The ICAR Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR) in Bhimtal, Uttarakhand, organised a one day workshop on ‘Boosting Coldwater Aquaculture and Fisheries in Meghalaya’ on Friday.
The programme took place at Umiam and was held in collaboration with the ICAR Research Complex for North East Hill Region and Meghalaya’s Department of Fisheries.
Fisheries Minister Alexander L Hek was the chief guest of this workshop in the presence of officials of ICAR and the state government. The workshop was attended by nearly 100 farmers, entrepreneurs and interested stakeholders from various parts of Meghalaya.
ICAR’s PK Pandey set the context for the workshop by elaborating on the potential of coldwater aquaculture and fisheries to provide new livelihood avenues and nutritional security for the people of Meghalaya. He also highlighted the promising coldwater aquaculture technologies developed by ICAR-DCFR that can be implemented in Meghalaya.
Hek emphasised on the need to achieve self-sufficiency in fish production in Meghalaya by promoting coldwater aquaculture and adopting new technologies in suitable regions. He also pointed out the need for strong links between the research institutes and implementing agencies to ensure that the aquaculture and fisheries development potential is realised. Further, he encouraged the participants of the workshop to make the best use of coldwater fish farming opportunities and harness the existing coldwater aquatic resources in the state.
In the following sessions, different resource persons and experts deliberated on the necessity to know and conserve endemic fish biodiversity, initiatives and progress made under the Meghalaya State Aquaculture Mission, ornamental fish based livelihood avenues, best aquaculture practices in rainbow trout farming, resource efficient intensive trout production systems and sustainable integrated fish farming opportunities in mid-hill regions and the challenges for the expansion of coldwater fish production in the state.
In conjunction with this workshop, the team of scientists from ICAR-DCFR explored and identified potential rainbow trout farming sites in Mawphlang and surveyed the newly operational private trout farm in Mawphlang and the government’s rainbow trout farm in Shillong on August 17 and 19.
As the next step for developing coldwater aquaculture in Meghalaya, ICAR-DCFR is planning to establish a few rainbow trout raceways in East Khasi Hills to generate employment and empower local communities, under the tribal sub-plan.