Livelihood improvement through Ecosystem-based Wetland Management

To support the livelihoods of the wetland-dependent community of Beledanga Beel, the ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata initiated an “Ecosystem-based Wetland Management Programme” under the ICAR W3 Project and the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan.

The Beledanga Beel is an Oxbow Lake managed by the Beledanga Barrackpore Fishermen’ Cooperative Society Ltd. since 1958. Being Horseshoe-Shaped with an area of 62 ha in monsoon, the Beel is Eutrophic in nature and highly infested with macrophytes. Keeping the scenario in mind, the ICAR-CIFRI commenced a participatory demonstration of Pen Culture Technology. The main objective was production enhancement in the Beel for supporting the livelihood of the fishermen of Beledanga Beel.

   

For enhancing the fish production and supporting the socio-economic conditions of the adjoining villages, the Institute adopted the Beledanga Beel in 2019. After collecting the baseline data and chalking-out the initial interventions, the Institute installed around 5 ICAR-CIFRI Pen HDPE® of 0.1 Ha and stocked with Advanced Fry of Indian Major Carps while the Grass Carp Fry was stocked in one Pen. These Pens were scientifically managed with all prophylaxis measures including feeding.

The Institute also organized the capacity building programmes for the fishers. After three months, the Fingerlings were released in Beel. The Institute also extended technical support and inputs like fish seed, ICAR-CIFRI Cagegrow® fish feed, Coracles to the Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS).

In 2020, by harvesting around 28,307 Kg fish with productivity of 629 Kg / ha, the FCS achieved around 32% increase in production. Gaining a good weight within a year, the Grass Carp was also very effective for controlling the macrophytes in a natural way. Experiencing better harvest, the Beledanga fishers installed two more Pens in the same Beel for In