• Fish do not grow to proper size prior to maturation due to shorter monsoon duration and short period of water
retained in low lands;
• Siltation in the area and vicinity due to the embankment also has reduced water flow, reducing the aquatic habitat
• Chotomach feared to have disappeared are Kownia and Alenga;
• Sorputi and Meni are regarded as most endangered Chotomach;
• Many people, particularly the younger generation have forgotten or are not familiar with certain Chotomach due to
their lack of availability in the locality.
As one of the villagers lamented, "Chotomach is a memory of our past. Today, the only fish we find available are
fingerling of fish species which are cultured."
The specific actions recommended by the PRA participants were:
The government should arrange a minimum of 5 acres of land for every 100 acres to be used as perennial Chotomach
habitat, so that SIS can mature, over-winter and breed.
Shakun Beel should be re-excavated. Feeding canals (khals), and the beels should be managed as a Fish Sanctuary.
Discussion Group 3: Canal-side Meeting with Fisherfolk
This meeting was conducted with a group of fisherfolk netting a canal, known locally as Bhangar Khat. There were 4
members of the Group, all who came from a village namely Toolagram.
The main theme arising out of this group was: Chotomach is disappearing.
On the Species of SIS they catch:
• Currently the catch consists mainly of Darkina, Puti, Bailla, Mola (Moa), Choika, etc. During monsoon they use
Bheshal jal to catch Sarputi, Baim, Koi, Chela, Batashi, Pabda, Tengra and Gulsha. They also catch Mola and
Darkina from ponds."
• They claimed that" the badh (embankment) prevents water from entering the lowlands. In addition, situtation of (he
beels and khals also prevent water from remaining for long enough for the fish to grow and regenerate."
On the Subject of SIS and Nutrition:
• All agreed that: "Chotomach is good to eat", acknowledging that "Chotomach is full of many vitamins. They are
good for the eyes."
• Using a Chela jal (a cross between a seine and gill net), costing about Tk. 7,000 to make, the four-member team's
catch for the day (2 hours continuous team effort) totalled 2.15kg.
• This would sell for Tk. 50 at current market conditions.
• Benu Sardar, the oldest team member stated that "less than one anna (one part of sixteen) of fish is available
compared to a decade ago."
• Waterbody (for fish to live) has reduced alarmingly due to the embankment;
• Increased pressure on fishing is due to increase in population;
• Increased use of pesticide and other chemicals is polluting water and hence degrading fish habitat;
• They also described how Chotomach contributed to aquatic ecology and plays a part in maintaining nature's