Halda River occupies an important position as a natural breeding ground of Indian major carpsamong existing open inland water bodies of Bangladesh. This river is unique and distinct due to genetically purity of fertilized spawn of Rui and other carp fishes. This river also plays significant role in livelihoods of people who are egg collectors and hatchers. About 40-50 thousand kilograms of eggs could have been collected from Halda river some 50 years back. But only 12 kgs of rui fish were possible to be collected in 2016. Such disparity of the Halda River has never been seen earlier.
The Halda River occupies an important position as a natural breeding ground of Indian major carps among existing open inland water bodies of Bangladesh. This river is unique and distinct due to genetically purity of fertilized spawn of Rui national fish collected directly. Simultaneously this river has also great significant role in livelihood of a huge number of people who are egg collectors and Hatcher, and supply freshwater fishes. 50 years ago, about 40-50 thousand Kgs. of eggs could be collected from Halda river. Because of pollution, constructions of sluice gates in the branch rivers and rubber dam and hunting mother fishes, the quality of eggs released in the river by mother fishes gradually reduced to an alarming situation. In the last year, only about 12 Kgs of egg were collected from Halda by the Eggs Collector. Many species of fishes are afraid to have become extinct from Halda River. Amongst extinct species of fishes viz Bani Koksa (Bailius barila), Ghor Poia (Garra gotyla), Guijja Ayre (Sperata aor), Pangas (Pangasius pangasius), Mad/ Kata Chanda (Pseudambassis baculis ), Kata Bhukh, Goni Chapila (Gonialosa manminna), Baila (Stigmatogobius sadanundio), Meni/ Bheda (Nundus nandus), Koi Punti (Puntius sp), Kuichcha (Monopterus cuchia), Rata Borua (Moringua raitaborua) etc. are important.
Today as the nation’s and possibly south Asian’s major natural breeding ground for Indian major carps is in threat to destruction because of natural disasters and different types of anthropogenic hazards including indiscriminate catching and killing of the brood fishes by using illegal gill net, destruction of natural habitation of fishes. Navigation of the engine operated water vehicles, cutting of the river’s serpentine bends and oxbow lakes, disposal of industrial effluents and sewage contamination, unplanned construction of a good number of sluice gates and rubber dam for irrigation purpose, massive quarry of sands from river bed illegally by a section of unscrupulous traders, using excessive toxic insecticide in cultivation lands near to river bank, tobacco farming upstream area of the river etc. are mostly significant.
In 1945, around 5,000 kg fertilized eggs of major carps were laid in the River Halda. But only 12 kg fish roe were possible to collect in 2016. As far as memory goes, such disparity of the Halda River has never been seen earlier.
In this state, for conserving natural breeding ground of major carps in the River Halda has been taken as a value chain project “Conservation of Natural Breeding Ground of Fishes and Development Project in the Halda River” in order to conduct various conservational endeavors and development activities. Within the conservational endeavors- patrolling around the sanctuary announced area of the river during spawning time, tree plantation on the both sides of riverbank, conducting research on protecting natural environment of the river, arranging workshops for increasing public awareness, creating alternative livelihood of egg collectors. Through involving them in-sustainable income generating activities, increasing capability of production of lethal insecticide free vegetables, supplying modern and developed technologies (e.g. sex pheromone trap, organic pesticide and organic fertilizer) for production of insecticide free vegetables, improving efficiency in hatching fish fries from fertilized spawn and management of hatchery, providing training on hatching strategy in mud- made scoop to produce carp fries on the riverbank and carp fish culture, expanding fish market of Halda carp fries and building relation among people who related to the Halda River, training on navigation of water vessels and fishery legislation for growing public consciousness etc. are the main. The progress of activities are reviewed by the technical and expert committee on regular basis. The recommendation of these committees are implemented with carefully.
Goal of the Project
To intensify the production of fish, conserve the species of fish from threat to extinction and create the opportunity of livelihood of entrepreneurs by conserving and developing natural breeding ground of carp fishes (Rui/ Rohu, Catla, Mrigal and Kalibaush) in the Halda River.
Objectives of the Project
With the help of government concerned department and administration:
- Convert the project area as a cluster for production of standardized fishes, fish fries and increasing the production of eggs by preventing illegal killing of the brood fishes with the help of local people and administration.
Produce quality standard carp fish fries by applying modern methods in mud-made scoop and increase the capacity of entrepreneurs to easily identify distinctions between highbred / crossbred fish fires and the Halda River’s fries.
Introduce fish friendly pesticide instead of toxic insecticide on agriculture lands adjacent to the river bank area.
Build up green circumambient for conservation of biodiversity of the Halda River by implementing tree plantation program.
Create self-livelihood and alternative livelihood opportunity for the fish cultivators near to bank of the Halda River.
Stop Tobacco cultivation along the banks of Halda at up stream.
Duration of the Project
Three years (From April, 2016 to March, 2019)
Working Area of the Project
Activities of Value Chain Project
Training on production of carp fish fries from fertilized spawn by using modern technology and hatchery management practice.
Training on modern egg collecting technique, hatching of fish fries in mud-made scoop and conducting various income-generating activities of egg collectors and fishermen during off season.
Training on culture practice of Halda River’s carp fish by using advanced technology.
Training on using sex pheromone trap and organic pesticide instead of toxic insecticide on the agricultural land of farmer and fishermen who live in adjacent area of the Halda River and creating fish friendly environment.
Training on water navigation and fishery legislation to maintain fish friendly environment in the Halda River.
Introducing improve technology for production of fingerlings of the Halda River and making exhibition plot.
Making exhibition plot of improve hatching technique of fish fries in mud-made scoop among local entrepreneurs.
Making exhibition plot of sex pheromone trap as an alternative of insecticide, bio-pesticide, and vermi-compost.
Taking initiatives to release carp fish fries and expanding it other areas through IDF.
Exchange Visit of hatchery owners and fish cultivators of other places of the country to observe the Halda brood fishes and fish fries production from the Halda stock for aiming to expand fish production.
Undertake tree plantation program for protection of the river bank and biodiversity.
Patrolling in the area of sanctuary area through local people.
Organizing workshops, seminars, expert and technical and advisory committee meetings to review the project progress of project activities.
Celebration of fish week festival and participating in fish fair, making during spawning time, signboard installation, distribution of leaflets and publishing report.
Survey of pre and post status of Halda.
Explore alternative crops of Tobacco along the banks of upper part of Halda.