstream of Farkka barrage, continuous river ranching efforts during past two years in entire
stretch of river Ganga, etc. He also highlighted about different sources of pollution of the river.
Dr. Das requested the fishermen to actively take part in maintaining nirmal dhara of Ganga by
preventing plastic and other pollution practices in river. He assured that CIFRI will soon
highlight the transboundary pollution issues of river Jalangi at appropriate official level. The
event was also addressed by several reputed local social activists/peoples’ representatives like
Mr. Ajay Kar, Mr. Satish Debnath, Mr. Amalendu Saha and Mrs. Sukla Bhowmik. They urged
to develop mass awareness about possible conservation measures by installing placards and
banners at various public places and around the river banks. As a part of the programme, 03
lakhs seed of fishes like Calbasu, Mrigal & Rohu were released in the river Bhagirathi (Ganga)
in front of the holy ISKCON temple, Mayapur. The programme was attended by more than
150 local active fishermen and their family members. The event was well covered by several
local print media and electronic media.