March is Women's History Month and this March 8 was International Women's Day. We don't hear news from India and surrounding regions often in this industry so this news is most welcome, especially as it features women.
Community-based ornamental fish aquaculture, using local resources, is expected to help women in the Lakshadweep islands to take the first step towards self-reliance through concerted activities.
In what is being described as the first-of-its-kind experiment, as many as 82 islanders, 77 of them women, were selected and underwent intensive training. They have formed groups for ornamental fish aquaculture with technical support from the ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR).
Helping the islanders, especially women, generate income is important considering that the islands have limited resources, mostly in the form of coconut and tuna fish. Fishing virtually comes to a halt during the monsoon season, shutting out a key economic activity. However, ornamental fish aquaculture is expected to sustain the rhythm of economic life in the islands, said sources in the NBFGR on Thursday.
The NBFGR maintains a germplasm resource centre for marine ornamental organisms on Agatti Island for conservation as well as boosting livelihood sources for the islanders. The support being extended by the NBFGR includes capacity building and hand-holding community aquaculture units maintained by local women to raise captive-bred marine ornamentals, including shrimps, to marketable size.
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