Shimla, February 20
In a bid to promote commercial rearing of the much-in-demand cold water fish trout, the state has imported eight lakh genetically modified species of brown and rainbow trout.
The imports will not only help replenish the old bloodstock with the Fisheries Department, but will also boost fish production in the state in order to meet the growing demand of the Indian markets.
“A total of 32 trout hatcheries have been set up, with an initial investment of Rs 8.75 crore under various Centrally sponsored schemes in the private sector, to meet the growing demand of trout-eyed ova within the state,” Fisheries Minister Virender Kanwar stated.
The easy availability of imported fish is encouraging more people to take to fish rearing, especially trout, which fetches a good price outside the state. The 32 hatcheries include nine each in Kullu and Mandi, five in Chamba, three in Kinnaur and two each in Kangra, Shimla and Sirmour.
The genetically modified imported eye ova seed is being reared at trout farms in Hamni and Batahar (Kullu), Barot Mandi, Thalla (Chamba), Dhamwari (Shimla) and Sangla (Kinnaur). “These are reared at farms up to fingerling stage and then distributed among growers. Some stock is kept in departmental farms to prepare brooders for breeding,” the he said.
The import will also help the state meet the target of approximately 1,200 tonnes in the next five years as compared to 700 tonnes it is producing at present. The trout is sold within state and at Chandigarh, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, Kanwar said. With the import, the department has raised table size trout fish at Koldam (Bilaspur) in eight months, which, under conventional system of trout raceways in cold water regions, take approximately a year. —