Climate change is one of important environmental challenges of 21st century. Nearly 700 million rural populations directly depend on climate-sensitive sectors (agriculture, forests and fisheries) and natural resources (such as freshwater, mangroves, coastal zones, grasslands and biodiversity) for their subsistence and livelihoods. Any adverse impact on water availability due to recession of glaciers, decrease in rainfall and increased flooding in certain areas would threaten food security. The impacts are already being felt in India. India is bestowed with vast and varied inland open-waters which form the traditional sources of fisheries supporting a large number of landless poor fishers. In recent times, fish production from these resources has declined due to increased man-centric interventions. The resultant impact has been an erosion of livelihood base for the traditional fishers, who depend exclusively on these resources for their livelihood and nutritional security. Fisheries sector is known to supplement protein food to weaker section of the society. Communities that depend on inland fisheries resources are likely to be vulnerable to climate change. Climate change is only one among many environmental and anthropogenic stresses faced by inland fisheries but is likely to exacerbate the effect of other stressors in years to come.
The Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute initiated research on climate change way back in 2004 under the ICAR research project 'Impact, Adaptation and Vulnerability of Indian Agriculture to Climate Change' and is being continued under the ICAR Project 'National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture' (NICRA). In the last 11 years the Institute has emerged as the nodal organization on climate change research on Inland Fisheries in the country.
NICRA Team, ICAR- CIFRI Northern Regional Center, Guwahati
NICRA Team, ICAR- CIFRI, Bangalore