STATUS OF FISHERIES IN NAGALAND
Nagaland is endowed with rich and unique natural resources, which provides immense potential for aquaculture development. In spite of the available resources, aquaculture has not made much impact in the state so far. The meagre production of the state is still far from self-sufficient and this can be attributed to a number of constraints such as land locked hilly terrain, lack of adequate funds, lack of professional support and non-availability of critical inputs.
Of late, there have been certain remarkable changes in the state’s fisheries scenario especially during the last plan periods wherein local farmers are coming forward to take up aquaculture practices. In spite of the constraints, the department is making serious efforts to assist, guide and educate the people about the importance of fisheries development and sustainable fisheries.
Certain villages/communities are taking steps to conserve their river/stream systems by their own customary law, and today we find many rivers/streams being protected under this law. The numbers of fish farmers are increasing year after year and production has increased considerably. The above given accounts goes to prove that in spite of major hurdles and constraints, the department has been able to make sufficient progress in achieving its aims and objectives and also induce the rural mass to take up fish culture practice by whatever technical assistance and guidance the department could provide with limited funds. In this regard, the department can very soon boast of bringing a revolution in fish culture in the state by way of transfer of scientific technology through extension service by fishery personnel.
ORGANIZATIONAL SET UP:
The department of Fisheries is a full-fledged Directorate and is looked after by a Cabinet Minister. The Secretary to the Government of Nagaland, Department of fisheries, is the administrative head. The Director is the head of the Department, who is assisted by 1 Addl. Director, 1 Joint Director, 1 Deputy Director and two Asstt. Directors at the headquarter. The Department has an investigation cell for Soil and Water chemistry headed by a Biologist. There are 7 (seven) District Fishery officers in seven districts, One Chief Executive Officer for FFDA (Fish Farmers development Agency and two Sub-Divisional officers. The department has an engineering wing headed by an Assistant Engineer.
Fishery resources of the state are meagre, comprising of about 30,000 hectares of lentic and 1600 Kms. of lotic resources. Of these, the utilisation percentage is remarkably low, being about 4.50% of lentic resource. The State is bestowed with hill streams and rivers, which abounds in some interesting and endemic fish fauna.
The state has a potential of developing more reservoirs in future, which is under study and consideration by the Govt. This will boost more avenues in sport fishery, fish culture and production in the state. At present, Doyang reservoir having a total water area of 2258 hectares is also another fishery asset of the state. Lakes and reservoirs in the state have a total area of about 3528 hectares.
Bheels/ Lakes in the State are mostly located at unapproachable terrain and are thus lying in derelict condition. These natural water bodies are being considered for fishery developmental activities.
Ponds/ Tanks are the main resources for fish production in the state at present having a total area of about 49,737 hectares. But their average production is low due to non-implementation of scientific approach.
Paddy-Cum-Fish Culture is the second major resource for fish production in the state and is being practised in considerable areas. Presently the total area of paddy field that can be harnessed for integration with fish culture is about 75,700 hectares. There is still vast scope for developing more areas under this system that can be taken up through application of Scientific Technologies for augmenting fish production.
CONSERVATION OF FISHERY RESOURCES:
The potential of fishery resources in the state are immense. The major potential resource attributes to the cold and riverine fisheries. It comprises of game fishes like mahseer, also known as the ‘National fish of India’ and snow trout. Ornamental fish species such as loaches, danio, barillius etc., are also added assets. But unfortunately, this fishery resource of the state is threatened due to indiscriminate and destructive fishing methods like poisoning, dynamiting, bleaching, electric fishing, and use of unregulated mesh size net. This destructive fishing method indiscriminately kills the juveniles and the brooders leading to decline in riverine fish species. Hence serious efforts from all corners should be made to conserve our riverine fishery resources.
The following approaches for conservation of aquatic flora and flora and their ecosystem, are therefore considered.
- Deforestation and overgrazing activities along the sloppy catchments need to be checked immediately.
- Soil and water conservation measures need to be intensified.
- Enforcement of fishery legislation (Indian Fishery Act/Nagaland Fisheries Act) in streams, rivers and lakes to be effectively implemented.
- Specific gear and mesh size need to be regulated to protect the juveniles.
- Observation of closed season during breeding seasons.
- Declaration of breeding and feeding grounds of fishes as reserves/sanctuaries.
- Banning the use of poison, bleaching powder, dynamite and electric for fishing.
- Seed ranching and their protection may be maintained for the declining stocks.
- Mass awareness through extension activities and voluntary agencies about the need for conservation of fish stocks and their ecosystem.
1. Ornamental fish rearing and breeding.
2. Reservoir and lake fisheries.
3. Riverine fisheries.
4. Fish farm construction and up gradation.
5. Strengthening of Database and Information Networking for Fishery sector. (Fishery Statistics)
CENTRAL SECTOR/CENTRALLY SPONSORED SCHEMES :
Besides Fisheries department of the state, the agencies undertaking fisheries activities in the state are: Ministry of Agriculture (Govt. of India), North Eastern Council, Indian Council of Agricultural Research. In addition agencies like National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), National Co-operative Development Corporation (NCDC) have contributed to some extend in the process through providing fund. An account of achievement of the Central Sector/CSS is given below.
The department of fisheries is implementing the following Centrally Sponsored Scheme as detailed below:
1. Development of fresh water aquaculture through FFDA.
Under this scheme, assistance is provided to fish farmers through various incentives/facilities like new pond/ponds construction, renovations etc. in order to promote intensive aquaculture. There are 8 (eight) FFDA units in the state at present, which was sanctioned by the Govt. of India one each for each district.
1981-82 1 (one) unit at Dimapur on regional basis.
1985-86 1 (one) unit for Mokokchung district
1988-89 1 (one) unit for Tuensang district.
1993-94 5 (five) units for Phek, Kohima, Zunheboto, Wokha and Mon district.
The expenditure on developmental programme is shared on 75:25 basis between Central and State Govt.
2. Fisheries Extension and Training
This scheme is shared on 80:20 basis between Central and State Govt. on capital expenditure. Under the scheme, funds are provided for establishment of training centres, training of fisheries personnel, production of video films, publication of manuals and conduct of meeting/workshop/seminar.
3. Awareness Programme.
Under this scheme, the central Govt. has provided 80% of their share for construction of one museum-cum-laboratory amounting to Rs.18.83 lakh during 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Now, the Department has a well-equipped laboratory cum Awareness center at Dimapur which all houses exotic aquarium fishes.
4. National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen.
This was undertaken by the department during 1999-2000 for construction of houses for the fishermen, community hall, ring well etc. The expenditure is shared on 50:50 basis between Central and State Govt. During 1999-2000 and 2000-01 a sum of Rs.43.75 lakh was spent for construction of 40 houses, 2 community halls and 5 ring wells.
5. Strengthening of Infrastructure of Inland Fish Marketing.
This is a 100% central grant scheme provided for construction of cold Storage and purchase of insulated van. This scheme was sanctioned by the Government of India during 1988-89, 1989-90. The Government of India sanctioned a sum of Rs.43.00 lakh and the cold storage has been completed. The scheme is discontinued from 9th Plan.