HP Fish Production increases by 9.2 percent

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The mandate of Fisheries Department in Himachal Pradesh is to increase “Fish Production” from its living aquatic resources, which is an important animal protein and also plays an important role in the food security, poverty elevation and employment generation.

In continuation with the sincere efforts of the State government during the year 2015-16, a total of 11798.72 metric tonne of fish valuing at Rs. 109.80 Crores has been harvested from the State waters which is 1062.61 metric tonne higher than the previous year, thereby registering a growth of 9.2 percent. Out of this 417.23 metric tonnes was trout production which is 61.03 metric tonne higher than the previous year.

Gobind sagar reservoir has maintained its level of producing highest per hectare fish in the Country, amongst the large reservoirs. Although, Fisheries like other Agriculture & allied Departments is a development Department had generated revenue of Rs. 465.59 lakhs during the last financial year.

Fish seed is the main input for fisheries development and 581.73 lakhs Carp seed and 17.50 lakhs Trout seed had been produced in the State which is 335.74 lakhs and 6.39 lakhs higher than last year, respectively. It could happen due to the involvement of private sector in the field of fish seed production. Three Carp hatcheries, 5 hectare nursery ponds and 29 hectare large fish ponds have been added during the year. In private sector, two fish feed mill plants are being established at state’s two fish farms at Deoli in Una and Sultanpur in Chamba besides creation of post-harvest infrastructural facilities like Ice Plats, Mobile fish vans, Insulated boxes etc. under National Mission for Protein Supplements (NMPS) programme. As many as 2400 anglers visited State trout waters and 1258 anglers visited general waters to try their luck on hook furing last year.

“Cold chain” has been established in the State reservoirs by upgrading and modernizing all fish landing centres, establishing ice plants and providing insulated boxes to all reservoir fishermen as well as fish cooperative societies, so as to maintain the quality of fish caught by fishermen which has offered higher prices of the fish to them. A new scheme of “Cage fish culture” was introduced on Pilot basis by installing 4 cages each in Gobind sagar and Pong reservoir with the introduction of “Pangassiussutchi” a new fish species for increasing reservoir’s fish production.

Fisheries Department is involved in fisheries development through scientific interventions in the state. A two day’s “National Workshop on Development of Fisheries vis-à-vis Blue Revolution and Value Addition” was organized at Bilaspur in which the road map for achieving objectives of fisheries in the State through new and latest technologies was drawn. State was conferred with “Best Inland Fisheries Reservoir Category” award on World Fisheries Day by the Central Agriculture Ministry.

Fisheries Department has opened a new era in the field of fisheries development in the State during past 3 years by initialling new schemes like establishment of Cold Chain in reservoirs, Model Fishermen Villages-Housing Scheme, Mobile Fish Market Vehicles scheme, Aquaculture Development through Integrated Approach Scheme and Creation of Post-harvest Infrastructural Facilities through two new Fish Farmer Co-operative Societies, registered in the state. Besides, expansion, strengthening and modernization of all state fish farms as well as constructing new fish farms in the state has given new direction to fisheries development in the State.

The Department has made serious efforts to make two state fish farms viz. Mahseer farm at Machhial in tehsil Jogindernagar of district Mandi and Trout farm Hamni in tehsil Banjar in district Kullu functional. Construction work on both the farms is nearing completion and these farms shall be made functional during current year. The adequate brood stock of Golden Mahseer has been raised at Mahseer farm Machhial by the Department which has attained maturity. Dr. S.N. Ogle, a Mahseer expert (Consultant) hired for undertaking breeding of Golden Mahseer in the state is confident that first breeding of this precious species of state rivers and sport fish will come up in the state by the end of this year, which will be a great break through. The Department is all set to achieve new goals in fish production in the State.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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