Director's message

Dr. Uttam K Sarkar

Since its modest beginnings in rental premises at Allahabad in 1983, the ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBFGR) has undergone remarkable growth, shifting to its current campus in 1999. Mandated with the assessment and conservation of the country's fish genetic resources (FGR), the bureau plays a crucial role in intellectual property protection, sustainable utilization, and ensuring posterity of fish genetic resources of the country. The institute involves collecting, classifying, and cataloging the Nation's valuable fish genetic resources, as well as preserving genetic material of endangered species.. The initiative of the bureau in livelihood development of women islanders of Lakshadweep islands through community participation approach, was lauded by the Hon’ble President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu..

In 2023, significant milestones were achieved, including the inauguration of the National Fish Museum and Repository within the institute's premises, alongside the establishment of the Centre for Peninsular Aquatic Genetic Resources (PAGR) office in Kochi. Celebrating its 40th Foundation Day (Ruby Jubilee), the Institute showcased four decades of dedicated service to the nation.

Exploratory surveys were conducted to document fish diversity in various river systems and unique habitats, yielding discoveries of six new finfish and a shellfish species, as well as five new distribution/range extension records. Cryopreserved milt of Indian major carps was supplied to eight hatcheries across three states facilitating genetic exchange and production of 2.67 million spawns was achieved. Further, the institute produced 83 million high-quality seeds of twelve different fish species

During this period, the launch of the National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD - Phase II) and the development of the "ReportFishDisease" app aimed to strengthen disease reporting by farmers nationwide. Operational cluster mode rearing units in three coastal districts of Maharashtra supported the livelihoods of 86 families. During the reporting year, the institute successfully produced 83 million high-quality seeds of twelve different fish species. Furthermore, captive-produced seeds of endemic species such as Horabagrus nigiricollaris, H. brachysoma and Labeo dussumieri and quality seeds of Indian Major Carpgas were ranched in natural waterbodies for stock enhancement and conservation.

Several significant achievements were made during the reporting period. Specifically, the launch of National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD - Phase II) under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) with Pan-India coverage and development android based “ReportFishDisease” App for strengthening farmer-based reporting of diseases in the country. The cluster mode rearing units of the institute are operational in three coastal districts of Maharashtra which ensures the livelihood of 86 families. The first attempt at sea anemone genome sequencing from India was undertaken for Entacmaea quadricolor. The whole genome for Clarias dussumieri and Trichogaster chuna was also generated. The online information system for commercially important crustacean fishery resources using published sources developed and named CrustaceaRIS. First trademark for Ganga aquarium was obtained.

The bureau's commitment to developing trained manpower was evident through numerous training programs for farmers, research scholars, faculties, and officials of state fisheries departments. With 855 beneficiaries, including over 400 women, the institute focused on themes such as taxonomy, molecular tools and techniques, disease management, aquaculture, and broodstock management. Collaborations via 14 MoUs with agricultural universities and national organizations furthered resource sharing and expertise towards national development. In 2023, the institute published an all-time high of 85 research papers in various peer-reviewed journals and organized workshops, interaction meetings, training programs, webinars, and the 3rd International Conference on Aquatic Animal Epidemiology (AquaEpi III), attended by 210 delegates, including 20 overseas experts.

Contributions of all involved in the bureau's staggering growth in conserving valuable fish genetic resources for the benefit of local communities and future generations is highly acknowledged.