Fish harvest Mela at Beledanga: ICAR-CIFRI initiative for Livelihoods enhancement.
ICAR-CIFRI is working on the production enhancement strategy in wetlands under SCSP and WorldFish – W-3 project in various wetlands of West Bengal. Beledanga in North 24 Parganas of West Bengal is a horseshoe shaped wetland having an area of 60 ha with water depth of 10-12 ft. The management right of the wetland is with Beledanga Barrackpur Fishermens’ cooperative Society Ltd. Out of 176 members of cooperative society, 170 members belongs to SC community. The production was 350kg / ha /yr in the year 2019. ICAR-CIFRI has adopted the wetland and started pen culture demonstration last year with a target of increase the fish production up to 1000kg/ha/year in three years. In the first year of operation, 500kg/ ha/yr productivity was achieved. Four numbers of CIFRI Pen HDPE® of 0.1 ha were installed in the wetland and fingerlings of Indian major carp were stocked in 3 pens and Grass carp was stocked in one pen. ICAR-CIFRI has provided technical support and guidance apart from the support in terms of fish feed, fish seed, Coracle and boat to the society.
14th to 18th December 2020 of this month was observed as fish harvest mela at Beledanga and 5 days harvesting of fish was done by fishers in groups. The fishing method is unique here. The fishers in group generally cover an area of large aquatic congregation. After covering the area, they will clear the aquatic vegetation from the area and catch the fish, for this whole work, it takes 7-8 days. In last one year, the production of the wetland crossed 30,000 kg with productivity of 500kg/ha. In the 1st year of intervention of ICAR-CIFRI, 42% increase in fish production has been achieved. It is anticipated that by the year 2022 the production will be doubled with productivity of 1000kg/ha/year from this wetland. The fishers of this wetland are happy and thankful to ICAR-CIFRI for its intervention in this wetland. Under the leadership of Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI has adopted 12 wetlands under SCSP in West Bengal and similar activities are undertaken in thesewetlands.