ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CIFRI), Regional Centre, Guwahati in collaboration with ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region (ICAR RC-NEHR), Umiam has successfully carried out cage culture in Umiam Reservoir through participation of tribal fishers of the locality under the Ri-Bhoi Farmers’ Union (RFU) for assessing the techno-economic feasibility of cage culture technology, which is the first of its kind in the NE hilly state. Cage culture trials were carried out in CIFRI-GI cage (6 nos.; 100 m3/cage) using CIFRI-CageGrow floating feed in the reservoir.
On successful completion of the 3rd culture trial in Umiam reservoir, ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati jointly with ICAR RC for NEHR, Umiam organized a Field Day on “Cage culture in reservoirs of Meghalaya” in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, Govt. of Meghalaya and Ri-Bhoi Farmers’ Union, Meghalaya at Umniuh Khwan village on 09.12.2022. The programme was organized under the overall guidance of Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore; Dr. V. K. Mishra, Director, ICAR RC for NEHR, Umiam and Coordinated by Dr. B. K. Bhattacharjya, Head, ICAR-CIFRI RC, Guwahati as well as Dr. S. K. Das, Head, Division of Animal and Fisheries Science (DAFS), ICAR RC for NEHR, Umiam.
The programme was attended by 80 tribal fishers (including 25 women beneficiaries) of the locality under the RFU led by Mr. D. Majaw, President. Scientists and technical personnel’s of the two ICAR Institutes namely Dr. Pronob Das, Dr. S. Yengkkpam, Dr. S. Borah, Mr. T. Tayung, Ms. P. Devi (Scientists) and Mr. Alakesh Das (STO) acted as technical expert.
Dr. P. Das welcomed the guests and participants for the programme and explained the purpose of the day-long programme. Dr. S. K. Das informed the participants that cage culture in Umiam reservoir of Meghalaya was initiated for the first time during 2019 by ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati in collaboration with the ICAR RC for NEHR, Umiam and Ri-Bhoi Farmers’ Union. He stated that it was possible because of the guidance of Dr. J. K. Jena, DDG (Fisheries), ICAR, New Delhi and initiative of Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore. Dr. B.K. Bhattacharjya thanked the Director, ICAR-CIFRI for financial support to the cage culture programme in Umiam reservoir.
He mentioned that both ICAR institutes worked together for refining the cage culture technology developed by ICAR-CIFRI to assess techno-economic feasibility of cage culture under mid-altitude conditions. He briefed about the outcome of the three cage culture trials conducted in the reservoir. He also highlighted the cage culture activities being carried out by ICAR-CIFRI in different parts of Northeast India. Mr. D. Majaw thanked both the ICAR Institutes for successfully implementing cage culture in Umiam reservoir for the third consecutive year. Ms. Meda A. K., Superintendent of Fisheries, Ri-Bhoi district interacted with the participating fishers on cage culture. She thanked both the ICAR Institutes for their effort for assessing the feasibility of cage culture in reservoirs of the state.
Mr. Paul Tariang, Assistant Director (Fisheries), Govt. of Meghalaya thanked both the ICAR Institutes for their effort in developing fisheries in the state with special mention to ICAR-CIFRI for development of openwater fisheries. He informed that the department has planned to implement large scale cage culture schemes in the state with 60% subsidy from FY 2023-24, as the feasibility of the culture has been shown by ICAR-CIFRI. He also requested the both ICAR Institute for providing technical support in the programme.
Mr. William Lyongdoh, Head of Umniuh Khwan village thanked both the ICAR Institutes for implementing successful cage culture in the reservoir for the benefit of the tribal fishers and promised to continue the activity in future. During the interactive session, the Scientists interacted with the participants on different aspects of cage culture. The sale of cage reared fishes was inaugurated by Mr. Paul Tariang, Assistant Director (Fisheries), Govt. of Meghalaya. The sale will directly benefit 25 fisher women families of the Ri-Bhoi Farmers’ Union. On the occasion, some fishes (mainly Rohu) reared in cages were released in the reservoir as a fish stock enhancement measures for sustainability