ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata, organized an interactive workshop on 'Openwater Fisheries Management of Manipur' in collaboration with Directorate of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Manipur today at the conference hall of the Directorate of Fisheries, Lamphelpat.
The objective of the workshop was to share vast works and achievements of ICAR-CIFRI in managing and enhancing fisheries in large waterbodies, especially in reservoirs and wetlands of the country and how to plan and implement similar activities in the State of Manipur.
The major focus was on simple and low-cost technologies (such as pen and cage aquaculture) and guidelines (fish stock enhancement) that are to be popularized in reservoirs, large lakes, swampy areas and rivers of the State for improving fish production.
Fish forms an important food item for the people of Manipur with more than 95 percent of the State's population being fish eaters.
The present level of fish production in the State is 32,000 tonnes (2016-17) as against the total requirement of about 52,000 tonnes of fish, showing a shortfall of about 20,000 tonnes.
This shortage is partly met by importing fish from other States.
Manipur has got a production potential of about 65,000 tonnes of fish per annum.
For harnessing this, sustainable utilization of available inland fisheries resources and application of modern scientific fisheries management protocol, including enclosure aquaculture techniques developed by ICAR-CIFRI, needs to be implemented.
Manipur has unique, vast and varied inland fisheries resources comprising of 30,171 hectares of natural lakes/flood plain wetlands, 13,888 hectares of rivers and streams, 11,442 hectares of ponds/tanks and 960 hectares reservoirs covering 56,461 hectares, which is approximately 2.52 percent of the total geographic area of the State.
Inland openwater fisheries resources such as lakes, rivers and reservoirs are largely un-exploited and have high potential for increasing fish production from them.
The major theme of the workshop is dissemination the knowledge generated by ICAR-CIFRI for development of inland fisheries in the State of Manipur without compromising ecosystem and environmental sustainability.
During the inaugural session, Dr Sona Yengkokpam, Scientist, ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati, welcomed the invitees, guests and 50 participants from the Department of Fisheries, Manipur.
Dr BK Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore and convenor of the workshop, emphasized that the Department of Fisheries, Manipur, should look intp diversification offish species having local preferences.
He assured all support in terms of technology back stopping for management of open water fisheries in the State.
Khamsing Ahum, Additional Director of Fisheries, Manipur urged his Departmental officials to take full advantage of the knowledge generated by ICAR-CIFRI on management of Inland open waters.
Dr AK Das, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore, expressed his optimism that food fish demand and supply gap of Manipur can be minimized if inland openwaters of the State are optimally utilized.
In the Technical session of the workshop, Dr BK Das discussed management of openwaters of India by ICAR-CIFRI .and encouraged the Departmental officials to take interest in developing openwaters of the State.
He also shared his vast experience in cage aquaculture across different reservoirs and wetlands of India.
Khamsing Ahum presented the status of openwater fisheries resources of Manipur, Dr Sona Yengkokpam discussed pen aquaculture demonstrations and experiments done in different NE States, which proved to be successful in terms of economic viability and Dr Dipesh Debnath, Scientist, ICAR-CIFRI, RC.
Guwahati, discussed cage aquaculture demonstrations and experiments done in different NE States, that can be replicated in Manipur.
In the valedictory session.
Bidyarani Ayekpam, Director of Fisheries, Manipur thanked Dr BK Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI and all the scientists of the ICAR-CIFRI for organizing the workshop at Imphal and sought active collaboration and support in future endeavours of the Directorate of Fisheries, Manipur.