M. Raghuram

Brood stock to be introduced in 20 reservoirs

The scheme promises to generate more revenue for farmers

BANGALORE: The Fisheries Department has taken up a programme to raise the inland fish production by giving a fillip to reservoir fisheries. The initiative of cooperative fishing introduced by the Government has come as a welcome change. This promises more revenue for farmers. The Government has made arrangements to get seed stock from Andhra Pradesh, and initially 20 reservoirs will be introduced with the brood stock. Nearly 20 large reservoirs and about 32 small tanks and ponds have been identified for the cooperative fishing scheme and the process of stocking the reservoirs with fish has already begun.

According to Director of State Fisheries H.N. Veerappa Gowda, inland fisheries was emerging as one of the fields that could help India achieve food security, especially when the marine fisheries output was coming down in the State. Mr. Gowda told The Hindu that many of the reservoirs in Uttara Kannada, Davangere, Shimoga, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Chitradurga, Tumkur and Hassan districts had been readied for receiving the brood stock. The Malaprabha reservoir has been stocked extensively. The inland fishermen can reap at least two major crops and one minor crop if they manage the reservoir stock scientifically.

The villages around the reservoirs have been asked to form cooperative societies of small fishermen which will be given the rights of harvesting. The National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) has also announced its participation in inland fisheries development. It will provide expert inputs, including reservoir development, aquaculture fish ponds and training to fishermen in sweet water shrimp farming, Mr. Gowda added.

The farmers around Shantisagar reservoir in Shimoga have formed a cooperative. There are also plans to run the reservoir farms on public cooperative and public private participation. Similar schemes have also been worked out at Markonahalli reservoir in Tumkur and Vani Vilas Sagar in Chitradurga. Andhra Pradesh has embarked upon a Rs. 620-crore plan to generate an additional inland fish production of 26.5 lakh tonnes. Reservoir fishing will be developed with an expenditure of Rs. 400 crore with a target of 150 kg a hectare annually in 15 lakh hectares. Karnataka is studying the Andhra Pradesh model.