ICAR-CIFRI support Amphan affected fishers of Chamta Beel, West Bengal for livelihood enhancement: An initiative under SCSP programme
The fishers of Chamta wetland, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal were supported by ICAR-CIFRI by providing fisheries implements like pen, fish seed, fish feed and fishing boat (Coracle) apart from technical support in SCSP programme under the guidance of Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI. The fisheries of Chamta wetland was managed by Chamta Fishermen Cooperative Society Ltd. The Cooperative Society consists of 248 members out of which 219 belong to Scheduled Cast (SC) and 36 are women. The pen culture technology was successfully demonstrated for raising of fish seed as the stocking material for the wetland. Pen culture technology is a low cost seed raising method by utilising the same ecosystem. Under SCSP programme all the inputs required for pen culture were provided by ICAR-CIFRI to the Chmata Fishers. Indian Major Carps (IMC) (18,000 nos), bata (Labeo bata) (10,000 nos) and sarana (Systomus sarana) ( 18,000 nos ) as candidate species were raised in the pen. The growth of the candidate species were up to 10 grams from 3-4 gm could achieve during six week culture period and the seeds were released into the wetland. However, 2.00 lakh IMC seeds were realised into the pen for the 2nd phase culture period in 4 pens @ 50,000 in each pen in the month of March, 2020. During the Amphan cyclone on 20th May, 2020 the pen structure were destroyed, over flooded and the seeds were escaped into the wetland. The fish seed weight was around 12-15 gm during the escape in the Super cyclone, Amphan. Now the pens need to be repaired and new seeds to be stocked in the pen to start the culture in pen once again. On 4th June 2020, ICAR-CIFRI distributed 4.5 tons of fish feed under SCSP programme to Chamta Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Ltd. for seed raising of seeds in pen. This is part of post Amphan support to the fishermen of Chamta to improve their livelihood. The cyclone has devastated their house apart from the pen in the wetland. The feed provided will reduce the cost of seed production and enhance the fish production in the wetland which will in turn improve the livelihood of the fishers. It is anticipated that with the support from ICAR-CIFRI, an additional income of 10.00 lakh from this wetland can be achieved. The programme was monitor daily basis by Ms. Sangeeta (T-3) and Mr. Kaushik (T-3) under the supervision of Dr. Lianthuamluaia and Dr. P. K. Parida, Scientists of ICAR –CIFRI.