Traditional fishing gears of Bankura District, WB, India: Some uniqueness in fish catching
The present study was undertaken to furnish the detailed features of the fish trapping devices and methods employed by the fish-farmers of Bankura district, West Bengal, India. It also determines small indigenous freshwater fish diversity. The study was carried out in randomly selected water bodies, ponds, rivers, streams; along with fisherfolk dominated thorps covering twenty-two community development blocks of Bankura district. The study revealed that the fishers of this area are accustomed to old and traditional fishing techniques. They also apply indigenous knowledge to develop some unique fish catching techniques like Gābāna, bamboo piece immersion and bowl trap. However, destructive fishing technique applying harmful chemicals had also been noticed in certain regions. A total of twenty-two traditional fishing gears have been recorded from the study area of which 7 gears were traps, 5 encircling gears, 2 entangling gears, 3 hooks and line, 4 scooping gears and 1 impaling gear. The study has revealed three unique indigenous fishing techniques of fish-farmers. A total of 34 small indigenous freshwater fish species (Least Concern, 29; Near Threatened, 3; Vulnerable, 1; Endangered, 1) were also identified. This study suggests that fishers of the study area still depend on traditional fishing gears and techniques to earn their livelihood.
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