Assam: Bamuni Beel is a seasonally open floodplain wetland of lower Brahmaputra valley (North-Bank) connected to MadanKuri, a small rivulet joining the River Puthimari (a north bank tributary of R. Brahmaputra). It is a small beel having 16 hectare water spread area and is roughly oval in shape. The present water depth in the beel is 1.5-2.5 m during winter, which increases to 2.5-3.7 m in monsoon. A total of 65 Bodo tribal households of Bamunigaon village under Bezera Development Block depend on the beel for meeting their nutritional and livelihood needs. Prior to 2006-07, the beel supported purely capture fisheries and was annually leased to private parties for low amount (Rs 15,000-20,000/- p.m.). The Beel was developed by ARIAS Society, Govt. of Assam (GoA) during 2006-07 under the World Bank funded ARIAS project. Under the project, a peripherybundh was constructed around the beel for facilitating supplementary stocking in the beel for enhancing its fish production. The bundh was further strengthened under the AACP project of ARIAS Society, Govt. of Assam during 2011-12. The local tribal community of Bamunigaon village formedthe BamunigaonBeel Development Committee (BBDC) for fisheries management of the beel during 2006-07. As the socio-economic condition of the beel user community is poor, the BBDC is only sporadically stocking the beel with fish seed, with no stocking done last year reportedly for want of funds. As a result, the present estimated fish production is low (approximately 390 kg/ha/year) and yield modest annual income to the community (@ Rs 15,000.00 per household).
As part of the outreach activities initiated by ICAR-CIFRI under the leadership of Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI and guidance of Dr. J. K. Jena, DDG (Fy. Sc.), ICAR, New Delhi under the NEH Component, the Institute has stocked 48,000 fish fingerling (@3000 no. per ha) comprising IMC, Labeo bata, Grass carp and Silver barb on 19/10/20 in consultation with the community. On the occasion, an awareness programme was also organized on the subject followed by supplementary fish seed stocking programme. The programme was organized under the overall guidance of Dr. B.K. Das, Director,ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore &Programme coordinator, NEHC, and Dr. B.K. Bhattacharjya, Head, ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati & Nodal officer, NEHC. It was conducted by Dr. P. Das, A. K. Yadav and S. Borah, Scientists of the Centre.The main objective of the programme was to create awareness among the fishers about fish stock enhancement programme in beels and improvement of livelihood of the tribal families (65 No.). In the programme, Dr. Pronob Das explained the background and objectives of the stocking programme. He also informed that pen culture demonstration using CIFRI-HDPE net pens and CIFRI-CAGEGROW floating feed for production of table fish will also be initiated by the Institute shortly. Simanku Borah explained different aspects of beel fisheries management for its sustainable utilization. Anil Kumar Yadav discussed the economic benefits of CIFRI technologies developed for beels. Bolin Boro, Secretary, BBDC explained about the present fisheries activities undertaken by the committee. He assured full cooperation from the members of the local communityto the Institute for successful implementation of the programme. Mohan Swargiary, President, BBDC expressed his gratefulness to ICAR-CIFRI for initiating the stocking programme which will definitely enhance income and livelihood of the tribal community.