Bhubaneswar, May 6: The World Bank aided Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project in the state has added fish productions in the ecologically sensitive regions through innovative programme implementation strategies. As part of its objective, ICZM project collaborated with Fisheries and Animal Resources Development department to provide alternative livelihood facilities to the fisher communities in its project region of Chilika and Bhitarkanika. The beneficiaries are carefully chosen from the fisher villages and those who have been severely affected due to mandatory ban on fishing due to Odisha Marine and Fisheries Resources Act. The pilot project launched in the year of 2010 pursued the traditional fishers affected due to ban to pursue several activities including pisciclture or integrated pisciculture as their livelihood option. As part of its initiative of alternative livelihood to fisher folks in the pilot project area in Chilika and Bhitarkanika region, 600 fisher self-help groups were formed and out of this 211 self-help groups were formed to take up the pisciculture trade in four project distrcits. The SHGs were given the best technical know-how through a series of capacity building programmes organized in regular intervals in the Puri, Khurda & Kendrapara districts of ICZM project villages.
There is a new sign of hope and confidence among the beneficiaries of the ICZM project initiative. Despite the regulatory ban on fishing enforced in the coast for more than four months, fishery production in these project villages gone up. As part ICZM project component each self-help groups were assisted up to 4.5lakh rupees to develop infrastructure and initiate operations. As part of infrastructure assistance each SHG units were given assistance up to 2.5lakh to develop and renovate fish ponds up to one hactre. To begin the pisciculture operation groups were assisted up to 1.5lakh rupees to procure fish seeds, feeds and harvesting the yields.
ICZMP has also provided detailed inputs on accounting & book keeping skills to the SHG members through skill development sessions, exposure programmes and initiated pond and water quality monitoring through community mobilizers, fishery development officers. So far these self-help groups have renovated 161hactre of pond for pisciculture and integrated pisciculture. As of now each successful pisciculture unit is yielding 3metric tons of fish produces in each year. With continuous intervention programmes it is estimated that these self-help group are producing 500 metric ton of fish annually and the total valuation of the fisheries output under pisciculture activities has gone up to 600 lakh rupees per annum.
Several other benefits are also distributed to fisher groups and fishers were given mobile sim card to receive daily weather updates, covered under general insurance scheme and offered fruit bearing saplings through Horticulture department.
“We have consciously adopted the best practice model of pisciculture to reduce pressure on marine fishery resources and increase the fish production through integrated fishing activities,” said Dr Ajit Kumar Pattanaik, PD, ICZMP. “The effort was also helpful to conserve our ecosystem and offer tangible support to the affected fisher communities across the project area,” he added.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project started in 2010 as a pilot project has a major thrust on securing livelihood of the fisher folk in its coastal stretches of Gopalpur to Chilika and Paradeep to Dhamra. This component being implemented through Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department (F&ARD) aimed at providing the best alternate livelihood options to 600 self-help groups. Out of 600 self-help groups formed under ICZMP, there are 211 SHGs formed to take up integrated pisciculture. The initiative benefited 2519 fisher families and 12790 community members from the pilot project area. Through this integrated programme 161.77 hectares of pond infrastructures are created and strengthened. A total of 5.84 crore rupees disbursed among the 211 self-help groups.
ICZMP has also envisaged bringing all the SHGs into a single federation and provide a sustainable market linkage plan for the benefit of the community.