ICAR-CIBA celebrated the National Fish Farmers Day on 10th July 2018 with the coastal fishers of the Puducherry. Scientist of CIBA, sensitized fishers and other villagers from the coastal areas of Puducherry on the food production, employment and income generation using cost-effective and environmentally sustainable models of fish farming such as polyculture and Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), in the vast stretches of brackish water resources available in the region. Thiru.K.Deivasigamani, Additional Director of Fisheries, Puducherry presided over the interaction and stated that under the World Bank-funded Fisheries Management for Department of Fisheries Sustainable Livelihoods (FIMSUL) project, co-management and governance systems at the village, district and state levels are being planned to enhance the livelihood security and resilience of fishers in the region. However, the fishers were of the view that the rivers are getting polluted mainly due to the disposal of domestic wastes into the water bodies and misuse of private tourism operators. They pleaded that the rivers which were rich in fishery resources ought to be cleaned and protected from pollution to continue their fishing livelihood and take up suitable aquaculture production systems.
Dr.S.Vasanthakumar, Additional Director of Agriculture and Head, KVK, Puducherry expressed that the aim of the project is to enhance the production and income levels of the fishers by adopting the viable technologies developed by ICAR institutions such as CIBA. Farmer to Farmer communication has cited as the better fit extension strategy to transfer farming innovations among the farmers with technological support from institutions. In this context, Mr Premkumar, a fisher entrepreneur partner from Vennangupattu in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, shared his experience in the cage farming of seabass with the technological support of CIBA and highlighted the profitability of the venture. Dr.M.Kailasam, Principal Scientist & Scientist-in-Charge, Fin Fish Culture Division of CIBA explained the initiatives of CIBA in the east and west coasts of the country in enhancing the livelihood security and fish production from the least utilized brackishwater resources. Thiru. Thirumoolan, Fisheries Subject Matter Specialist at KVK Puducherry accounted for the fishery resources of the region and the importance of adopting aquaculture technologies in enhancing the fish production and income of fishers. Dr.J.Shyama Dayal, Principal Scientist, CIBA, narrated the zero-stocking approach in Mudcrab farming taken up by CIBA in Nagayalenka in Andhra Pradesh for the livelihood development of downtrodden. About 120 fishers, officials from the fisheries department, MSSRF field personnel and scientists participated in the discussion. Earlier Dr.C.V.Sairam, Scientist-in-Charge, Social Sciences Division of CIBA in his welcome address highlighted the importance of Fish Farmers Day. Dr.M.Kumaran and Dr.Deboral Vimala, Principal Scientists, CIBA coordinated the programme and provided solutions for the queries raised by the fishers.