India’s State of West Bengal is the largest producer of fish and fish products in the country, covering more than 20 million impounded water bodies. In addition, there are open water resources from rivers, canals, streams, tributaries, etc. within a geographical area of about 88,000 square kilometres. The Department of Fisheries helps manage the state’s increasing demand for fish by focusing on fish production using its existing water resources; and provides micro-financing services to encourage alternate livelihood for fishermen.
The Department required an exhaustive inventory and spatial database of its infrastructure and assets using high-resolution satellite imagery and storing it in a single, centralised system accessible by district fisheries officials and other departments. All spatial information would be web-hosted to help office personnel access information on-the-fly.
The Mapping Office at the Department of Fisheries has created detailed inventory of all water bodies using GeoMedia®, and ERDAS IMAGINE®. This inventory includes information such as surface water type (perennial or seasonal / rain-fed, natural, or manmade), type of water body, usage, co-relation with revenue records, roads (metalled and non-metalled) and railway network, habitation in clusters, fishery cooperative societies, and other places of importance in different layers.
ERDAS APOLLO® for imagery management and web-publishing that also facilitates vector-editing on the web was also deployed at the Department. The new consolidated geospatial database manages 20 terabytes of raster data (raw and processed images) and about 01 terabyte of vector data.
This central GIS database is the first of its kind in India in terms of large-scale mapping using high-resolution satellite imagery data, prompting other states to implement similar projects. The Mapping Office plans to capture sea-fishing areas in the Bay of Bengal and coastline, mark national and international waters, and provide real-time tracking of fishing boats on the sea in addition to the ongoing work for real-time updates to GIS-based digital maps and databases.
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