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    Indigenous community fishing practices in Nagaland, Eastern Indian Himalayas

    Ovung, Etsoshan Y, Kithan, Lizabeni M, Brearley, Francis Q and Tripathi, Shri Kant (2022) Indigenous community fishing practices in Nagaland, Eastern Indian Himalayas. Sustainability, 14 (12). p. 7049. ISSN 2071-1050

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    The significance of indigenous knowledge under the current scenario of biodiversity imperilment is well-known since such knowledge is gained through continuous intergenerational observations of natural systems. In this study, we present a description of indigenous community fishing practices in Nagaland and investigate their relationship with the cultural and traditional aspects of the associated communities through oral interactions, questionnaires and as a participatory observer. We observed inter-and intra-community fishing in which the piscicidal plants Millettia pachycarpa and Derris elliptica (both Fabaceae) were used as fish poison. M. pachycarpa was commonly used in inter-community ‘fishing festivals’ since it is easily available, less laborious to collect and there are no reports of harm to the body in comparison to D. elliptica which causes allergy and/or dermatological effects. Indigenous community fishing is conducted to develop a sense of peaceful co-existence and prosperity within and among the neighboring communities. However, the increasing use of synthetic fish poisons has overlapped with the traditional practices of fishing, exerting pressure on the livelihoods and food security of the tribal populations while contributing to riverine ecosystem degradation. Formulation of policies banning synthetic fish poison, and judicious use of traditional piscicidal plant fishing is therefore recommended.

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