Research, Interviews and Documentation: Barnamala Roy. Camera and Editing: Bishwadeep Mitra, Annapurna Banerjee

Having worked in many independent productions, Bishwadeep Mitra is now trying to work in non fiction film making. A student of film studies from Jadavpur University, he is passionate about photography, music, books and watching films. Previously he also worked as Web Editor for Kindle Magazine.

A serious student of film making,
Annapurna Banerjee is associated with music, photography and cinematography. Pursuing masters in film studies, she believes in practice and application, and this is her first such independent project in non-fiction film making.

Barnamala Roy has a MA in English from Presidency University (Kolkata, India). She has worked as a Sub-Editor with Kindle Magazine based out of Kolkata where she covered articles on literature, culture, philosophy, gender and society. Currently, she is exploring the community occupations around natural ecosystems and native species in remote areas of West Bengal. An avid bird-watcher and bird-keeper, she also freelances as editor and translator.

 

According to a 2014 report in the International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies, the Kolkata port (around which the ornamental fisheries are centered in West Bengal) is responsible for exporting 90 per cent of indigenous fish from the country. 

 

Entrepreneurs in Domjur (West Bengal) like Samar Parui and fish cultivators in Udayrampur hamlets like Kandon Ghora have been  engaged in this occupation for years. Since the 2000s, Self Help Groups in Jafarpur and Howrah have also taken up aquarium fish farming as their livelihood. Training in this occupation is relatively easy; these enterprises, hence, generate income for a wide range of people, from the unemployed youth to homemakers looking for financial independence. 

 

The hobby of fish-keeping in Indian households predates systematized income from ornamental fish trade, as evidenced by the garden pools and vivaria in ancestral mansions. Notwithstanding the brief history of the ornamental fish industry in post-independent India, the trade supports 500 families solely within the Dasnanagar, Howrah region, as estimated by Dr. B.K. Mahapatra from ICAR-CIFE, Kolkata. 

 

The breeding, rearing and selling of both indigenous and exotic variety fish continue to thrive in West Bengal's Nadia, Hooghly, South and North 24 Parganas as well as in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and the North-Eastern Hilly regions.