ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin has organized a one day training cum demonstration programme on “Responsible Fish Harvesting Practices” for inland fisherfolk at Vazhachal, Thrissur, Kerala on 2 March, 2016. Vazhachal, under Athirappilly Panchayat has around 1,200 tribal people belonging to Kadar and Malayan tribes, in nine colonies, who collect forest resources, including fish over the past many decades. Usually fishing is done using bamboo rafts (Pondi) and gillnets (Vaisaalivala). Both men and women in the family are involved in fishing operations in Chalakudi river and Perigalkuthu reservoir. Net is set during evening hours and is hauled during morning hours. Marketing is done through Vana Samrakshana Samiti (VSS) or through private intermediaries. On an average one kilogram of fish fetches around Rs. 100.00 for the tribal fisherfolk. Recently the Vazhachal
Community Forest Resource (CFR) Coordination Sangham had identified the vulnerable or endangered inland fish species and had taken a voluntary resource management decision of not fishing during the monsoon season.
The training programme was organized by ICAR-CIFT in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) India. Fifty tribal fisherfolk from different colonies attended the training programme. During the inaugural session of the programme Shri Tiju, Assistant Coordinator, WWF welcomed the gathering. The programme was inaugurated by Shri S.N. Sunilal, Assistant Range Officer, Forest Department, Vazhachal area. Dr. M.P. Remesan, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFT, Cochin briefed about the purpose of the training and Shri Subramanian, Treasurer, Vazhachal CFR offered felicitation. Smt. Arathy Ashok, Scientist, ICAR-CIFT, Cochin proposed vote of thanks. After the inauguration, technical session was held on ‘Challenges in inland fisheries and Responsible fish harvesting practices’. Demonstration of selective gillnet mounting was held after the theory class. During the feedback session, fishermen expressed their difficulties and requested for modern fishing craft and improved nets.
Training in progress
Participants and resource persons