A Tribal Sub Plan Programme was organized by Visakhapatnam Research Centre of CIFT at Venkatapuram, a remote fishing hamlet adjoining Tandava Reservoir, Visakhapatnam District on 18th February, 2014.
Tandava reservoir comes under medium reservoir category with a water spread area of 1689 hectares. There are 14 villages around the reservoir with 500 registered fisher-folk who depend mainly on fisheries for their livelihood. Venkatapuram fishing village has 20 fisher folk who is engaged in full time fishing activities.Fishing in the reservoir is mainly done with the help of wooden crafts (“Nooluga” wood) with tin sheets inside. The cost of the craft is around Rs.8000/-. The duration of the wood is only three years and later it has to be changed. Gillnets with different mesh sizes (120mm, 140mm, 160mm) are being used for harvesting fish. Crew size per craft is two. Fishing nets are set in the reservoir at 3 AMand fish will be harvested between 6AM to 9AM in the morning. A uniform harvesting time is being maintained by all the fishermen which is decided by the village head. Any deviation from the stipulated harvesting time is liable for punishment. Shrimp seeds are being stocked by some private people in the reservoir and the harvested shrimp will be sold to the same person at a rate of Rs.130/-. Other fishes (Indian Major Carps etc.) are being sold at a rate of Rs.70/-.
Construction of crafts in the village
During the tribal sub plan programme, FRP coracles, foldable fish traps and gillnets were distributed to selected beneficiaries. Dr.M.M.Prasad, Principal Scientist & SIC of the Centreaddressed the gathering regarding the activities of CIFT for welfare of fishers and the purpose of the tribal sub plan programmes implemented by Government of India. Dr.G.Rajeswari, Principal Scientist and Dr.R.Raghu Pradesh, SeniorScientist explained about the FRP coracles and foldable fish traps in reservoir fisheries and they urged the fishermen for proper use of the given resources. Smt. Arathy Ashok, Scientist collected data from the fishermen regarding their socio-economic condition. Shri John Prabhu Dasu, Assistant Director, Department of Fisheries Narasipatnam and Smt. Nirmala Kumari, FDO, State Fisheries Department were also present during the programme. After the programme demonstrations were conducted in the reservoir in the use of FRP coracles. Fishermen were very comfortable in using the FRP coracles. Finally Shri Prabu Dasu proposed vote of thanks.
Handing over of FRP coracles to the tribal fisher-folk
Dr.M.M.Prasad addressing the fisher-folkCollecting feedback from the tribal fishers