Abstract

Floodplain wetlands are considered as biologically sensitive habitats and predicted to be the most impacted through climate change. They form an important fishery resource in West Bengal, India. Analysis of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) derived climatic data has revealed a unanimous warming trend (0.18–0.28 °C) and decreasing rainfall (135.6–257 mm) among the studied districts (North 24 Parganas, Nadia and Kolkata) of West Bengal over the last three decades. Four floodplain wetlands under cooperative fisheries management were studied during February 2015 and December 2015. Data were collected through a structured communication process involving multiple interviews through multiple rounds of surveys and also from secondary sources. Six climate smart fishery strategies could be identified, namely Temporary pre-summer enclosure, Submerged branch pile (Kata) refuge, Autumn stocking, Torch light fishing, Deep pool (Komor) refuge and Floating aquatic macrophyte refuge fishery (Pana chapa). Few of them are capable of serving as conservation tools by providing refuge during summer or water stress and maintaining base stocks in the wetlands for recruitment in the following monsoon season. The present paper discusses the climate smart nature of these pre-existing indigenous fishery strategies. These strategies need to be optimized and may be used for adoption of sustainable climate smart fisheries management in floodplain wetlands.

You do not currently have access to this content.