The ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CIFRI), Barrackpore organized an Interactive workshop on ‘Management of Open water fisheries of Sikkim’ at Gangtok in collaboration with Directorate of Fisheries (DoF), Govt. of Sikkim on 29.05.2023. The programme was organized under the overall guidance of Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore and Shri N. Jaswant, IFS, Director of Fisheries, Sikkim. Dr. B. K. Bhattacharjya, Head (Acting), ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati supervised the programme. In addition to Dr. B. K. Das, Shri N. Jaswant, and Dr. B. K. Bhattacharjya, the programme was attended by Dr. Thangapandiyan, Head, Zoology Department, SRM University, Sikkim; Ms. Niti Sharma, Scientist, ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati; officers from DoF, Sikkim; M.Sc. students of SRM University, fishers, fish farmers, members of Sikkim Anglers’ Association. Representatives from local print & media were also present.
The inaugural session of the day-long workshop started with welcome address by Shri Y. Sharma, Assistant Director, DoF, Sikkim and lighting of the auspicious lamp. Dr. B. K. Bhattacharjya explained the purpose of the workshop. The Director of Fisheries, Sikkim highlighted the recent activities of DoF and highlighted major issues faced by open water fisheries of the state. He called for technical support and possible collaboration with ICAR-CIFRI for open water fisheries development in the state. The Director of ICAR-CIFRI dwelt upon the issues raised by the DoF and agreed to provide technical support to the Directorate as requested. He stated that ICAR-CIFRI can be the knowledge partner to DoF, Sikkim for open water fisheries management in the state. Dr. Thangapandiyan explained about M.Sc. Zoology programme of SRM University, Sikkim. He discussed certain areas of fisheries research in the state and sought collaboration with DoF, Sikkim and ICAR-CIFRI. During the technical session, Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI explained about recent activities carried out by the institute in inland open water fisheries in different states of Northeastern India including collaborative work programmes. Dr. B. K. Bhattacharjya presented the past suggestions of DoF, Sikkim seeking research support from ICAR-CIFRI and outlined possible areas of collaborative work with the DoF. Shri N. Jaswant, Director of Fisheries, Sikkim sought research support from the institute for development of open water fisheries in the state. Shri. N. Gurung, Assistant Director and Shri R. Pradhan, State Data-cum-MIS Manager, DoF, presented the activities of the DoF and recent initiative by the DoF for estimation of fish catch from rivers of Sikkim.
During the interactive session, Shri N. Jaswant, Director of Fisheries, Sikkim appreciated the initiative of ICAR-CIFRI to come to the state and have one-to-one interaction on the theme in a focused manner. He expressed concerns about conservation of indigenous fish species and requested ICAR-CIFRI to initiate enclosure culture in lakes and reservoirs of the state as it will be a new technology for the state. Scientists from ICAR-CIFRI, officials of DoF and other stakeholders actively participated in the session. In their concluding remarks, the Director of Fisheries, Sikkim and the Director, ICAR-CIFRI agreed to initiate collaborative work programmes in open water fisheries of the state. The day-long workshop anchored Ms. Niti Sharma, Scientist, ICAR-CIFRI, RC, Guwahati ended with a vote of thanks by Shri C. S. Rai, additional Director of Fisheries, Sikkim.
A joint field visit was undertaken to Dikchu Reservoir, Sikkim on 30.05.23 to explore the possibility of initiating enclosure culture in the reservoir. The Director of ICAR-CIFRI, the Director of Fisheries, Sikkim along with the scientific team of ICAR-CIFRI and DoF officers visited possible sites in the reservoir. The joint team was briefed about different aspects of Teesta-V project including details of the reservoir by Mr. Chitta Ranjan Das, Group General Manager of NHPC Ltd., Teesta-V Power Station and his team. The Director of ICAR-CIFRI discussed about the possibility of brood stock development and conservation of Chocolate mahseer (Neolissochilus hexagonolepis), which is the state fish of Sikkim. The Director of Fisheries, Sikkim felt that initiating enclosure culture in the reservoir will encourage the youths of the state to undertake the activity. The joint team also visited two commercial trout farms of the locality, which was supported by Directorate.
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