After scripting a success saga in an inland aquaculture project to improve the lives of tribespeople in the Karapuzha reservoir, the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) is gearing up to launch a similar project in the Banasurasagar Reservoir of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) at Padinharethara in the district.
Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma will launch the project by disbursing fishing implements and life jackets to the members of the Banasura tribal fishing cooperative society at 3 p.m. on Monday.
The district is gifted with vast inland water bodies, including lakes, rivers, and reservoirs but their potential is yet to be tapped properly, M. Feroz Khan, scientist in-charge of the CIFRI regional centre, Bangalore, told The Hindu on Friday.
The project will be executed in association with the KSEB and the State Fisheries Department.
‘It is aimed at exploiting the huge fisheries potential of the Banasurasagar reservoir, by providing a means of livelihood for the tribespeople living on the banks,” Dr. Khan said.
The Banasurasagar reservoir is spread over 1,660 hectares but the fisheries potential of the reservoirs was yet to be fully utilised, he said.
The CIFRI had developed various technologies for enhancing fish production in the reservoirs. The project would be executed by utilising the tribal sub-plan fund of the Union government.
As part of the project, 16 lakh fingerlings of the Gangetic carp and endemic Cauvery carp have been deposited in the in the reservoir since 2010 by utilising National Fisheries Development Board funds , B. K Sudheer Kishan. Assistant Director, Fisheries, Wayanad said.
Earlier, the scientists of the CIFRI had conducted a feasibility study in the reservoir and it was found that the pH factor, oxygen content, nutrients, and temperature of the waterbodies were favourable for culture-based fisheries.
“We are targeting an annual production of 200 kg a hectare and modern technologies such as cage culture and pen culture will be introduced here soon to improve fisheries production,” Dr. Khan said.
A training programme on electronic data acquisition system had been provided to the members on capturing fish catch data through mobile computing recently, he said.