The Department of Fisheries today organised annual seed stocking programme at Ranjit Sagar Reservoir, which was formally inaugurated by BDC Chairperson Keerian Gandyal Pinky Devi along with Director Fisheries, J&K Government Irshad Ahmed Shah.
Joint Director Fisheries, (Central), Manzoor Ahmed Wani; Joint Director Fisheries, (Chenab Valley) Mohammed Ashraf Darzi; Chief Project Officer, National Fish Seed Farm, Kathua; Gopal Krishan, Assistant Director, Fisheries Kathua Pawan Paul Sharma; SPO Kulbhushan Verma and other concerned officers were also present.
While throwing light on the seasonal stocking of identified water bodies, Director Fisheries Irshad Ahmed Shah said the best way of conservation of natural water resources is by stocking with quality, disease resistant varieties of fish seed. "The department is adopting conservation measures by way of augmentation with fish seed as a major method in addition to watch and ward for curving illegal fishing", he added.
The Director Fisheries said the stocking is an annual phenomenon adopted by the Fisheries Department which was aimed at taking proper care of fish biomass in water bodies such as Reservoir, Rivers, Ponds etc.The Director said, being the sole agency responsible for development of fisheries within the UT of J&K, the department has established massive infrastructure in the shape of seed producing farms, fish rearing units, fish production facilities in the shape of hatcheries and farms both in private and Govt. sectors.
He said the fish production of the UT has reached at 21.25 thousand tones approximately wherein over 70% of which is being harvested by the most downtrodden community of the society- the Mahageer community, while the rest of production comes from government as well as private farms and from the world famous trout angling.
Referring to the present Fisheries scenario of JK UT, the Director informed that there are about 15000 Mahagerrs families associated with captures of fish from natural water resources including rivers, dams, reservoirs, Jeels, sars and other bigger as well as smaller water bodies.
"It is mandatory for the department to take care of these water bodies for their sustenance in respect of fish biomass which serves as direct means of livelihood for more than 1, 20000 souls of Mahageers" he added.While explaining the working of Fish Seed production process, the Director said the department has established National Level fish Farm for carp seed production each one in Jammu- NFSF Kathua and one in Kashmir -NFSF, Manasbal in addition to other bigger and smaller seed producing farms like Fish Farm, Ghoumanhsan, Jammu.
The department has also established one of Asia's biggest Trout farming project– Village Trout Fish farming project, Kokernag, Trout Fish farm, Dachigam, Mammer, Ganderbal, Khag, Khuchero, Parizorh etc.BDC Chairperson Pinky Devi appreciated the Fisheries Department for taking on board the PRIs while undertaking important steps such as stocking of fish seed in Ranjit Sagar Reservoir.
Assistant Director, Fisheries Kathua Pawan Paul Sharma said the department takes care of the sustenance of naturally occurring biomass of various fish species which are commercially important both in natural water bodies as well as in captive rearing.
The Assistant Director said under the current stocking exercise 5 lac fry are being stocked in Ranjit Sagar Reservoir today and stocking operation will be carried out till 16 lakh fry are stocked. "The stocking is carried in batches as per the production of fish seed in NFSF Kathua and carp Fish Seed Farm Ghoumanhasan Jammu" he added.