Replicate West Bengal’s Fisheries Mapping Project: Centre to states

Replicate West Bengal’s Fisheries Mapping Project: Centre to states
West Bengal’s “Fisheries Mapping Project” which was started few years ago with an aim to increase the production of fishes across the state has been declared as a model project by the Centre. 

The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries was convinced after going through the details of the project and seeing its progress that it had asked many other states to replicate the “Fisheries Mapping Project”. 

After being recommended by the Centre, Chattisgarh has already started a similar project to improve the production of fishes. The other states which will soon launch the project are Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.  

Centre had urged the state government to share its expertise with the other states which are following West Bengal model for the improvement of pisciculture. Senior project officials from West Bengal have already visited Chattisgarh and provided a technical guidance by sharing thoughts and expertise so that the state can implement this project smoothly. 

A Majumdar, a senior official of the project said: “As per recommendation by the central government to replicate our model project of fisheries mapping, Chattisgarh has started implementing it. We are providing them technical support to them as they are still on the learning curve. Our team had recently visited there and made them aware about the details of our project. Various other states will soon adopt our model.”

It may be mentioned that “Fisheries Mapping Project” was started by the state Fisheries Department in 2008-09. A separate office was set up in Salt Lake. Among many others, the main purpose of the project was to increase the production of the fishes across the state. As the project had seen a light of success within few years the Centre had started funding the entire project which was originally started by the state government. 

The project not only helps to increase the production of fishes but it also helps various other state government departments in many ways. 

Under this project, the state Fisheries Department has developed a comprehensive digitised data bank through which one can have a detail idea of the total number of water bodies above 5 cottah, their nature, feasibility of pisciculture in these water bodies, about their connectivity, location. If the ponds were used for pisciculture or not will also be mentioned in the digitised version of date. It will also help to know whether any particular water body is worthy of being declared fit for pisciculture. 

Under this project the Zilla Parishad appointed staff in the districts and the fisheries department workers had physically visited all the 17,90,425 ponds across the state and prepared report on their nature. The department has taken the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) to prepare comprehensive data. Various departments can have all the information relating to the ponds and water bodies on the computer and their condition. 

It will also help to prevent the filling up of water bodies. “The project is on the verge of completion. If a person apply for bank loan for starting pisciculture the government will be able to know whether there was any loan against that pond or if it can be fit for pisciculture,” Majumdar said. 
Pradip Chatterjee

Pradip Chatterjee

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