The ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute Guwahati regional centre in collaboration with ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, successfully carried out ‘cage culture’ at Umiam Reservoir through the participation of fishermen under the Ri-Bhoi Farmers’ Union to assess the techno-economic feasibility of the technology, which is the first of its kind in the hill state.
Cage culture trials were carried out in CIFRI-GI cage using CIFRI-CageGrow floating feed in the reservoir. On successful completion of the third culture trial in Umiam reservoir, ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati jointly with ICAR RC for NEHR, Umiam, organised a field day on ‘Cage culture in reservoirs of Meghalaya’ in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Ri-Bhoi Farmers’ Union (RFU) at Umniuh Khwan village on December 9.
The programme was attended by 80 tribal fish farmers, including 25 women, of the locality under the RFU. Scientists and technical personnel of the two ICAR institutes, namely Pronob Das, S Yengkkpam, S Borah, T Tayung, P Devi and Alakesh Das acted as technical experts.
Cage culture in Umiam reservoir was initiated for the first time in 2019 by the Guwahati regional centre in collaboration with the ICAR Umiam and RFU. Both ICAR institutes have worked together to refine the cage culture technology developed by ICAR-CIFRI to assess techno-economic feasibility of cage culture under mid-altitude conditions.
The Fisheries Department plans to implement large-scale cage culture schemes in the state with 60 percent subsidy from 2023-24, as the feasibility of the culture has been shown by ICAR-CIFRI.
The sale of cage reared fish was inaugurated by Paul Tariang, Assistant Director of Fisheries. The sale will directly benefit 25 fisher women families of the RFU. On the occasion, some fish (mainly Rohu) reared in cages were released in the reservoir as a fish stock enhancement measure for sustainability.