A new centre set up in West Bengal by a Kochi-based national fisheries institute will focus on research on fish varieties, including the famous Hilsa fish, which is disappearing fast from coastal Bengal due to over fishing and climate change.
The Kochi-based Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute said its new regional research centre in Digh, West Bengal, will fulfill the research and development needs for marine fisheries in West Bengal and Odisha.
This is the 11th regional research centre of the CMFRI, a fisheries research institute under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
“The centre will primarily focus on assessing the important commercial marine fish stocks fo the West Bengal including Hilsa, a popular fish variety in the region,” a release said.
“At a time when the availability of Hilsa is showing a drastic decline in recent years, the CMFRI centre will focus on research activities for the conservation and sustainable harvest of the fish species developing effective resource management practice,” it said.
The centre will provide advisories to the West Bengal and Odisha governments on the optimum number of fishing vessels and the option for management of fish stocks in the state by way of regulations, it said.
Regular monitoring of marine landings and assessment of fish stocks will be carried out under the centre to help the state in managing the marine fish resources fo the region ultimately benefitting the fishermen.
According to A Gopalakrishnan, Direcotr of CMFRI, the new centre was established t cater to needs of marine fisheries research of West Bengal and Odisha and generate livelihood for the coastal fisher folk.
Gopalkrishnan said CMFRI has been developing fisheries management plans for each maritime state”. The management policy guidelines are being designed in such a way that helps in scientific management of marine fisheries for each state”, he said.
He said climate changes issues affecting coastal habitats and fisheries could more efficiently be addressed by the new Centre.