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Ngahou rearing gains success in Mapithel Dam water

 Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, February 10 2024: Though the water of Thoubal Multipurpose Project also known as Mapithel Dam have completely submerged their village, Chadong villagers are now relying on water of the dam and successfully taken up fishery particularly through case culture and pen culture.

Due to change of topography since the commission of Thoubal Multipurpose Project, Chadong villagers living on the upstream of the dam were unable to find suitable livelihood means with the new environment despite getting compensation from the government.

However, villagers took up fishery in the form of case culture and pen culture as their new livelihood means in the vast water reservoir with the help of state fisheries department.

Chadong villagers are now able to produce different types of fishes successfully including the indigenous fish named Puntious Sarana locally known as 'Ngahou', which is on the verge extinction in the state.

A Chadong villager rearing different types of fishes through case culture and pen culture in the vast water reservoir of the dam named Rockson Kashung told The People's Chronicle that he started rearing 'Ngahou' last year as a trial through case culture in the vast water reservoir and this rare indigenous fish is suitable to the water of Mapithel Dam.

Ngahou not only gains growth at very fast pace but also purifies muddy water, Rockson Kashung said adding that he procured Ngahou fingerlings from the popular fisher farmer and fingerlings producer Jiten of Wangoi.

According to Rockson Kashung, Ngahou fingerlings he procured from Jiten last year are now fully grown and three Ngahou pieces could easily weigh one kilo and nutritional value of the fish will be high as it was reared with fresh water coming from the hills.

Started on trial basis with limited Ngahou fingerlings, there are only around 50/60 fully grown Ngahou and he is unable to meet demands now.

"Nevertheless, I am planning to rear new batches with more Ngahou fingerling after selling out the present batch," Rockson Kashung said adding that he sells one kilo of Ngahou between Rs 400-450.Apart from Ngahou, fishermen of Chadong are rearing different types of fishes through case culture, he added.

Meanwhile, director (fisheries) H Balkrishna told The People's Chronicle that many indigenous fishes have either gone extinct or on the verge of extinction due to extinction of water bodies and changes in the ecosystem.

However, state fisheries department has been taking up some initiatives under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to promote and preserve indigenous fishes.

Under this scheme, Chadong villagers living in the upstream area of Mapithel Dam are being provided new livelihood means by rearing fishes through case culture and pen culture since the past five years, he added.

According to H Balkrishna, around 200 fishermen of Chadong are rearing different types of fishes with 30 case cultures and it was done as a pilot project to rehabilitate the village submerged by the dam water.

Chadong fishermen had successfully produced different types of fishes and sold at Emoinu Fish fair in 2023 and the department is taking several steps for improving fish rearing in the vast Mapithel Dam water reservoir.

Regarding success of Ngahou rearing at Mapithel Dam water reservoir, fisheries department's Sareng Project nodal officer cum indigenous fish researcher Sapam Jiten told The People's Chronicle that Ngahou is an indigenous fish of Manipur having unique taste and high nutritional value.

Ngahou is easy to rear and easy to breed, he said and expressed hope of expanding Ngahou production in the state if people want.