Indian fisheries’ output is expected to touch the 10 million tonne (MT) mark in a couple of years, revealed Agriculture and food processing industry minister Sharad Pawar. The government also announced plans to set up a National Freshwater Fish Brood Bank at the fish farm of the Department of Fisheries in Kausalyaganga, Odisha.
Speaking at a recent meeting of National Fisheries Development Board, Mr Pawar said that the country is likely to touch the 10 MT mark in a couple of years and said that it was 6.5 MT around 6 years ago and 8.4 MT in the previous year. He also announced plans of the government to set up hygienic fish trading platforms in several parts of the country. He added that fish markets would be coming up in locations such as Kulgaon in Maharashtra and Salt Lake city in West Bengal.
A great boost
The National Freshwater Fish Brood Bank will be managed by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) in collaboration with the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture and the Department of Fisheries, Government of Odisha. Reports indicate that NFDB executive committee has already given an in-principle nod for the proposal of setting up the bank. The government has also revealed that that it spent Rs 100 crore for the development of the fisheries sector under the National Mission for Protein Supplements scheme, which promotes cage culture in reservoirs and intensive aquaculture in ponds and tanks. The scheme is expected to be continued in the present financial year with an outlay of Rs 200 crore.
According to Bulbul Rehman, an expert in pisciculture, “The potential of some of the states such as West Bengal and Odisha in fisheries is immense. However, some basic issues such as lack of awareness among the fishermen and poor processing technology have often been a deterrent for the industry.
With high output and new prospects created for the sector in the form of the bank, it is clear that Indian fisheries is set to reach new highs in the days ahead.