The surging demand for fish has necessitated the quest for finding the strategies and ways by which the fish production can be doubled. The projected demand of fish was assumed to be around 13 million tonne (m t) by 2020 against the present production of 10.06 m t (2014-15), coming from inland (65%) and marine sectors (35%). The fish production trends indicated that the marine fisheries sector has reached its plateau even as inland fisheries continue to expand in the last decade. In such scenario, the reservoir has to play a prime role for fisheries enhancement in inland open water of the country. The targeted production has to be achieved by increasing the production and productivity of comparatively under exploited aquatic ecosystems like reservoirs through effective interventions. Popularisation of cage culture and culture based fisheries (CBF) have become the viable options for large scale fish production from reservoirs in terms of employment generation, doubling farmer‟s income and livelihood security to the fishers. In order to achieve maximum sustainable production to bridge the gap between demand and supply, through technogical intervention, there is need to have base line information on suitable reservoir resources for CBF and cage culture, carrying capacity, potential, region specific and reservoir specific candidate species, physico-chemical parameters etc. The documents will assist to identify the potential reservoir resources and their holistic characteristic which would result in framing the effective management plan, budgetary requirements, fisheries enhancement and to ascertain the wise policy decisions for water allocation for fisheries sector.


Reservoirs are considered “Sleeping Giants” due to their untapped potential. India has huge water spread under reservoirs 3.51 m ha (CWC, 2016) offering tremendous scope for increasing inland fish production manifold. The medium and large reservoirs constitute about 60% of the total available reservoir area covering 56 large and 180 medium reservoirs. The sheer magnitude of the resource makes it possible to increase the inland fish production substantially following scientific management principles. Presently, the realization of fish yield is 174, 96 and 33 kg/ha/yr from small, medium and large reservoirs against the production potential of 500, 200 and 100 kg/ha of respectively, thereby leaving enough scope for enhancing the fish yield (Das et al ., 2017). Raising of suitable stocking material is required for optimizing fish yield from reservoirs. The enhancement of fish production fromreservoirs through stocking requires >3000 million advanced fingerlings of 8-10cm size annually (Jha et al., 2013). But due to unavailability of advanced fingerlings of the appropriate species, most of the reservoirs remain under stocked and the present fish seed production and infrastructure are inadequate to meet the demand. In this context, adoption and expansion of cage culture in medium and large reservoirs and culture based fisheries in small reservoirs are the viable options for large scale fish production from Indian reservoirs. More than 12000 cages are floating in reservoirs of the country. Due to its vast reservoir resources in India, more than one million tonnes can be easily produced by utilizing a small fraction (0.1%) of the total area of medium and large reservoir with a moderate productivity of 15-25 kg/m 3 . With a modest beginning since its inception ICAR-CIFRI recommends cage culture activities only in medium and large reservoirs to avoid negative environmental impacts. Subsequently ICAR-CIFRI has ventured to demonstrate and facilitate the implementation of cage culture technology and culture based fisheries across the country and could achieved a production level of 50kg/m3 against a moderate stocking of 60nos/m 3 . However, still there is enough scope for increasing the production by manifolds which may be a key factor in achieving the flag ship mission such as Doubling Farmers Income and inception of Second Blue Revolution. Despite of huge potential these valuable reservoir resources are considering open access multitasking in nature where fisheries are not a priority and no specific water allocation. The major reasons behind this may be lack of resource mapping of these resources including topography, soil and sediments characteristic, effective water area for fisheries, species pattern for region specific reservoirs, institutional arrangement etc. With this in view present document was prepared to address theses burning issues promptly so that the sustainable management of the turn into reality.