The four-year Bachelor of Fisheries Sciences Course – offered by the Karnataka's only College of Fisheries here – is slated to come with a better package that is billed to increase employability of those passing out considerably.

The course will now have extensive study of aquatic medicine complete with pharmacology and toxicology and thereby enable graduates to take care of health of aquatic animals. This subject will be taught to those in the third year from the next academic year (2013-14).

Dean of the College K.M. Shankar said aquaculture contributed about 54 per cent of total fish production in India and it was growing at the rate of six to eight per cent annually. Its contribution to fish production was a mere 10 per cent 30 years ago. On the other hand, fish catch was dwindling with overexploitation of marine resources. It could even hit a rock bottom in a couple of decades, Prof. Shankar predicted.

The fisheries graduates trained in aquatic medicine will be able to prescribe medicines for the diseases much like those passing out of veterinary courses. The curriculum is in fact being developed with the help of veterinarians, toxicologists and pharmacologists, the Dean said. Consequently the quacks could be eliminated. The drug companies could absorb fisheries graduates who have studied the subject.

He said the B.FSc. course fee was Rs. 17,000 per annum excluding the hostel charges. The last date for admission is June 26.

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