The Government of Nepal assisted by the United Nations Development Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are engaged in a project whose main purpose is to establish and demonstrate the feasibility of Integrated Inland Fishery and Fish Culture Development in the Pokhara Agriculture Development Region of Nepal. It was to assess the productivity of lakes and rivers and introduce improved boats and gear, to develop large-scale production of fingerlings for culture purposes and to introduce improved fish handling and processing methods.
For the Boatbuilding Programme of the Project, FAO assigned Mr. Claus Dale Nordlund as expert from 28 October 1976 to 27 October 1977 with the following terms of reference: “To commence the operation of a boatyard which will be established according to the recommendations of a consultant. To train local carpenters assigned to this activity in the construction of suitable fishing boats from wood available in Nepal. To supervise any extension to the yard which may prove necessary as production increases, and also to modify the original boat models should this prove advisable in the light of experimental fishing activities.”
There are three fair sized lakes in the Pokhara region that are producing fish plus several rudimentary lakes that can be brought into production if improved and stocked.
At the time of the expert's arrival the only craft found on these lakes were indigenous dugout canoes. As a prerequisite to introducing new fishing methods to better exploit these lakes, it was necessary to improve upon the craft now in use.
Three previous attempts were made to introduce planked boats to the lakes; all were unsuccessful. These failures can be attributed to the lack of basic knowledge in the boat-building field.
It was felt that a further approach strongly supported technically should be made to improve the craft on the lakes. It was decided therefore, that a small boatyard would be set up on Lake Phewa as part of the Integrated Fishery and Fish Culture Development Project. A boatbuilding consultant was therefore recruited from 8 October 1975 to 7 December 1975 to make a study of existing boats, recommend suitable boat types for fisheries purposes and to prepare plans and estimates for the boatyard and equipment and arrange for the ordering of materials and construction procedures. Action was then taken on the consultant's recommendations. A boatyard-net loft was built, timber was procured and stacked to air-dry and the power machinery was ordered from India. These preliminary activities saved a good deal of time and made it possible for the expert to commence work with a minimum of delay.