Meghalaya increases fish production in five years

SHILLONG, Apr 5: Fish production in Meghalaya has seen more than 100 percent increase in the last five years, the Meghalaya Assembly was informed on Thursday.

As per the data furnished by minister in-charge Fisheries Comingone Ymbon, during the Question Hour in the last five years the total fish production are – 2012-13 (5417 Metric Tonne), 2013-14 (5753 MT), 2014-15 (6040 MT), 2015-16 (11, 343 MT) and in 2016-17 (12, 330 MT).

But, according to Ymbon, the state’s fish production is still in the deficit and is yet to meet the total requirement of the state’s demand.

According to the state Fisheries Minister, the total requirement for fish in Meghalaya is 33000 MT.

“To meet this requirement we import fish from Assam and Andhra Pradesh,” Ymbon informed the House.

To a query by Congress legislator, Zenith M Sangma, on how many partners have benefitted by the government scheme, Ymbon informed that there were a total of 23529 beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, Zenith also informed the House that not all places in the state would be suitable for fish production.

“Some areas where there is coal mining breeding of fishes would not be possible and other areas due to the low water level one can’t produce fish,” the legislator said.

He also lamented that people of the state instead of consuming fresh and nutritious fishes are having to make do with stale and unhealthy ones.

Zenith pointed out that to meet the requirements of the fish consumers of the state, Meghalaya imports them from Andhra Pradesh but it takes time to reach here thereby fish lovers miss out on the nutritious contents.

Earlier, Ymbon informed the House that the steps taken to mitigate and overcome deficiency of fish production in Meghalaya is through development of existing water bodies and creation of additional water areas.

The state government is also implementing the Blue Revolution Scheme, Meghalaya State Aquaculture Mission and convergence based programmes.

The Fisheries Minister also informed that Fish farmers Development Agency has been set up to facilitate fisheries sector.

To mitigate and overcome deficiency, Ymbon informed the House that the government was conserving the native, endangered and traditional species and developing breeding farms.

The government was also conducting, mass awareness programmes on the importance of fish culture, training and capacity building including exposure visits and skill development and caputing emerging oppurtunities inthe fisheries sector.

Ymbon, however informed that the 26 hatcheries cannot supply seedlings to the farmers of the state.