21 May 2017, Chukha: The Western Region launched its first captive fishery program, the Drukdingsa Captive Fishery Management Program on Friday, May 19 2017 at Drukdingsa, Doongna under Chukha dzongkhag. The program is the first of its kind in the region.
The potential for instituting a community based capture fishery program in Drukdingsa was first realised by the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector, Chukha in 2014. Following this, a four-day sensitisation training cum scoping program was carried out jointly by the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector, Chukha, the NRCR&LF and the Gedu Forest Division.
The preliminary field works on developing the management plan for the program started in December 2015 by the NRCR&LF and the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector. Subsequently, a workshop was conducted for the community fisher participants to draft the group by-laws integrating local knowledge combined with preference and the available science that could be adopted and applied.
Drukdingsa is one of the five chiwogs in Doongna gewog under Chukha dzongkhag. The Drukdingsa Capture Fishery Management Program has 33 members. Fishing in Drukdingsa has changed little in the last few decades with the community still relying on local and indigenous methods of catching fish. Artisanal fisheries dominate fishing in the region. The community harvest fishery resources from Menlumchhu that account for 100 percent of the total fish produced and consumed in the gewog. The surplus catch is sold in other chiwogs. Fish plays a vital role in the community not just as a source of nutrition and income but also as a valued offering during rituals and festivals.
The Drukdingsa Capture Fishery Management Program was officially launched on May 19, 2017 jointly by the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector, Chukha, the RLDC Tsimasham, the NRCR&LF and the Forest Division, Gedu on receiving formal approval from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. The user rights for the 5.5 Km Menlumchhu stretch from Chukti in the south to Dachhalum in the north was handed-over to the community with effect from May 19, 2017 for a period of five years with the following objectives:
- To generate income through harvest and sale of fresh or dried fish.
- To secure the community’s nutritional status by providing needed animal protein.
- To build sense of ownership over the fishery resources and protect the resources at all times.
- To institute sustainable harvest of fish with community’s growing stewardship over the resource.
- To eliminate destructive fishing practices to ensure fish biodiversity and stock protected.
– Submitted by Dawa L Sherpa, Sr. LPO
Regional Livestock Development Centre
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