Scientists advocate master plan for aqua cultivation in Arunachal

By Pradeep Kumar, Itanagar,Nov. 20 : Arunachal Pradesh Fisheries Minister Rajesh Tacho on Wednesday described the maiden two-day Meen Mahotsav, beginning tomorrow at the Indira Gandhi Park to mark World Fisheries Day, as a curtain raiser to showcase the huge potential of pisciculture and economic benefit.

Scientists of the Bhubaneswar-based Central Institute of Fresh Water and Aqua Culture (CIFA), however,called for evolving a master plan after a thorough survey to tap the sector.

In an exclusive interview to the Arunachal Front daily at Indira Gandhi Park here, CISF scientists P.L. Lalrinsanga and S Ferosekhan lauded the huge untapped scope of pisciculture in this Himalayan state criss-crossed by numerous perennial rivers and water sources considered a fisheries bio-diversity hotspot.

Besides cold and running water and ornamental species, every state of the North Eastern region is known for it indigenous fish species having high value and local demands, said Lalrinsanga, who is from Mizoram.

"The people are completely ignorant about the harvesting, culture and breeding techniques in running and cold water which are essential for aquatic culture, he said while Ferosekhan pitched in to say that the state's fisheries department has been providing guidelines and assisting the fish farmers. However, the central institutes, like CIFA and Hyderabad-based National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) help could go a long way in propagating pisciculture in the state.

The festival, sponsored by the NFDB whose executive director Dr Madhumita Mukherjee is arriving here as a representative and Agricultural Technology Management Agency, would serve as a path-breaking event on fisheries potential, its cultivation that could bring a turn around in the socio-economic development of the local people, Lalrinsanga said with confidence.

Apatani plateau Ziro is known globally for integrated paddy-cum-fish cultivation reflecting that the locals have developed indigenous pisciculture method which should be popularized in the state, he reasoned.

When pointed out that the fish intake of the locals was too high who do not cultivate for commercial purpose for lack of marketing knowledge, Ferosekhan hinted at numerous central schemes, including Business Process Development and assistance and training to self-help group for ornamental fish cultivation, technique for value addition, backyard hatchery for entrepreneurs, members of women SHGs/fisherwomen cooperative societies, integrated ornamental fishery units setting up of aquarium fabrication units for SHGs/entrepreneurs etc.

"If Andhra fishes could flood NE marker there is no reason why the delicious fish varieties of Arunachal could not reach other parts of the country?" they wondered.

The state has 7000 hectares and 2000 km of lentic and iotic water resources respectively. Of this, 30 to 40 per cent is falling in the cold water zone of the state.

The state is also the happy home for the rich fish fauna with more than 150 fish species. Out of which 20 per cent represents the cold water forms and the remaining 80pc is contributed by the admixture of cold and warm water species.

While Mahaseer is the premier spot fish abound in the state, cultivation and sticking of trout both brown and rainbow varieties in cold water sources has been gaining popularity in high altitude Tawang and West Kameng districts, said fisheries director Joyshil Taba.

The state produced fish 3,000 metric ton (including cultured and captured) in 2011-12 and 3,250 metric ton in 2012-13 while the seed production was 3.5 million and 3.7 million respectively, Taba added.

Interestingly, a new species of Labeonine fish, locally known as 'Ngop', was found It was found in a tributary of Siang river, about 3 km from Bomdo village, in Upper Siang district by Lakpa Tamang, a former staff of the Northeast unit of the G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development in August last.

"So far, 10 species of Garra are found in Arunachal Pradesh," according to Tamang, who had reportedly discovered three new catfish species- Erethistoides senkhiensis, Glyptothorax dikrongensis and Pseudolaguvia viriosa - from Senki stream and Dikrong river in Papum Pare and Sille river in East Siang district respectively in the last few years while working with the institute.

--ANI (Posted on 21-11-2013)

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