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The Prime Minister has a vision of doubling farmer's income by 2022 and this will be difficult to achieve through agriculture alone. Hence, allied agricultural activities will play a vital role in achieving the same. Fisheries has a great potential and the same needs to be communicated to the community. The Central Government as well as the State Government has been continuously coming up with several schemes to encourage fishery activities and also to provide social security measures in the State and develop fishery as a primary source of livelihood. Few schemes have been introduced by the Government to encourage Fisheries:
  1. Scheme with 100% subsidy for training of fish farmers and exposure to new technologies and methods
  2. Subsidy of 50% for fish farmers and fishermen for progress of fishery which includes – better inputs (feed/seed/medicine/pump sets etc.), production of better fish seed, fish-cum-poultry farming and also on Biofloc
  3. Special schemes like 90% subsidy on purchase of Moped, 3-wheeler and 4- wheeler for ease of selling and transport fish in the market.
About 88 percent of the population in Bihar still live in villages and depend on agriculture. Developing fishery will not only open new opportunities for the community but also will contribute in generating employment/additional income. The aim of Directorate of Fisheries is to increase production as well as productivity of Fishery in the State and the steps are being taken to implement the same. Some of the new technology like BFT (Biofloc Technology) has been introduced in the State. Also, work on other new technologies like RAS (Recirculatory Aquaculture System), cage culture, pen culture and aquaponics is also in process of development in the State. Also, work is being done for making FPO (Farmer Producer Organization) which will provide fishermen/fish farmers support in procuring inputs as well as selling their harvest. Fish is an important component of the human food and fishing has an important contribution in global employment and rural economy. Fish account for roughly one fifth of all animal protein in the human diet. Around 1 billion people world over rely on fish as their primary source of protein. Further, production of fish is far more than the global production of poultry and meat. Potential of fisheries sector in providing quality food and nutrition, in creating livelihoods in the rural areas and for inclusive economic development is widely recognised. Because of all these qualities, the sector is also accepted as a powerful tool for poverty reduction and fostering rural development. Besides, the sector has also significant contribution in national economy through fisheries based commercial enterprises and of foreign exchange earnings through export of fish and fish products. Fishing and fish farming activities in aquatic ecosystems also complement other land-based crop and livestock farming practices besides providing other ecosystem services including water conservation, recharging ground water table and water for other domestic uses.

Fisheries in Bihar’s Context

Traditionally, Bihar's economy is dominated by rural sector. Around 88% of the population live in the rural areas. Ganga is the main river which is joined by tributaries such as Ghaghra, Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Bagmati, Kamla-Balan, Kosi and Mahananda. The species of major and minor carps found in the Ganges river system are extensively used for culture in ponds, lakes, reservoirs and enclosures throughout the country. The state is endowed with adequate freshwater resources. The state's average rainfall of 1091 mm is considered to be adequate; however, owing to change in climate over the years, droughts and floods are adversely affecting the agriculture, fisheries output and GSD P. Capture and culture of fish are traditional activities in Bihar. Both traditional communities and new entrepreneurs are engaged in such activities. Capture fisheries resources are evident in vast span of aquatic ecosystems like rivers, reservoirs and flood prone wetlands in the form of ox-bow lakes and chaurs. Ox-bow lakes are cut off segments of rivers and popularly known as Mauns. These water bodies usually get connected with the main course of the river during floods or rainy season. However, some ox-bow lakes have permanently lost their connection with the river of their origin. Mauns are perennial aquatic ecosystems with rich and highly productive fisheries resources. In addition to the resident fish population which get replenished through auto stocking during flood / rainy season by getting connected with the main course of the river, they are also stocked with fast growing native and exotic carp species for enhanced fish production. Besides maun, there are other wetland aquatic ecosystems which are locally known as chaurs. These are low lying saucer shaped water logged depressions which retain water for a considerable period of time ranging between 5-6 months. Chaurs are mainly found in the basins of Ganga-Kosi-Gandak river systems of the state. These floodplain wetland ecosystems are also considered as lifeline of riverine fisheries and aquatic biodiversity as they provide refuge, spawning and nursery grounds for a large number of freshwater fishes which migrate between rivers and wetland floodplains. Protection, conservation and enhancement of wetlands are also critical for rehabilitation and sustenance of riverine fisheries. In addition to floodplain wetland fisheries there are 35 small and medium size irrigation reservoirs in the state. These are also potential resources for development of fisheries by resorting to stocking programmes. During sixties and seventies, Bihar was the biggest supplier of Indian major carp seed from its riverine resources to the entire country to meet the seed requirement of growing freshwater aquaculture sector. Unfortunately, the riverine fisheries has collapsed due to overfishing and destructive fishing, population pressure, pollution, siltation and reduction in water flow and other anthropogenic activities. The state has also extensive network of irrigation canals which retains water for considerable period and offer opportunities for aquaculture through cage and other enclosure based aquaculture. However, this potential is still lying untapped even at national level. Besides, vast area of lands adjoining the canals remains often water logged for several months which could also be developed for aquaculture and fish seed production. Fisheries resources of the state such as reservoirs are common public property which provide productive source of livelihoods for a large number of resource poor landless and marginal farming communities, especially traditional fishing communities. Chaurs, on the other hand, are largely multi-ownership based resources which offer an additional crop of fish during the period of water availability. So far, this resource is lying unutilized. The main culture fishery resources of Bihar lie in ponds and tanks of variable sizes which are distributed throughout the state. Most of the ponds are seasonal while some are also perennial. They offer vast potential for the development of aquaculture while seasonal ponds are highly suitable for rearing of seed —fry, fingerlings and yearlings.