As a part of the Namami Gange initiative to restore fish stock of river Ganga, ICAR- Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore has performed ranching of 50,000 (Fifty thousand) seed of Indian Major Carp in river Ganga at Nabadwip, West Bengal. The entire event took place in the holy place at Prachin Mayapur, Nidaya Ghat (Coordinates: 23°25'36.9" N and 88°22'08.4" E). Fishes namely Rohu (Labeo rohita), Catla (Catla catla), Mrigel (Cirrhinus mrigala) and Kalbasu (Labeo calbasu) commonly known as Indian Major Carp were ranched.
After the ranching of seed in river Ganga, awareness cum interaction meeting was conducted at the venue. The session started with the welcome address by Dr. Ranjan K. Manna, Principal Scientist & Co-PI, CIFRI-NMCG Project to the dignitaries and participants. He describing the detailed project objectives and activities and highlighted the present ongoing threats and issues related with the declining fish stock and biodiversity of river Ganga along with the importance of conserving the fishes of river Ganga as the river itself was a pristine site of biodiversity, which impaired lately. Mr. Sumanta Biswas, FEO, Nabadwip block called for active co-operation from the fishers for the success of the present effort by ICAR-CIFRI for restoration of IMC fish stock of river Ganga. Mr. Nibasi Ch. Das, Assistant Fishery Officer, Govt. of West Bengal requested fishers not to use zero mesh drag net and described about different Government schemes which may improve the livelihood of fishers who have to come forward to take advantages of those schemes. Mr. Pundarikakhya Saha, MLA, Nabadwip who visited the meeting site and extended his full support to the program. On his behalf, Mr. Sukumar Rajbanshi, local Councilor, Nabadwip Municipality requested the State and Central Govt. Officials to take immediate measure to stop severe river bank erosion in the area. He requested fishers not to kill the released fishes immediately but allow them to grow and breed so that fish stock can be restored. In addition, he also requested the fishers not to use the sacred river Ganga as dustbin by throwing garbage and even dead bodies of animals. Dr. Uttam K. Sarkar, Head, Reservoir and Wetland Fisheries Division, CIFRI, Barrackpore mentioned the importance of wetlands with special reference to climate change. Dr. Bimal P. Mohanty, Head, Fisheries Resources and Environment Management Division highlighted the nutritional values of various fishes and hence need for conservation. Dr. Basanta K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI and Principal Investigator of the present ongoing CIFRI-NMCG project stated the ongoing project objective is to restore of these four prized Major Carps in River Ganga in all selected sites of the river in different states of the country. He emphasized that fishes are bio-indicator of healthy water environment and also they feed on detrital load accumulated in river bottom from different drainages and canals, reducing organic load and thus cleaning the habitat. He called for active participation of fishers in cleaning the floating macrophytes of the nearby wetland with initial Govt. support. He mentioned that more than 1 lakh fingerlings have been released to date and ranching of more than 10 lakh fingerlings have been targeted under the project in the year 2018. Dr. Archan K. Das, Principal Scientist, CIFRI, Barrackpore, in his Vote of Thanks mentioned that released seeds have been produced using the brooders collected from Ganga without any chance of genetic contamination. The event was attended by more than 100 no. of local fishermen and their family members.