INDIA - Odisha state has recorded an increase of 13 per cent in fish production during 2014-15 fiscal year.
During the period, the state produced 467,076 tonnes of fish, registering an increase of 53,187 tonnes, as compared to 413,889 tonnes produced during the same period during 2013-14.
During the period, inland fish production increased from 241,311 tonnes to 333,865 tonnes, while marine fish production was increased to 133,211 tonnes during 2014-15, as compared to 129,332 tonnes produced during 2013-14 fiscal year.
The export of sea fish also touched a new height with the government generating $360 million (Rs 2,300 crore) in 2014-15, which was only $65 million (Rs 421 crore) in 2009-10.
Looking at exports from the fisheries sector, Odisha has set a target of $1.56 billion (Rs 10,000 crore) in the next three years.
While reviewing the growth in the fisheries sector, state chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati directed officials to develop aquaculture clusters in the state and enhance growth to 20 per cent in the coming year.
Mr Pati stressed that 20 per cent growth can be achieved through adoption of appropriate technology, technical assistance to fish farmers and bringing more areas under fish cultivation.
He also said all fisheries should be developed with power and road connectivity in order to achieve this growth and advised the department to instruct all district fishery officers to follow up on new fishery projects and ensure their successful operation.
The Odisha government has identified 107 aquaculture clusters for infrastructure development in the areas, of which the state fisheries department was asked to promote 16 fishing clusters in Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsingpur, Kendrapara and Bhadrak districts.
Mr Pati also instructed the fisheries officers to take up new projects and set up more ponds to meet the target.
Speaking on the growth, fisheries and Animal Resource Development secretary, Bishnupada Sethi said Odisha has increased its fish production during 2014-15 fiscal year, after it brought an additional 4000 hectares under fresh fish cultivation.
Mr Sethi also said that shrimp farmers in the state were now keen to take up the cultivation of L Vannamei due to market demand and due to better yield compared with P Monodon shrimp.
Recently, Worldfish, a global aquaculture and genetic improvement organization based in Penang, Malaysia has shown interest in partnering with Odisha to boost fish production in the state. The organization proposed to use 'genetically improved farm tilapia' (GIFT) mode to enhance fish production in the state.