Himachal Pradesh government has chalked out an ambitious plan to promote fishery sector in a big way keeping in view the potential available in the perennial rivers for the fish production particularly the trout in the state. There is proposal to construct 100 additional trout farming units besides construction of ponds in 10 hectare for production of carp fish in the state during the financial year. Another proposal is to have a smoked trout and fillet canning centre in Kullu district in partnership with private sector. Three retail outlets, one each in Kangra, Chamba and Shimla district, will also be established in the private sector to ensure appropriate marketing support.
This decision will provide additional employment to about 550 people and government has also proposed to establish two trout hatcheries in collaboration with the private sector to fulfill the demands of fishermen in the state.
Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Virender Kanwar said that all the fish farms are being modernized and hatcheries are being prepared in the private sector as well so that fish seed requirements could be met out. He said that state government has put up a target to increase the production of trout to 1,000 metric tonne by 2022 to bring "Blue revolution in the state."
He said this year, 13,401.68 metric tonne fish worth Rs 171.57 crore was produced from all the existing water resources of state. Whereas 8.34 metric tonne trout fish worth Rs 1.18 crore was produced in the trout farms of Fishery department. 560.10 metric tonne fish worth Rs 25.21 crore was also produced by the private sector.
He said that full time self-employment has been provided to 6,098 fishermen in major reservoirs of the state including 2,054 in Govind Sagar, 2,674 in Pong Dam, 129 in Chamera, 42 in Maharaja Ranjeet Sagar and 111 in Kol Dam. These fishermen have produced 659.98 metric tonne fish worth Rs 8.52 crore, which has helped in strengthening the economy of fishermen.
According to director, Fisheries Satpal Mehta with the technical assistance of Norwegian technique and successful breeding of Rainbow Trout, the state government has established seven more trout units in Kullu, Shimla, Mandi, Kinnaur, Kangra, Chamba and Sirmaur.
He said that with the technical assistance of Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi, the state government is establishing four fish processing units at Bhakhra (Govind Sagar), Khatiar (Pong Dam), Katauhad Kalan (Una) and Ratyod Solan.
Fish added product like fish pickle, fish filets, fish bowl, fish finger, papad etc would be prepared in these units and made available in the market. As modern techniques would be used in preparation of these products, these could be used even after a period of more than one year from manufacturing date.
He said state has also proposed to develop online sales and purchase of fish products under Fish Market Information System (FMIS) with the assistance of Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi, Kerala. This online portal will be launched shortly that will enable the buyers to place their demands and sellers to display their products.