Forest & Fisheries Minister Thakur Singh Bharmauri said that Himachal Pradesh would boost fish production in the State by introducing ‘cage culture’ in reservoirs. He said that initially, the scheme would be introduced in one of the water bodies through technical assistance of Central Inter-regional Fisheries Research Institute, Kolkata and later in all the reservoirs. He said that to increase the fish production, Central Fisheries Technical Institute, Cochin would also be involved for research to successfully implement this scheme.

He was speaking in National seminar on Fisheries Development at New Delhi today, in which all the concerned Ministers were present.

Fisheries Minister said that hatcheries, fingerling nurseries/rearing areas and feed mills would be developed in the State through integrated aqua-culture development approach besides infrastructure for marketing.

Bharmauri said that fish production in Gobind Sagar reservoir was recorded 90 kgs per hectare, which was 33 percent more than national average. He said that 909.35 metric ton record production of fish was recorded from Gobind Sagar reservoir till 15th January, 2013 which was 471.54 metric ton more than previous year.

He said that the rivers of Himachal Pradesh were home for trout species which were found in abundance and in addition to this new trout units would be set up in public and private sectors along-with feed mills to implement cold chain scheme to boost fish production. He urged the GoI for providing Rs. 4 crore under 12th Five year plan for implementation of this scheme. He also urged for providing Rs. Five crore for infrastructural development of reservoirs.

He said that as many as four thousand families were earning their livelihood from fishery business. He said that Rs. Five crore were being spent on construction of Mahashir (species) Farm in Mandi district.

Bharmauri urged the GoI to provide financial assistance of 13.36 crore under National Agriculture Development Scheme in 12th Five year plan. He said that more than 370 trout units were being established in the State in private sector in assistance with National Agriculture Development Plan and National Fisheries Development Board. Under 11th Five year plan Rs. 9.88 crore were sanctioned for fisheries department out of which schemes worth Rs. 6.88 crore were under National Mission for Protein Supplement (NMPS).

The Minister urged for providing easy bank loans and cheap power to the people engaged in fish business besides relaxation of taxes on income generated. He said that Back Yard Fish Farming Scheme would be introduced in the State for which he urged the GoI to provide Rs. 3 crore so as to boost fisheries.

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