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Bengal to increase fish production: Official

Posted on Feb 26 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, Feb 26 : The West Bengal government has taken many initiatives, including bringing all water bodies under fish farming, to increase its fish production, an official said here Wednesday.

The aim is to increase the current fish production by two lakh metric tonnes by 2017, the official added.

"The total production of fish was 14.90 lakh MT in 12-13 and our target is to get to 17 lakh MT by 2017. For that, we have decided to bring all water bodies under fish culture. Our aim is to ensure the production of fish is at least five MT per hectare," S.N. Biswas, joint director, state fisheries department, said.

Addressing a seminar on fish farming, Biswas said the government was mulling to set up one stop aquashops which, besides providing certified fish seeds and feeds, will also give useful advice to the cultivators.

"The aquashops will be one-stop units providing detailed information about the kinds of fish suitable for cultivating in a particular area, the types of feeds to be used besides giving them valuable information about increasing the productivity," said Biswas.

He expressed concern over the culture of Thai catfish, locally called Hybrid Magur, a rapidly growing voracious carnivore.

"The fish is being cultured in isolated water bodies in some areas of the state. The threat is that if the fish enters other water bodies, it will devour others and put a negative impact on indigenous varieties of fish."

"It feeds on anything and is rapid growing, so cultivators, mostly poor, are taking to its culture. We are aware of the situation and trying to sensitize them about the threat the fish poses," added Biswas.

State Fisheries Minister Chandranath Sinha said the government is taking several initiatives to increase fish productivity.

"Besides training the cultivators about the modern and scientific ways of farming, we have also initiated a process of certifying the fish feeds. Once the process is completed, only the government certified feeds can be sold in the market," said Sinha.

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