Integrated wetland management: a CIFRI initiative
17th June, 2022
Wetlands have been designated as the blessing for mankind for its ecological services and ICAR- CIFRI has been continuously working for wetland fisheries development to support the livelihoods of the vulnerable communities. The integrated development approach was initiated in DUMA wetland of North 24 Parganas, West Bengal in the year 2021 under Scheduled Caste SubPlan (SCSP) with the aim to increase the fish production up to 1000kg/ha/year within a span of three years under the leadership of Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI.

Duma is one of the largest horseshoe-shaped wetland of Asia having an area of 257 ha with a water depth of 8 - 17 ft. The management right of the wetland is with Duma Fishermen Cooperative Society Ltd with 1081 members including 30 women fishers. The fisherfolk families of 9 villages surrounding Duma wetland are fully dependent on this wetland. For augmenting the fish production from this wetland through pen culture fisheries inputs like HDPE pen, fish feed, fish seeds of IMCs, Systomus sarana and grass carp were distributed previous year. With all this support, the co-operative society has raised the fishes in the pens and after attaining the size of 35 - 40 g, the fishes have been released into the wetland for better production with less investment. In the year 2021 they have harvested about 79 ton of commercial fish of value around 82 lakhs apart from the small indigenous fish. The harvested fish are marketed to the local market and through fish dealers. Besides, more than 500 active fishermen are regularly involved in fishing the small indigenous fishes such as Gudusia chapra, Amblypharyngodon mola, Systomus sarana, Puntius spp., Glossogobius giuris, Macrognathus spp., Catfishes, small-sized murrels etc having an average catch of 1-2 kg.

In continuation to previous year activity, this year also a “Penculture demonstration cum awareness programme” was conducted on 17th June 2022. About, 780 kgs of fish seeds were stocked in the six pens. Being a weed choked wetland, the ‘Grass carp model’ has also been adopted in this wetland. In the mass awareness programme fishers were sensitized about different aspects of integrated wetland development approaches including the in-situ raising of the fish seeds through penculture to reduce the cost of investment. Result demonstration of the penculture was done to motivate the fishers to adopt the pen culture for development of wetland fisheries. During the programme on 17-06-2022 at Duma, Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI advised the fishers to adopt the auto-stocked high-value minor carps in the wetland to improve their income and to conserve the small Indigenous species. He also suggested to stock grass carp to control the submerged macrophytes in the wetland as a biological control mechanism and to use 50% of the additional profit as revolving fund for the next year cropping for their sustenance. Along with the awareness Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) activity was undertaken to assess the major issues related integrated wetland management.

The programme was coordinated by Dr. A. K. Das, Dr. A. Roy, Dr. P. K. Parida, Dr. Piyashi DebRoy, Ms. P. R Swain, Ms. Sangeeta Chakraborty, Mr. Kousik Mondal, Dr. Abhishek Saha, Dr. Shreya Bhattacharya, Mr. Purna Chandra of ICAR-CIFRI and the society members of Duma.

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2017 Last updated on 18/06/2022