Bhubaneswar, Apr 30 UNI | 3 months ago

Odisha with fresh water resources of 6.75 lakh hectares and brackish water resources of 4.18 lakh hectares,has emerged as fish surplus state by exporting around 1.16 lakh tones of brackish water fish per year

The overall fishery potential in the state is 5.14 lakh tons against which the total fish production during 2012-13 has been 4.10 lakh ton.

The requirement for domestic consumption in the State, as per WHO calculations is around 3.8 lakh tones. However, Odisha is still importing a part of its fresh water fish requirement from neighboring states.

The per capita consumption of fish in Odisha is far above than the national average. As against national average of 6.08 kgs per head,the state 's figure is 11kg per head.

Despite high per capita consumption,there is need for booming up economic activity in this sector and bridging up the gap between demand and supply, State Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra said while inaugurating the State level consultation workshop of draft Fishery Policy of Odisha. The workshop was organized by joint collaboration between International Financial Corporation ( IFC) of World Bank and Fisheries and Animal Resource Development Department of Odisha government

Mr Mohapatra said there is a vast scope for creation of livelihood and engagement of people in this sector through a comprehensive policy intervention.

Additional Chief Secretary, Finance U N Behera underscored the need for intervening with strategies for increasing fishing stock in reservoirs, rivers, community tanks and traditional water courses for enhancing potentiality of capture fishing.

Fisheries and Animal Resource Development Secretary Bishnupada Sethi said Odisha has become a fish surplus State through continuous intervention over the years.

The Fisheries and Animal Resource Development department,he said has been engaged with various stake holders over last years for development of a comprehensive policy.

About 22 consultancy reports have been complied, 35 consultations workshops and 6 regional workshops have been organized at different levels involving around 2000 stake holders, experts, farmers and exporters.

The findings and recommendations yielded from all these exercise have been integrated in to the draft policy for making it realistic and comprehensive, Mr Sethy said.

Commissioner Fisheries Bishnu Bhatt speaking on the occasion complemented the efforts of Odisha government to come up with a comprehensive Fisheries Policy which,he said would provide a model for many other states.

Mr Bhatt suggested that the Government of India has set a target of 6 per cent annual growth of fishery in the country which should be integrated in the state policy as well. He also suggested for diversification of aquaculture and investment in development of fishery infrastructure.

(Posted on 30-04-2014)