A momentous event orchestrated by the Assam Inland Water Transport Development Society brought together a diverse assembly, uniting fishermen from Guwahati and North Guwahati ghats with esteemed experts from the Fishery Department, Government of Assam, and the renowned Dolphin Expert from Gauhati University, Dr. Bhrigu Saikia.
Dr. Saikia, the eminent Dolphin Expert, illuminated the attendees about the indispensable role played by the Gangetic River Dolphin in preserving the biodiversity of our riverine ecosystems. His impassioned address underscored the crucial participation of fishermen communities in shaping sustainable river tourism along Assam's extensive inland waterways. This event marked the inception of a profound partnership between humanity and aquatic life.
Furthermore, Dr. Saikia elaborated on the remarkable potential for ecotourism along Assam's Inland Waterways, emphasizing how the traditional skills of local fishermen, honed over generations, can be leveraged to champion the conservation of endangered aquatic species, such as the Gangetic River Dolphin. The collective vision is to transform these skilled fishermen into dedicated Guardians of these magnificent creatures, ensuring their protection for future generations.
Astrica Phukan, the Fishery Development Officer for Kamrup (Rural), contributed invaluable insights into fishery regulations. She highlighted the Assam government's compensatory scheme, which provides INR 3000 per month to fishermen during fishing bans, alongside various schemes designed to promote sustainable fishing practices and bolster the income of community-level fishermen.
This historic gathering not only marked the beginning of an enduring partnership but also symbolized a commitment to preserving biodiversity, supporting sustainable livelihoods, and safeguarding the iconic Gangetic River Dolphin. The guardians of Assam's rivers are now embarking on a journey to protect its invaluable treasures, heralding a brighter future for both humanity and nature.