The Indian fisheries and aquaculture is a vital sector of food production that provides nutritional security to the food basket and also contributes to the agricultural exports. They are not just a source of income but also help in maintaining cleanliness of the water bodies. In view of this, the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Barrackpore had organized a river ranching cum fishermen awareness programme at Swarupganj Ghat, Nabadwip, Nadia, West Bengal under the ‘Namami Gange’ programme.
The prime objectives of the NMCG sponsored project include an exploratory survey of the riverine fish diversity, stock assessment and enhancement of the popular food fishes like Rohu, Catla, Mrigal, Calbasu, and Mahaseer by ranching in the depleted stretches of river Ganga. Released fishes like Calbasu, Mrigal and Rohu will not only provide increased fish catch and improved livelihood but also help in maintaining the cleanliness of the river as they feed on organic remnants.
Dr. B. K. Das, Director, CIFRI, urged the fishermen community to adopt suitable management strategy like allowing the released fishes to grow and proliferate for restoration of the fish stock. He also mentioned about all the activities of the ongoing NMCG project like restoration of Hilsa at upstream of Farkka barrage, continuous river ranching efforts during past two years in entire stretch of river Ganga, etc. He also highlighted about different sources of pollution of the river. Dr. Das requested the fishermen to actively take part in maintaining nirmal dhara of Ganga by preventing plastic and other pollution practices in river.
Shri Haridas Debnath, Sabhapati Panchayet Samiti (Nabadwip) said the ill effects of sugar mill effluents coming from neighbouring districts of Bangladesh through adjacent river Jalangi (a tributary of river Ganga) causing large scale fish mortality. Shri Pundarikakshya Saha, MLA (Nabadwip) also graced the occasion.
Shri. Sirajul Seikh, Pradhan, Swarupganj Gram Panchayet, highlighted the need of improved coordination between central, state and local administration for better management of the river. He also urged the fishers not to use zero mesh seine net (locally known as ber jaal) which is highly detrimental to the fish diversity of the river.
As a part of the programme, 03 lakhs seed of fishes like Calbasu, Mrigal & Rohu were released in the river Bhagirathi (Ganga) in front of the holy ISKCON temple, Mayapur. The programme was attended by more than 150 local active fishermen and their family members.