Himachal draws plans to expand fish farming

Shimla: Fishing_anglingTo promote fish farming the Himachal government has drawn up plans modernizing and constructing new inland fish landing centers over various sub-mountainous regions of the state.

“ A provision of Rs 1.89 Cr has been made to modernize and constructi Inland-Fish Landing Centers in the vicinity of reservoirs, spokesman of fishery department stated here. Besides, the Government of India has sanctioned a sum of Rs 9.18 crore under National Mission for Protein Supplements (NMPS) for strengthening of Carp Seed Farms as well as for the extension of Aquaculture Program, he added.

The government had proposed an outlay plan of Rs 26.33 crore for the 12th Five Year Plan for development of fisheries and Rs. 6.61 crore has been marked for 2013-14 annual plan against Rs 4.44 Crore for 2012-13.

While the cold water streams thrive in trout, the warmer waters are host to Maheer, indigenous Barilas, Loaches and others.

Trout farming was attracting many news entrepreneurs as 370 trout units had been constructed by 160 fish farmers and another 100 were being provided financial and technical assistance, said the government spokesman.

To meet the growing demand for fish seed, the government intended to motivate private entrepreneurs for establishing carp seeds farms as commercial trout farming was catching the fancy of new farmers, he said.

Una district is targeted for setting up a 100 million capacity fish seed farm over 22 hectares of rearing area and other areas identified are in Solan and Kangra.

The fish seed farm at Deoli Una is slated to be upgraded for raising fingerling so as to regularly stock the large reservoirs of Pong Dam and Bhakra Dam backwaters.

For cold water fisheries, 5 trout seed farms have been set up at Patlikhul in Kullu district, Barot in Mandi district, Holi in Chamba, Dhamwari in Shimla district and Sangla in Kinnaur.

A new trout fish farm is under construction at Hamni in Kullu and to meet the growing demand, modern hatcheries are to be set up at Barot and Dhamwari.

To restock rivers and reservoirs with Mahseer fish, a Mahseer Fish farm was nearing completion at Machhial in Mandi District.

“Recently 30,000 of Rainbow Trout seed was exported to Bhutan and another 2 Lakh to Sikkim from Patlikhul trout fish farm. The hatchery had a record production this year, claimed the government official.

Of the total fish production of 8560.86 tons in 2012-13 in Himachal high value trout production was 205 tons. The year’s total fish production was 515 tons more than last year production.

The department is also looking at production of ornamental fish as an viable economic activity.

The Bhakra Dam backwaters has a production of 1212 tons, recording a catch of 121.3 Kgs per hectare, which was the highest in the country for the year, said the spokesman.

Saurabh Chauhan, an independent journalist, has 10 years of experience in Print and Digital Media. He has written on a variety of issues including women’s rights, environment, crime, governance, finance and politics at Shimla, Chandigarh and Lucknow. Saurabh is currently based in Lucknow.

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