Conservation of fishery resources: 7.5L fingerlings released in Brahmani, Odisha

Rourkela: With acute depletion of fishery resources in the Brahmani river ultimately damaging the river’s ecosystem, bio-diversity and the livelihood of local fishermen, around 7.5 lakh adult fingerlings were released into the river on Saturday under the River Ranching Programme.

Fingerlings were stocked in Brahmani river at Sundikono village point of Bonai block of Sundergarh district by the District Fisheries Office under PMMSY (Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana). Before the release of the fingerlings, an awareness program was organized by the District Fisheries Officers with the participation of key stakeholders, members of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and villagers.
Sundargarh District Fisheries Officer Arun Kumar Sahu said the annual stocking of fingerlings in the Brahmani river this year as part of the river ranching program was done in Bonai block, while last year the fingerlings were released in the adjacent Lahunipada block.
Over the years, the fishery resources of the river have been largely depleted due to continuous fishing by poor villagers living along the river banks. For some people, it is their only means of livelihood. Sahu said that now there are not enough fish resources available in the river, which is directly impacting their livelihood and food related concerns.
“With the aim of conserving fishery resources and supporting the ecology, the fingerlings released now will grow to fish of one kilogram or more by August. Sahu said village stakeholders have been educated and requested not to capture or harm them until they become more economically useful.
The official said the collection of fingerlings in Bonai will benefit villagers up to Lathikata block, 40 km upstream as the fish have a natural tendency to migrate and live upstream of the river.
About 1,000 villagers between Bonai and Lathikata engage in fishing and five to 10 percent of them catch fish to sell in local markets for livelihood.
Sumita Kindo, Senior Fisheries Technical Support, Bonai, villagers from Bonai, Kasra, Tendra and some other panchayats participated in the program.

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