TODAY -

Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture development in NE region
- Part 2 -

Prof Ratan Kumar Saha *



2.1.1 Short-term smart interventions

1. Implementation of Women-led Aquafarming Projects in Manipur: There are huge work opportunities for women in aquaculture for increasing fish production. The objectives of the project to start the homestead farms, then identifying specific problems such as the selection of species that can grow well in shaded ponds.

With the ponds close to the home, women can easily access these resources, have a say over their use and take on roles like fish feeding, monitoring growth rates, regular harvesting for consumption and demonstrating techniques to others in the community.

2. Horizontal Expansion of Composite Fish culture Farms: Spread of six species Carp culture (3- 5 tonnes/ha/year) with the inclusion of appropriate high-value fishes like Pengba (Osteo-bramabeangeri), Khabak (Bangana sp.), Pabda, Prawn, Japanese puthi, Tilapiaof local demand.

3. Adoption of Climate-smart Integrated Farming System (IFS) Models : Location-specific climate- smart integrated fish-based farming system models must be practiced to sustain the farm income as well as doubling the farm income by 2022 and which will also provide necessary household nutritional security.

This approach involving synergic blending of crops, horticulture, dairy, fisheries, poultry, etc. (A2, A3, A4 or A5 model= Agriculture, Aquaculture, Animal Husbandry, Agroforestry, Apiculture) seems viable option to provide regular income and at site employment to smaller landholder, decreasing cultivation cost through multiple use of resources and providing much needed resilience for predicted climate change scenario.

4. Adoption of Good Management Practices (GMPs).

5. Establishment of Fish Health Care Centre, Soil-water Analysis laboratory, Advisory Service Centre etc.: To help the farmers about fish health and screening of 'Specific Pathogen Free'(SPF) brood stocks through 'aquatic Quarantine' facilities, soil, and water analysis-based fish culture and provide a support system as advisory services. This centre will help in monitoring and surveillance of aquatic animal diseases including transboundary diseases in the state and their appropriate control measures.

6. community-based Organization (CBO) among the fishers: Adoption of other management issues like community -based co-management practices in fish farming can improve the present scenario of composite carp culture and other practices in the state.

7. Development of commercial Venture on fish culture: Taking up of private fishery/aquaculture on the commercial line should be encouraged. Of late, people have shown a lot of interest in fish farming in the backyard of the homestead. Given the necessary infrastructure, the fishery would turn out to be a very profitable business since there is a market for the product.

8. Revamping of FFDAs and involvement of Cooperative Societies and Self-Help Groups (HSGs) and ensuring the Socio-economic welfare of fisherfolk.

9. Opportunities for air-breathing fish (Magur, Singhi, Koi, Channa, Eel etc.) culture in wetlands of Manipur.

10. Introduction of genetically improved carp (Jayanti Rohu) for Sustainable Aquaculture Production.

11. The Popularization of 'Periphyton-based Aquaculture System' for increasing per unit production.

12. Production of Fish Seed specially to meet the demand of private fish farmers should be taken up in each circle headquarters.

13. Setting up fish Feed Plant: the scheme aims at ensuring the target production of fish in intensive and semi-intensive aquaculture programme by providing systematic methods with required quantity of quality fish feeds.

14. Open Water Ranching: The rivers, reservoirs and other large open water bodies should be adequately stocked with advanced fingerlings or yearlings to augment fish production and conserve valuable fish species.

15. Strengthening of Extension Mechanism and ICT Application: For organizing effective training and demonstration programmes for proper dissemination of location-specific technology to the farmers, state fisheries extension functionaries have to be reformed with convergence with other development departments and application ICT in the dissemination of new technology/forecasting etc.

16. One-Stop Aqua Shop: (OAS): Establishment of 'One-stop Aqua Shop' (OAS) as a single outlet in strategic locations to make available all quality inputs required for fish culture at a reasonable price in time.

17. Proper enforcement of Manipur fisheries rules 1998 for the conservation of resources.

2.1.2 Medium-term smart interventions

1. Application of digital solution in fish culture/Pond Management Solution/ Aquaculture Solution: It provides full visibility of aquaculture Value Chain and operation from pond to market, where stallholder farmer plays an important role. Enables Farmer Groups, Aquaculture, businesses, Government and Non-Government agencies working with smallholder farmers make informed decisions, improve overall operational efficiency and traceability. Aqua solution tracks the value chain at the source, even in remote low bandwidth environments.

2. Establishment of Organic Fish Farm: Now-a-days, antibiotics, chemicals, and growth enhancing hormones are used in fish farms to increase the bulk of fish. Use of these chemicals, as well as ovaprim/ovatide has adverse effects on the environment and other species. On the other hand, there is high disease incidence due to overcrowding in fish farms.

Therefore, to avoid the biosecurity issues, Fisheries scientists suggested aquaculture could also be used as a conservation method by establishing 'Organic Fish Farm'. We could use some wild stock for breeding and culture purposes. The caveat is that such fish farms should not use any chemicals.

3. Development of Entrepreneurship: Strategies for development of entrepreneurship on pond fish production and ornamental fish production is very much essential in the present-day context.

4. Popularization of Aquaponics (Growing-fish-Plants-Together) Technology in a Large Scale: This may be set up as Backward aquaponics/Portable Farmers' aquaponics/Home aquaponics System. This will minimize the personal/family demand of fish supply on regular basis to compensate day to day requirement.

5. Development of Protected fish culture: Establishment of a protected nursery for assured seed supply. Establishment of low-cost Pen culture and Cage culture in Loktak Lake and other weed- choked lakes.

6. Conservation Aquaculture in the Flood plain Lakes: The existing derelict water bodies like beels, swamps, wetlands, lakes etc. should be cleaned and reclaimed to create an effective area for fish cultivation for enhancing fish production and this would require massive investment as well as community participation.

7. Production and Propagation of Freshwater Prawn and other Prawns in Manipur

8. Establishment of fish Farms in Hill districts: Creation of multipurpose water harvesting structures with High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) lining. It is the most common field fabricated geomembrane material with low initial material cost, durable and excellent chemical resistance. This will fulfil the local demand during the rainy season as well as in dry season.

9. Documentation of Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITKS) in fisheries and Aquaculture.

2.1.3 Long-term smart interventions

1. Development of Database on fisheries: a serious limitation in the growth of the fishery sector is a very poor database. Efforts should be made so that a detail and reliable date on various parameters on fishery is maintained at the block level.

2. Agritourism Farm/aqua-tourism Farm: This type of ventures with a central focus on fisheries should be encouraged by the govt. to attract the potential youth by framing sound policies.

3. Appropriate Policy Intervention is necessary from respective state governments to impress upon the leaseholder so that they not only exploit the harvest but also maintain the and manage the water bodies and rivers.

4. Establishment of Endemic Ornamental Fish Culture Centres.

5. Establishment of Weed Fishes/Small Fishes (Puti, Moka, Murrels, Eels etc.) culture farm.

6. Establishment of Culture-based fisheries in pats (1 tone/ha/year).

7. Better Provision of Institutional Credit.

8. Marketing Support system: Marketing support system should be created to attract and encourage young entrepreneurs to start aquaculture venture and on the other hand, it will provide better market realization.

9. Conservation of Declining Indigenous endangered Fish Species: Some conservation measures of the commercial important endangered species viz, Tor species and medium carps etc. should be initiated by the fisheries dept., Govt. of Manipur.

10. Setting up of a hygienic fish market/extension of cold chain facilities with the provision of insulated boxes to fish vendors in the state.

11. Development of cold-water fisheries in the Hill districts of Manipur: Hill districts of Manipur have got the privilege of having numerous rivers, streams, rivulets etc. comprising more than 8000 ha of water are available: for the culture of cold-water fishes by constructing hatcheries/farms and mini dams wherever necessary.

12. Development of Reservoir/Canal fisheries: The scheme envisages the development of reservoir fisheries and canal for production cum beautification at the interest of the public by adopting scientific management of the reservoirs and canal.

13. Development of Infrastructure for Preservation and Value Addition of fishes.

14. Development of Infrastructure for Transportation and Marketing of fish.

15. Establishment of State Fish Aquarium and Museum: To display the colorful fish amusement and educational interest.

Conclusion

The planners, as well as the implementing agencies and stakeholders, should take note of all these things with all sincerity and dedication for the overall development of the sector in a holistic manner.

On the basis of priority and need-based, above mentioned short, medium and long-term planning flexibly can be decided for implementation. Further, one should do the 'SWOT' analysis before implementing or executing any of the 'smart interventions' as mentioned above in a particular area/region in view of sustainability and success of such project.


Concluded ...

For further details contact:-
Public Relations& Media Management Cell,
CAU, Imphal.
Email: prmmcell@gmail.com


* Prof Ratan Kumar Saha wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Dean, College of Fisheries, CAU, Lembucherra, Tripura Central Agricultural University, Imphal, Manipur
This article was webcasted on May 26 2022.



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