Manoj Kumar Mishra addresses fishermen in Dhanbad on Sunday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Dhanbad, July 10: The state fisheries department is encouraging farmers to cast their nets wide and reverse a slump in fish production in the last two years by promoting private hatcheries.
After two years of severe drought dried up water bodies, the department is now set to offer Rs 2.5 lakh each to fish farmers, who are willing to develop ponds owned by them into hatcheries.
Deputy director, fisheries, Hazaribagh division, Manoj Kumar Mishra, informed this today after presiding over a function organised by the department officials in Dhanbad to celebrate Fish Farmers’ Day.
“Farmers engaged in fish breeding can also take a water body on lease for a period of at least 20 years for setting up fish farms,” Mishra added.
The deputy director stressed on increasing production in his address during the function, which was also attended by around 85 farmers from across the district’s eight blocks.
“Fishes generally do not lay a large number of eggs in natural water bodies on their own. Artificial techniques are used in hatcheries for increased production of fish eggs,” he said, adding that around Rs 5 lakh was required for establishing a new hatchery.
“Diversification in fish farming is also necessary in order to make the business more profitable,” Mishra said. He pointed out that farmers in several southern states were also focusing on production of prawn as well, besides fish. “Several fish species like Channa Marulius and Channa Punctatus, which are largely grown in southern states for consumption, are not grown in Jharkhand.”
The government, he added, was also planning to encourage breeding of ornamental fishes in Jharkhand to help farmers tap into aquarium trade.
Mishra told the farmers that free-or-cost training in the latest techniques of fish breeding was also being regularly organised in Ranchi.
District fisheries officer of Dhanbad Umesh Chandra Prasad, who was also present, said July 10 was observed as Fish Farmers’ Day across the country, as well as in Dhanbad, during which the participants were brought up to date with the latest developments in the field.