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ICAR-CIBA and its Research Centres at Kakdwip, West Bengal and Navsari, Gujarat organized the National Campaign on ‘Ecosystem Management for Sustainable Fisheries’ on 10th July 2021, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence (Bharat Ka Amrut Mahotsav) adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines from Government of India. About 100 aquafarmers, fishers and SHG women participated in the programmes.

Dr K P Jithendran, Director CIBA, in his National Fish Farmers Day address at MES Muttukadu emphasized that farmers should adopt sustainable aquaculture practices in consonance with the carrying capacity of the coastal ecosystems. Further, he sought the active participation of aquaculture farmers and other stakeholders in the yearlong programmes planned for the celebrations of 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence.

Technical discussions on aquaculture species and systems, pond management, health and ecosystem management aspects of shellfish and finfish farming were the core content of the event. Dr M Kailasam, Principal Scientist and SIC FCD, Dr C P Balasubramanian, Principal Scientist and SIC, CCD, Dr K Ambasankar, Principal Scientist and SIC Nutrition, Dr. S Kanappan, Principal Scientist and SIC KES Kelambakkam, Dr. Akshaya Panigrahi, Principal Scientist, CCD, Dr P Kumararaja, Senior Scientist AAHED and Shri K P Sandeep Scientist and SIC, MES Muttukadu handled this session.

Subsequently Scientists from Social Sciences Division, Dr B Shanthi, Dr D Deboral Vimala, Dr M.Kumaran, Dr.P.Mahalakshmi Principal Scientists and Dr R Geetha Scientist, SSD shared with aqua farmers their experiences in the technology transfer process Farmers also shared their field level experiences on CIBA technologies and requested continued technical and field advisory support from CIBA and sought assistance to link them with input sources and markets. Later they made field visits to the Experimental Stations at Muttukadu and Kovalam. A video film on “Diversifying the livelihoods among the coastal families through brackishwater aquaculture technologies Integrated with Agro-Based Technologies and Societal Development Programmes” was screened to the farmers.

At KRC, CIBA Kakdwip, the farmer participants were sensitized on adoption of system specific aquaculture models to enhance the productivity of unutilized brackishwater resources. Farmers in the Sundarban region of West Bengal, who were affected due to YAAS Cyclone, sought technical support from KRC CIBA, Kakdwip to scientifically utilize their saline water intruded fields for brackishwater aqua farming. In addition, inputs like CIBA‘s PolyPlus feed and pearlspot fingerlings were distributed to the farmers during the programme.

At NGRC Navsari, the fish farmers were motivated on nursery rearing and farming of candidate brackishwater finfish species and the experiences with fish farming in the west coast. Milkfish, pearlspot and orange chromide fingerlings produced at the NGRC Navsari research farm were distributed to fish farmers and SHGs. Dr C V Sairam Principal Scientist and SIC SSD proposed the vote of thanks.

Dr B Shanthi, Principal Scientist SSD and Nodal Officer of BKAM , Dr S Kannappan, SIC, KES Kelambakkam, Dr Debasis De, SIC, KRC Kakdwip, Shri K P Sandeep, SIC, MES Muttukadu and Shri Pankaj Amrut Patil, SIC, NGRC Navsari coordinated the programme.