India is endowed with vast water resources under floodplain wetlands to the
tune of 0.554 million ha especially in the eastern and north eastern part of the
country. Though the wetlands have huge potential for increasing fish
production, these resources have not been adequately utilized due to several
factors. During the last century, the country has witnessed considerable change
in climate with increase in temperature in the range of 0.6°C, change in
precipitation patterns and occurrence of extreme events. The impact of climatic
variability on wetland fisheries includes changes in habitat, aquatic biodiversity,
fish yield, aquatic weed proliferation, dominance of exotic species etc. which
has negatively impacted the livelihood of fishers. In this background, a novel
programme was launched on developing model wetland for livelihood security
and restoration of indigenous fishes under NICRA project on 16.02.2017 at
Bhomra Beel, Haringhata, West Bengal. The programme was graced by Dr. B.
K. Das, Director ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore in presence of state fishery official,
fishers and other stakeholders.
The programme started with welcome address by Dr. U. K. Sarkar, HoD,
Reservoir and Wetland Fisheries Division, ICAR-CIFRI and PI, NICRA. In his
welcome note, he highlighted the importance of the climate smart strategies for
enhancement of wetland fisheries and indigenous fish conservation. He stated
that through climate resilient technologies and adaptation strategies the fishers
can cope up with adverse impact of climatic variability. Dr. Sarkar appreciated
the enthusiasm and support provided by the state fisheries officials of the
In his address, Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI motivated the fishers to join
hands and to adopt scientific management strategies and technologies to
restore the ecosystem as well to enhance the income from the wetland. He also
stressed on conservation and gradual restoration of high value small indigenous
fish species in the wetlands through innovative approaches and forming social
groups comprising fisherwomen. He further suggested for creating value chain
for local level processing and marketing of fish to ensure higher returns.
Director, ICAR-CIFRI also inaugurated the Climate Resilient Pen Culture System
in Bhomra Beel and released fish seed of IMCs, Puti, Folui, Singhi and Pabda, in
the pens. The demonstration of the technology aims to serve as a model
wetland for this region.
Dr. A. K. Das, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFRI emphasized on the importance of
floodplain wetlands in enhancing farmers income by following integrated
approaches. Mr. R.N. Dey FEO, Haringhata appreciated ICAR-CIFRI for the new
initiatives for restoration of wetlands through sustainable management. Mr.
Gour Haldar, Manager, Bhomra Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Ltd. (BFCS)
expressed his deep interest and support of the BFCS ltd in implementing the
joint venture. He also pointed out several issues related to wetland fisheries
development to which the scientists of CIFRI gave suggestions. On the
occasion, a fishers-scientist interaction meet was also organized at Bhomra
Beel, Nadia, West Bengal.
On this juncture ICAR-CIFRI signed a MoU with BFCS Ltd. for pen culture
demonstration in Bhomra beel. The programme was attended by more than 50
fishers of the co-operative society and scientists and other staffs and members
of NICRA project, ICAR-CIFRI.