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International conference on “Ecosystem Health and Fisheries of Indian Inland Waters” inaugurated at Pantnagar

Pantnagar: International conference “Ecosystem Health and Fisheries of Indian Inland Waters: Multiple Stressors, Management and Conservation” was inaugurated at Gobind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar. Conference was jointly organized by Inland Fisheries Society of India (IFSI), Barrackpore; ICAR- Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CIFRI), Barrackpore; College of Fisheries, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar; Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management Society (AEHMS), Canada; and Professional Fisheries Graduate Forum (PFGF), Mumbai from 17-19 February, 2020.

The inaugural function was presided over by Dr. Tej Partap, Vice Chancellor, Gobind Ballabh Pant university of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar. Dr. J. K. Jena, Deputy Director General (Fishery Science) graced as Chief Guest and Dr. Gopal Krishna, Director & Vice Chancelleor, CIFE Mumbai as Guest of Honour.

Dr. A. P. Sharma, Professor and Registrar welcomed the dignitaries and highlighted about the importance of the theme of the conference. He said that AEHMS, Canada, IFSI Barrackpore, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore and College of Fisheries, GBPUA&T has came together and organized this important conference which aims to focus on ecosystem health of a wide variety of habitats such as rivers, reservoirs, lakes, streams, monsoon ponds and puddles.

Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, addressed about the status of inland fisheries in India. He stressed that this conference will deal with important ecosystem health topics such as climate change, invasive species, connectivity, wetlands, biodiversity and all aspects of aquatic pollution, restoration and management in India.

Dr. M. Munawar, President, AEHMS, emphasized on the importance of ecosystem health and its conservation.  He said that management and conservation are important to maintain the health and fisheries of rivers and other open water bodies.

Dr. Gopal Krishna, Director, CIFE addressed on the importance of open water fisheries of India. He hoped that this conference will bring out recommendation for restoring the ecosystem health of inland open water resources.

Dr. J. K. Jena, DDG (Fishery Science) ICAR, emphasized on the importance of fisheries sector in Indian agricultural and rural economy. He said that inland fisheries and aquaculture contributes more than 65% in the fisheries basket of India. Aquatic ecosystems, their biotic communities and fisheries are stressed due to increasing water maneuvering, pollution, erratic rainfall and global warming, over-exploitation of aquatic resources, over-fishing. Proper management and conservation efforts needed to restore the ecosystem health of rivers and other open water bodies.

Dr. Tej Partap, Vice Chancellor, G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology,in his presidential address hoped that this conference will provide an inter-disciplinary forum for interaction among experts, researchers, consultants, students, other stakeholders to exchange ideas, share information, build common platforms, and formulate a consensus on how best to preserve health and biodiversity of Indian inland water ecosystems.

On the occasion, conference souvenir and book of abstracts was released by the dignitaries.  Two booklet namely “Invasive species of River Ganga” and Ex-situ conservation of wild Indian Major Carp germplasm of river Ganga”were also released.

Dr. A. K. Upadhyay, Dean, College of fisheries, G B Pant university of Agriculture and Technology presented the vote of thanks.

More than 200 researchers, academician including scientists from Canada and Bangladesh and 150 farmers of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal participated in the conference.