Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHDF), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India has constituted an Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Dilip Kumar, Ex-Director & Vice-Chancellor of ICAR-CIFE to prepare a Draft NATIONAL INLAND FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE POLICY (NIFAP). ICAR-CIFE is providing technical support in preparation of this policy.

The Expert Committee intends to collect detailed feedback / inputs on various aspects of inland fisheries and aquaculture sub-sectors of India from different stakeholders. STAKEHOLDERS FEEDBACK QUESTIONNAIRE on Inland Capture Fisheries Sector including Rivers, Reservoirs & Wetlands have been developed for this purpose and is given below.

Important Note:
Identify your respondent category (compulsory) and then choose your answers from among the choices given for each question. Questions not relevant to your field may be skipped.

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* 1. Name, Position and Address of the Respondent:

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* 2. Select  the Respondent Category you belong to

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* 3. Appropriate policy and regulations are necessary for sustainable development of inland fisheries sector.

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* 4. Most of the existing regulations are outdated, piecemeal and ad-hoc and needs thorough revision

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* 5. Compliance level of existing regulations on close season (fishing ban), minimum mesh size, gear type, size of fish to be caught, etc., is very poor

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* 6. Inland fisheries resources are inexhaustible and thus can be exploited without restrictions

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* 7. Multiple and increasing demands for freshwater (for domestic, irrigation, industry, fisheries) pose great difficulties in management/development of inland fisheries

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* 8. Existing water usage policy does not recognize the minimal water level for fisheries in rivers/reservoirs/floodplains.

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* 9. Non-consumptive nature of water usage in fisheries (water is used only as a medium & there is only a minimal net usage) deserves to be recognized by water allocation policy (fisheries shall be treated at par with irrigation & industry for water allocation)

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* 10. Lack of institutional mechanisms to resolve conflicting interests of different owners / users

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* 11. Criteria for assigning and granting of ownership and fishing rights needs to be clearly and rationally defined

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* 12. Lack of effective coordination among different agencies and Ministries (Irrigation, Revenue, Agriculture, Environment & Forestry, Fisheries, Cooperatives) is responsible for under / poor utilization of public owned water bodies for fisheries

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* 13. Scientific and rational criteria is not followed for fixing lease period, lease amount, whom to lease and conditions of lease for different open water resources.

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* 14. No mechanism to share and manage fisheries resources of inter-state rivers / river valleys among claimant states.

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* 15. Introduction / presence of exotic fishes has led to overall decline of indigenous species in inland waters and reduced diversity

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* 16. Presence of exotic fishes (esp. silver carp, tilapia, Thai magur) have in fact helped increase inland fish production and or contributed significantly to fishers’ income

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* 17. Present status of exotic fishes demands a clearly defined policy statement on introduction of exotics as well as regulation of their culture in the country

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* 18. Existing mechanism to regulate import of exotic fishes in India (National Committee for Introduction of Exotic Aquatic Species in Indian Waters under Ministry of Agriculture and quarantine systems at all ports of entry) is inadequate and not very effective

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* 19. Involving fishing communities in planning and decision making is essential for greater compliance of conservation measures and reduce degradation of riverine and other open water fisheries.

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* 20. Open-waters, especially floodplain wetlands, are in advanced stage of eutrophication / massive weed infestation and hence needs to be restored rationally for increasing productivity

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* 21. Floodplain wetlands act as breeding/nursery grounds for riverine fish stocks due to their physical and functional connectivity with rivers. Now, many of the connecting channels are defunct & need immediate repairs / restoration

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* 22. Intensive stocking of IMC (Rohu, Catla, Mrigal) has also led to the decline of many small indigenous fish species in riverine / reservoir ecosystem

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* 23. There must be a special attention in terms of policy, legislation and development / conservation programs for cold water fisheries / states

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* 24. Fish catches from inland resources (rivers, reservoir, lakes, ponds) have steadily declined / become uncertain over years

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* 25. Too many boats/nets targeting same resources (increased fishing effort) has led to decline in inland fish catch over years

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* 26. Increased pollution and non-availability of minimum water level/flow are harming inland resources & fish breeding grounds

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* 27. Too much exploitation of juvenile fishes has led to decline in fish catch / disappearance of some species

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* 28. Climate change (Erratic rainfall, floods, droughts & temp.) is affecting adversely the abundance of fish stocks in recent years

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* 29. Local ecological knowledge about aquatic / fisheries resources are no longer available among the new generation

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* 30. Catch of some fish species has declined while some other has increased from inland resources over the years

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* 31. To protect known fish breeding grounds, declaring them as no-fishing zones permanently is a good idea.

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* 32. Fish seed stocking / stock enhancement program in reservoirs has been effective and useful

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* 33. Sustainability of cage culture in reservoirs has to be judged based on continuity of such activities after the incentives are withdrawn

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* 34. There is tremendous scope for increasing fish production from reservoirs through cage culture

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* 35. Detailed scientific and flexible Guidelines are the need of the hour for cage culture in inland open-waters

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* 36. Promotion of fish-based aqua tourism at suitable sites of reservoirs, wetlands and rivers would bring additional employment opportunities in rural sector

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* 37. Most State fish seed farms are not efficiently run and produce very less seed

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* 38. Privatising State fish seed farms would greatly increase fish seed supply and meet local demands

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* 39. Existing welfare measures provided by Government (Centre/State) to inland fishers are not adequate / satisfactory

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* 40. Monetary compensation to fishers during fishing ban period is a good idea and shall be continued

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* 41. Monetary compensation to fishers during fishing ban period is adequate

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* 42. Insurance coverage provided by Government for life / property of fishers is sufficient

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* 43. Adequate number of hands on training programs are available for fishers to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills related to fisheries

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* 44. Special fund / scheme to cover drought relief and natural calamities to fisher communities are to be put in place

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* 45. Most of the inland fisheries co-operatives are poorly managed and ineffective / inefficient in providing various services (fish marketing, storage, value addition, channelising welfare measures)

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* 46. Co-operatives require major reforms (both structural & functional) to make them efficient, truly democratic and equitable institutions as well as for sustainable management of resources

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* 47. There is need for capacity building of cooperatives in organizational and participatory management

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* 48. Do you agree to a minimum cess / surcharge on fish catch to support welfare/research activities in the Sector

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* 49. Linking monetary support / welfare measures with compliance to fishing regulations & good fishing practices is a good idea

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* 50. Domestic fish markets need to be further strengthened focusing on hygiene and increasing consumption

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* 51. Promoting stakeholder (fishers/sellers) managed fish markets, on the lines of APMC, would be a good idea

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* 52. Understaffed / overburdened State DoF is unable to implement regulations to effectively develop / conserve large water bodies like reservoirs / lakes

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* 53. Capacity development program for DoF personnel on recent technological advances, cross sectoral integration, ICT skills, sustainability concerns, fisheries co-management, etc.

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* 54. State DoF with the main mandate of fisheries development are involved more in non-fisheries activities, revenue collection and regulatory role than the extension / developmental role.

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* 55. Most of the training programs conducted for different stakeholders are ad-hoc in nature without any concern for what happens after the training and are not based on actual training need assessment

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* 56. Institutional finance for inland fisheries development is inaccessible, highly inadequate and unaffordable

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* 57. Lack of local availability of quality seed of desirable species and size is a major handicap in inland fisheries development.

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* 58. The present status of inland fisheries data collection system and database is almost non-existent

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* 59. The term ‘inland fisher’ should be clearly and rationally defined and adhered to by all States / Centre so that both development and welfare measures can be targeted

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* 60. Lack of adequate education among fishers hinder inland fisheries development

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* 61. Need to institute a mechanism for coordination between State Fisheries Department and PRIs (Panchayats) to promote aquaculture in small water bodies owned / leased out by Panchayats.

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* 62. Need to institute implementable checks to prevent exploitation of fishers by middlemen/contractors.

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* 63. R&D efforts for inland fisheries need greater focus, and should become application and result-oriented.

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* 64. Present extension system is very strong and as such extension reforms are not required as of now.

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* 65. Special programs / schemes with adequate funding /credit support for unemployed youth / fisheries graduates should be put in place to encourage investment and employment.

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* 66. In view of climate change and vulnerability concerns, fisheries as well as fishers are adequately taken care of in the policy and programs.

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* 67. Labour conditions and practices in fisheries need to be improved further to comply with national and global standards.

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* 68. Gender equality as well as mainstreaming must be made integral part of fisheries value chain (especially in post-harvest activities)

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* 69. You are welcome to provide any additional inputs in the form of your opinion on any issues / concerns that affect or related to inland fisheries policy.



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