Mass awareness camp-cum-Kishan Ghosthi organised at Bishnupurbeel, Berhampore, Murshidabad, West Bengal

The ICAR-CIFRI,in association with the Dept of Fisheries, Govt. of West Bengal organized a mass awareness camp-cum-Kishan-Ghosthi on 20th January, 2017 in the premises of Beel Bishnupur Agragami Matsyajibi Samabay Samiti, Berhampore block, district Murshidabad ,West Bengal. The programme was organized as a part of rapid survey of the wetlands under institute project RWF/NE/12/02/01 in collaboration with ICAR-National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) and Outreach Activity-I (Fish Feed). The objectives of this gosthi was to sensitize the fishermen about the potential, scope and benefits of scientific beel fisheries management including strategies of stocking enhancement, enclosure culture and to create awareness about climate change and its impact on fishery and feeding strategies in inland fisheries.More than fiftyfishermen and women of the Bishnupur and neighbouring beels participated in the programme.The programme generated great interest and enthusiasm among the fishers community. Dr. U.K. Sarkar, Head, RWF division chaired the event. Principal Scientists; Dr. M.A. Hassan, Dr. Aftabuddin and Dr. Arun Pandit; Scientists; D. K. Meena and Ms. Pritijyoti Majhi, and Mr. Bablu Naskar, Technical Assistant of ICAR-CIFRI, Shri Jayanta Pradhan, ADF; Shri Biswajit Biswas and Shri Ramkanai, DFO's from Department of Fisheries, Govt. of West Bengal; Shri Samir Biswas, President,Shri Alamat Hossain, Secretary, Shri Biswanath Mallick, Managerfrom the PFCS.

After welcoming the participants, Dr. Sarkar explained the importance of wetland ecosystem, biodiversity, fisheries and expressed concerns about the declining rate of native fishes in the wetlands, invasion of exotic species and threat of climate change on wetlands. He discussed different climate resilient adaptation and mitigation strategies and suitable fish species for fisheries enhancements in wetlands during extreme climatic events. Dr. MA Hassan discussed the role of wetland in conserving aquatic fauna, societal benefit, livelihood, ecosystem based fisheries and touched upon the issues of feeding management for enclosure culture system. As fewsewerage drains into the wetland, planswere suggested for mitigation and enabling wise use of waste water for wealth generation.


Dr. Aftabuddin discussed the effect of temperature rise on the physiology of fishes and their thermal tolerance strategies. Dr. Arun Pandit deliberated on the economic vulnerability of the fishermen households and benefits of different alternate income generating activities. Shri Jayanta Pradhan, ADF appreciated the programme and desired ICAR-CIFRI to hold such programmes in other wetlands. He also described various schemes of the State Government to develop wetland fisheries. Dr. D.K.Meena, Ms. PritiJyoti Majhi and Shri Bablu Naskar were also present on the occasion, interacted with the fishers.


The executive members of the Beel Bishnupur Agragami Matsyajibi Samabay Samiti applauded the efforts and expressed satisfaction on the CIFRI initiative for sensitization and awareness creation among the fishers community. The fishers also expressed that, the mass awareness camp-cum-Kishan Ghosthi has definitely improved upon their existing knowledge and ignited a deep interest among the fishers for sustainable management of beel fisheries through scientific interventions. During interaction session, fisher's raised concerns and asked questions regarding stock enhancement, disease management, species diversification, availability of good quality fish seeds, feeding management in enclosure culturefor clarification of their doubts.

Dr. Sarkar extended his gratitude to the Director,Dept of Fisheries, Govt. of West Bengal for her prompt coordination to organize the awareness camp and to provide local logistics at Bishnupur Beel. Dr. Sarkar also thanked to Dr. B. K. Das Director, ICAR-CIFRI, who had been a driving force to conduct this event successfully. He thanked one and all whosoever involved in this event to make it a grand success.