Shimla, Nov 24 (IANS) The fishery industry is flourishing in Himachal Pradesh due to the persistent efforts of the state government, an official said here on Tuesday.
Fishery, both in the government and private sector, is not only providing livelihood to the fishermen but also helps generating revenue for the state, a spokesperson for the fishery department told IANS.
He said schemes and efforts made by the government have increased the fish production, besides providing opportunities for self-employment.
During last three years, 21,793 tonnes of fish valued at nearly Rs.20 lakh was produced in the state.
A total of 491.37 tonnes of table-size trout was produced from the state-run and private farms.
As a result of successful implementation of the rainbow trout farming technology, 362 trout units were established in Kullu, Shimla, Mandi, Kangra, Kinnaur and Chamba districts.
Under the Fish Farmers Development Agency programme, 30.46 hectares was included in aquaculture and 29.50 hectares of old ponds were renovated, he said.
A new scheme “Mobile Fish Market” was launched under which four mobile fish market vehicles were purchased to provide fresh fish to consumers.
Trout, both brown and rainbow, are found in the Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers in the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh.
Being a game fish, the brown trout is also an angler’s delight.
To promote trout farming, one trout farm with an expenditure of over Rs.4 crore is being set up in Bharmour in Chamba district besides an aquarium house-cum-museum centre with total outlay of Rs.40 lakh being set up in Chamba.
Carp farms at Nalagarh in Solan district and Deoli in Una district have been modernised and expanded by spending Rs.8 crore.
The government has spent Rs.5 crore for creating 80 hectare water area in the shape of new fish ponds and 20 hectare water area in shape of nursery ponds, the spokesperson said.
With the provision of financial support and technical knowledge, more and more people are coming forward to adopt fish farming.
A financial assistance of Rs.100,000 is being given for construction of a pond of one hectare to the youth belonging to the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe, while Rs.80,000 to the general category farmers under the centrally sponsored scheme.
The major fish species available in the streams of the state are trout, mahseer, barilus and glyptothorax.
Two new species — Hungarian common carp and Amoor common carp — have been imported.
Himachal Pradesh with its five rivers, numerous streams and reservoirs has a big potential for fish production, say experts.
Of the 3,000-km network of fisheries’ water resources, 600 km of cold water streams are conducive for trout farming.
The average annual production of a small fish farm is 900 kg, whereas a large farm could produce up to 3,400 kg, said a study by the Shimla-based Himachal Pradesh University’s Agro-Economic Research Centre.
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at email@example.com)