Enhancing livelihood of rural tribal of Sagar Island, Sundarbans through fisheries management in derelict open waters
Archana Sinha, Aparna Roy, Pranab Gogoi, Arun Pandit, BK Das
The Sagar Island, situated at the mouth of Hoogly River and known as Ganga Sagar, is a part of Indian Sundarbans and rich in rivulets, creeks and mangrove swamps. The low-lying Sagar Island is cyclone prone but inhibited by many settlements flanking the coastline. Tribal population particularly, Santhal and Munda clans are settled in some pockets of Sagar Island. Poverty, illiteracy and financial exclusion made the tribal community vulnerable to economic shock. An attempt was made to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor through improved fish culture practices in derelict water bodies in Khan Saheber Abad village of Sagar Islands. Fish seed, feed, fertilizers, nets etc. were distributed to fifteen numbers of households to encourage them for fish culture in the derelict waters in the village. After a culture period of eleven months, a total of 1,057 kg fish was harvested from an area of 1.017 ha of derelict water bodies. Fish species named Scatophagus argus, Liza parsia, Liza tade, Rhinomugil corsula, Mystus gulio were cultured in brackish water while, fresh waters were stocked by Catla catla, Labeo rohita, Cirrhimus mrigala, Labeo bata, Puntius sarana and small indigenous fish viz.,Amblypharyngodon mola, Puntius ticto and Salmostomo bacaila for continuous availability of fishes for nutritional security of the poor villagers. Cost benefit ratio1.39 was achieved which show that utilization of derelict waters could be an alternative livelihood for the rural tribal’s of Sagar Island.