INDIA - Government staff in Andhra Pradesh's coastal districts have been asked to tour villages and estuarine areas to identify abandoned aquaculture farms and take steps to revive them.
The State with a 974 km coastline, has about 25,740 inland tanks with fisheries potential but only 8,000 are currently in use. Out of the 107 reservoirs in the state, only a few are in use.
With Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu keen to tap the potential of aquaculture in order to create thousands of jobs, the Fisheries Department has prepared a Rs. 119-crore plan to develop infrastructure in the State, reports TheHindu.
The funds have accrued to the State under the Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Scheme for 2015-16.
Accordingly, collectors and joint collectors have been asked to monitor the measures launched to increase shrimp and fish production. As part of that effort, fisheries officials are touring coastal and riverside villages to identify defunct tanks and reservoirs.
On another flank, officials are making use of remote-sensing maps to identify fishing zones.
“We are also working with the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, Marine Products Export Development Authority, National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture, and Central Aquaculture Pathology Lab to increase production and quality,” said Fisheries Commissioner Ram Shankar Naik.
The Government has appointed 300 multi-purpose fisheries extension officers (MPFEOs) who will collect data on fish, shrimp and crab farmers mandal-wise.
In Krishna District, fisheries officials have identified 1,000 acres of land to raise seabass in Garala Dibba, Polata Dibba and Tallapalem villages. A hatchery is to be set up at Tallapalem and land has been identified in East Godavari district to raise mud crabs.
Other programmes being conducted are registration of fish and prawn ponds, workshops for entrepreneurs, technocrats, officials, exporters and other stakeholders and capacity building programmes for farmers.
The Fisheries Department will also encourage farmers to install solar lights and pumps and aerators, cultivate alternative species and take up deep-sea fishing.
“Eleven surveillance teams have been formed for this effort. As per market intelligence, 85 per cent of the inland fish produce is going out of the State. We will increase production and exports in the next few months,” said Mr Naik.
TheFishSite News Desk