Inception Workshop on ‘Pen aquaculture for upliftment of floodplain wetland fishers of
Northeastern region’ organized by ICAR-CIFRI at Guwahati on 24 August 2018
Regional Centre of ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Guwahati organized an
inception workshop on ‘Up-scaling of climate-friendly pen aquaculture technology for
improved livelihood, employment generation and enhanced income of wetland fishers of
North-eastern India’ on 24.08.18 at the College of Veterinary Science (AAU), Khanapara.
The project is sponsored by the National Mission on Himalayan Studies, Ministry of
Environment and Forest, Govt. of India. The overall aim of the project is refinement of pen
aquaculture technology for socio-economic upliftment of wetland fishers of North-east India,
which would be implemented by ICAR-CIFRI in collaboration with Directorates of Fisheries,
Govt. of Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
In the inaugural session, Dr. B.K. Bhattacharjya, Head (Acting), ICAR-CIFRI Regional
Centre, Guwahati and Convenor of the programme welcomed the participants, guests and
invitees and presented the background and purpose of the workshop. He sought inputs and
guidance from all present at the workshop for finalizing the technical activities of the project.
In his inaugural address, Dr. J. K. Jena, DDG (Fisheries and Animal Sciences), ICAR, New
Delhi state that by adopting scientific methods of fishery enhancement including pen
aquaculture in large and productive floodplain wetlands (beels/ pats), the North-east region
should be able to supply local fish (which command high price) to its large fish eating
population. He drew attention of the house to the fact that fish is now considered a healthy
food as it contains highly digestible proteins, PUFA, vitamins and minerals. Dr. Jena further
stated that fish farming is highly profitable and enjoy the advantages of on-demand harvest &
sale (unlike vegetables).
Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore stated that enclosure culture technologies
developed and commercialized by the Institute are recently being adopted on a large-scale in
many states like Odisha and Telengana, and there is immense scope for large-scale adoption
of these technologies in open waters (wetlands and reservoirs) of Assam, Manipur,
Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh. Fisheries being a state-subject, collaborative efforts between
Department of Fisheries (as development partner) and ICAR-CIFRI (as knowledge partner)
would go a long way in enhancing production and productivity of open waters of NER, he
Prof. Dr. R. N. Goswami, Dean, CVSc (AAU), Khanapara, Guwahati mentioned that
fisheries and animal husbandry are the two sunrise sectors in agriculture that are expanding
rapidly in the NER, which must be due to remunerative nature of these sub-sectors.
Shri H. Biramani Singh, Director of Fisheries, Manipur conveyed the willingness of
Department of Fisheries, Manipur to extend full cooperation in implementing the
collaborative pen aquaculture project in the pats/ lakes of Manipur under NMHS project. He
was confident that pen culture can enhance fish production from mostly weed-choked pats of
Manipur based on past collaborative pen aquaculture demonstrations in Takmu pat,
Bishnupur district with funding and technical support from ICAR-CIFRI.
The workshop was graced by a galaxy of eminent fisheries scientists and officers including;
Dr. S. Rajkhowa, Director, NRC on Pig, Guwahati; Shri H. Biramani Singh, Director of
Fisheries, Govt. of Manipur; Shri J. K. Samal, Deputy General Manager, NABARD,
Guwahati; Scientists of ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati; Dr. Rajdeep Dutta,
Assistant Professor, College of Fisheries (AAU), Raha; Fisheries Officers and 12 fishers from
Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh participated in the workshop.
In the technical session, Dr. B. K. Bhattacharjya explained the salient aspects of pen
aquaculture technology developed by ICAR-CIFRI, Regional Centre, Guwahati in the NE
region. Dr. Dipesh Debnath, Scientist, ICAR-CIFRI RC, Guwahati explained the salient
objectives and activities of NMHS. He requested the implementing partners to provide their
inputs so that mid-term corrections can be incorporated in the project. Fishery Officers and
fishers present shared their experience and provided inputs for modifying certain technical
activities of the proposed project.
Dr. Sona Yengkokpam and Dr. Pronob Das, Scientists, ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre,
Guwahati thanked all the participants, guests, delegates and invitees for their whole-hearted
participation and inputs that led to successful completion of the workshop at the conclusion
of the inaugural and technical session, respectively.