Prof. Siddhartha Ghosh
Department of Civil engineering
Shashwat, Pune, Maharashtra
Cage fishing / aquaculture is the process of controlled and protected rearing of fries to fingerlings within a 'cage' (a net that allows water to flow) floating in a water body. This project was done with the objective of facilitating livelihood generation for 1253 tribal families displaced due to construction of Dimbhe dam in 2000. CIFE recommended cage fishing since the banks of Dimbhe reservoir have very steep slopes and not suitable for fish culture using ponds. In 2007, the first four floating cages were introduced by CIFE. After two years of operation, many structural and other problems were noted. RuTAG IIT Bombay was approached for an S&T intervention. Primary objective of this intervention was to design, fabricate and install a floating structure in the reservoir that would minimize operational and installation costs and at the same time overcome the existing problems. The structure of the finalized model was introduced in April 2014. The fish catch in financial year 2014-15 has gone up to 17670 kg as against meager 6625 kg in year 2010-11. This project has a potential to improve the livelihood of in-land fishing communities across the country and has been appreciated by the Government of Maharashtra. Encouraged by the success of the project, the Ministry of Tribal Development, Govt. of Maharashtra has approved funds for installation of additional 28 cages in 4 dams in that area.