|Fish Harvest Mela: Livelihood Improvement and nutritional security through Canal Fisheries at Kalitala, Hingalganaj, Sundarban, West Bengal under TSP|
A fish harvest mela was organized on 24th August at Kalitala, Hingalaganj, Sundarban area of West Bengal. Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI address the gathering on the aspects on canal fisheries development and its sustainability. This mela was an eye opening for the stakeholders and policy makers for the proper utilization of canals of Sundarban for livelihoods improvement and nutritional security through fisheries development.
Kalitala is a remote tribal dominated village of Indian Sundarban area. This area is vulnerable by monsoon flood and cyclone and accessibility. During the PRA it was found that, the tribal population of Kalitala village is socio-economically poor. A team of ICAR-CIFRI initially has taken a stock on the resources available in the village and the possible ways for the fisheries development in the village. ICAR-CIFRI has initiated livelihood support programme by propagating Canal Fisheries Development under Tribal sub plan (TSP) for the development of Socio-economically poor tribal. ICAR –CIFRI has provided technical support, inputs and capacity building programme for canal fisheries development in this village. The canal is situated at N 220 13.42`, E 890 00.28`.
The canal of Kalitala was of 850 meter length and having a breadth of 30 meter. The total no fish stocked 12500/- with a stocking density of 5000@/ha. The species stocked are Catla, Rohu and Mrigal with a stocking ratio of 3:4:3.A total of 90 tribals were involved in this programme. The fish harvesting was started at 7:00 am and ended at 11:00 AM. A total of 6 tons fish was harvested from the canal during this year. The average wt. of the harvested fish was 800gm. The fishes were sold to public at the Rate of Rs. 180/kg. Ten families are being benefitted and could earn 1.08 lakhs in the current year.
The public meeting was presided over by Dr. B.K Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore, who congratulated the tribal people for accomplishment of such good production from the canal of Kalitala. He advised how this production and the livelihoods of the tribals involved in canal fisheries can be sustainable. He also answered the queries of the farmers regarding fish disease management and nursery pond management along with encouraging the farmers on fish seed production aspects. Dr. Parida, nodal officer-TSP, explained about the sustainability of the programme and the requirement of whole hearted participation & commitment by the community for the fisheries development.
Director, CIFRI encouraged for tree plantation in the area and planted and distributed sapling to the tribal families. A Swachha Bharat Abhiyan was also conducted to aware the local community regarding the importance of cleanliness.
Prior to Harvest mela, a demonstration of water quality parameter was conducted by Mr. Subhendu Mandal and he also advised the farmers the importance of maintaining good water quality. Dr. Sanjay Bhowmick explained about the common fish diseases and their prevention. He also demonstrated how fish behavior will change in case of a diseased organism. Mr. C. N. Mukherjee, conveyed the importance of integrated farming and utilization of the dyke area for organically vegetable cultivation along with the kitchen garden.