Fish farming in West Bengal is a big industry now, employing thousands of people. The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal Government has been very proactive in encouraging commercial fish farming.
The government has taken many steps, both to encourage fish farming, and address its allied issues, and to provide fish cultivators with all forms of support.
The government has provided 8,741.94 tonnes of nutritionally-balanced floating feed for free to 13,000 fish farmers for the first time in West Bengal, with a financial involvement of Rs 23 crore.
The government has set up a hilsa preservation and research centre in Sultanpur. The government has also provided temperature-controlled mobile vans and cycle-mounted ice boxes for selling fish; these activities are regulated by fishermen’s cooperatives, and have also ensured a steady income for the cooperatives.
The State government has also arranged for training fishermen on issues related to fish conservation, and conservation of lakes and wetlands. Lakes larger than 5 cottah have been identified for conservation.
The government has taken efforts to preserve local varieties of fish, like the boroli of North Bengal. Hatchlings have been released in lakes, ponds and streams to ensure a steady catch for fishermen all over the State.
Measures have been taken to provide safety to fishermen who go out to the sea. Almost 1.38 lakh such fishermen have been provided biometric cards.
About 1,000 distress alert transmitters have been distributed among them. E-registration has been started for sea-going vessels. 11,409 such certificates have already been given. These activities are ongoing, and the idea is to cover all fishermen and vessels. Due to these efforts of the West Bengal Government, as outlined above, fish cultivation is a booming activity in the State and fishermen are very satisfied.