Shimla, June 16 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Fisheries Minister Virender Kanwar said on Tuesday that the state has started exporting fish from its reservoirs to the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.
He said a total of 600 metric tonnes of fish valuing Rs 683 lakh were produced from various fisheries till May after the lockdown was opened in the state.
A total 17,549 kg of fish were sold in retail outlets in the state after April. The state has exported around 743.25 metric tonnes valuing Rs 1,857.73 lakh during the year 2019-2020, he added.
He said that fish exports were affected due to the lockdown, but now the situation has begun to improve.
Looking at the huge potential to increase the state’s fish exports to the neighbouring states, the government is planning to promote export of exotic carps, singhara and trout in a big way due to their high demand and remunerative prices.
Kanwar said the state has registered fish production of around 14,020.14 metric tonnes in 2019-20, while by September the state anticipates fish production of around 3,000 metric tonnes.
He said that fish export hubs would be created in the state reservoirs and trout areas where export varieties like singhara, carp and rainbow trout would be promoted.
Amid the lockdown, the government took several steps to encourage fisheries activities and 76,650 fish seeds were made available to private fish farmers and 77,245 fish seeds were stocked in fish cages at the Bhakra Dam and Bilaspur.
In order to maintain the production rate of fish in the state, 5,900 kg trout feed was provided to various trout farms in different parts of the state and 3,239 kg trout feed was also provided to private trout farmers.
After April 20, a total of 17,549 kg fish were sold in various retail outlets in the state.
He said the Department of Fisheries has released a Rs 1.07 crore relief package to 5,350 state reservoir fishermen for compensating the losses accrued due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the state. Each fisherman was given a financial assistance of Rs 2,000 for the nearly month-long halt in fishing activities.