Pen Farming in A Small River: Its Impact on Fish Production and Economic Condition of Pen Farmers

Abstract Present study was conducted in the river Chota Bhagirathi in Malda district of West Bengal to assess the productivity of fish-pens and its impact on economic condition of the pen farmers. Fifteen pen farmers were selected for the study and their age ranged from 25-40 yrs. Among them 53.33% were 31-35 yrs old and 33.33% were within 36-40 yrs. Individual pen farming area varied from 3.0 ha to > 6.0 ha in the river Chota Bhagirathi. According to the size, pens were categorized into three groups: small pen (3.0-4.5 ha), medium pen (4.6-6.0 ha) and big pen (> 6.0 ha). Small pen farmers contributed 40.00%, medium pens 33.33% and big pens 26.67% of the total pen farming area in the river. The lease amount of pens varied according to pen area. Maximum fish production achieved from P1 (3281 kg/ha/year), P7 (3333 kg/ha/year), P8 (3444 kg/ha/year), P9 (3225 kg/ha/year) and P10 (3279 kg/ha/year) compared with other pens. P1 (Rs. 1,14,474 ha/year) earned highest profit and P8 (Rs. 1,06,771 ha/year) was second highest among 15 pens. Among the selected pen farmers, 73.33% were from non-fisherman community and only 26.67% from original fisherman folk.

Keywords Pen Farming, Age, Production, Economics.

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