Shillong, May 21: Meghalaya today took another step towards self-sufficiency in fish production by launching the Meghalaya State Fish Brood Bank.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma inaugurated the bank at Umktieh village in Ri Bhoi district, which is nearly 35km from here.
The fish brood bank, which is the first of its kind in Meghalaya and perhaps the Northeast, would stabilise fish seed supply to farmers of the state.
It will also source the best quality brood of fish from all over the country.
The bank received assistance and guidance from the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), which is a body under the Union commerce and industry ministry.
In his inaugural address, Sangma said the brood bank would go a long way in transforming the socio-economic landscape of the region.
He said the bank would ensure that the fish farmers would now have access to the best fingerlings born out of scientifically and professionally-bred fish.
He was optimistic that in the next three years, Meghalaya would be self-sufficient in the production of freshwater fish.
The chairperson of the ministry body, Leena Nair, said the state has tremendous potential in ornamental fish, as 133 such species are found in the state.
She assured the fish farmers of continued scientific and professional assistance from the Marine Products Export Development Authority.
She said the authority would assist the state in mapping potential areas besides designing and redesigning ponds and assisting the establishment of fish disease surveillance in the state.
State principal secretary (fisheries) K. N. Kumar said the fish brood bank would breed rohu, katla and mirga varieties of fish brought from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The bank would also breed exotic varieties of scampi and tilapia.