ICAR-CIFRI promotes Canal fisheries in Indian Sundarbans
Indian Sundarbans are rich in canal systems and these canals were excavated for freshwater resource. Most of the canals in Indian Sundarban are fed by the tidal water through connecting channel. These canals are source of livelihood and household nutrition for the populace of Sundarbans. ICAR- Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute had taken an initiative for canal fisheries development under Tribal Subplan in the Bali Island since 2014. To restore Indian major carps stock in the Aila affected canals of Sundarban CIFRI released Indian major carp’s seed in 2015 in six canals located in Bali G.P.-I, and Kalitala G.P of Sundarbans with total water area of 22.1 hectare. With regular monitoring, management and capacity building good harvest was obtained and 1200 tribal fishermen / women were benefited from the programme. To earmark the success ICAR-CIFRI has taken canal fisheries development in Indian Sundarbans in Project mode, with the objective to produce desirable quantity of fish through scientific management practices to support the livelihood of local populace. ICAR-CIFRI has demonstrated ‘Net Barrier -Culture-based fisheries’ successfully in Bharua canal of Sundarbans (W.B.) and in six months of culture period a total of 200 kg of fish has harvested from an area of 2250 sq m. This year stocking was done on 12th July, 2019 in Bharua canal, Namkhana and Kostala canal, Frezarganj by ICAR-CIFRI with the objective to harness a better harvest from those canals by ensuring community participation. Sri Srimanata Mali, Jila Shabhadhipati, Panchayet leaders, Sri Sridam Mandal, Social worker were also present is the stocking programme. A ‘Farmer-Scientist Interface Meet’ was also organized in Sivpur Primary school to interact with the local populace and to get their views regarding Canal Fisheries Development in Sunadarban areas. People are very much motivated and interested to initiate canal fisheries in their locality ‘Khal’/ canals. PRA was also conducted to priorities the problems in canal fisheries development. As, canals are common property, conflict of interest is the major problem for canal fisheries development and it can be only possible if good linkages between Local populace-Panchayet-State fisheries Department and Research Organization like CIFRI may establish. To encounter these challenges community mobilization through awareness and sensitization workshops are essential.