ICAR-CIFRI organized workshop on “Stakeholders consultation cum consultative workshop on Hilsa fisheries improvement for sustainable fisheries and conservation in river Ganga”
Barrackpore, Kolkata, 27 th September, 2023
A workshop under NMCG project on “Stakeholders consultation cum consultative workshop on Hilsa fisheries improvement for sustainable fisheries and conservation in river Ganga” was organized at ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore on 27th September 2023. The workshop initiated with a warm welcome extended by Dr. A.K.Sahoo, Co-PI, NMCG Project and briefed on the objectives of the Workshop. Dr. Basanta Kumar Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI in his opening remarks highlighted the importance of the hilsa and dolphin conservation in the river Ganga and the scientific interventions taken up by ICAR-CIFRI since 2018. Dr. Sandeep Kumar Behera, Consultant, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Mr. Rajdeep Mukherjee, Policy analyst, Bay of Bengal Programme (BoBP-IGO), Mr. G. C. Das, Wild Life Institute of India (WII), Dr. D.K. Dey, Retired Principal Scientist of ICAR-CIFRI, Dr. U. Bhowmik, Retired Principal Scientist & Former HoD of REF Division, ICAR-CIFRI, Dr. Subrata Dasgupta, Retd. Principal Scientist of ICAR-CIFE, Dr. Ashim Kumar Nath, Professor, Department of Zoology, SBKU University, Prof. Sudhir Kumar Das, WBUAFS, and Dr. Gayatri Tripathi, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFE graced the occasion as expert members. Dr. Sandeep Behera in his opening remarks highlighted the importance of the Hilsa fisheries improvement programme carried out by ICAR-CIFRI since 2018. He updated the status of fish pass operation in Farakka barrage and believed that the fish pass will provide the additional support towards upstream hilsa migration in the river Ganga.

Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI outlined the workshop with a brief presentation of the work carried out under NMCG Hilsa Project (Component II) for last 3 years. In the presentation, he highlighted the project's objectives, significant activities and achievements under the project. Dr. Das explained that more than 90,000 of adult Hilsa were ranched at the upstream of Farakka barrage with an aim to enhance the Hilsa stock in the middle stretch of the river Ganga. He briefed about the hilsa ranching procedure, tagging methods employed and the recovery of Hilsa in the upstream. Besides Hilsa egg and spawn were also ranched into the river for increasing the juvenile availability and the impact of ranching on hilsa population was also presented. Dr. B.K. Das also presented the pilot-scale experiments conducted under the project for captive breeding and rearing of Hilsa. Issues and challenges related to the restoration and conservation of Hilsa in river Ganga and their captive rearing was also addressed.

During the panel discussion, expert members appreciated the work carried out by ICAR-CIFRI particularly on the re-appearance of Hilsa juveniles and adults in the upstream of the Farakka in river Ganga between Praygraj to Farakka due to ranching programme. They emphasized further detailed work on the identification of Hilsa breeding grounds and protect them from destructive fishing. More research efforts were needed to augment the captive rearing of Hilsa under cages and other culture systems for domestication. They also discussed about the strategies related to the sustainable management of Hilsa in river Ganga and warrant cohesiveness between the state governments and research organization for hilsa fisheries management. Furthermore, challenges like illegal fishing using small mesh nets and brooder collection during peak seasons were pointed out to be the two utmost important issues. Fish farmers/ fishers from Godhakali, Diamond Harbour were also interacted with the expert members and raise few concerns regarding low Hilsa availability and agreed for the extended cooperation for CIFRI activities in future. Finally, the workshop ended formally with a vote of thanks proposed by Dr. D.K.Meena, Co-PI of NMCG. The programme was coordinated by Dr. A.K.Sahoo, Dr. D.K.Meena, Mr. Santhana Kumar and Mr. Mitesh Ramteke with the support of research scholars of NMCG Component II under the overall supervision of Dr. Basanta Kumar Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI.

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2017 Last updated on 29/09/2023