The state Fisheries department will set up a laboratory to find out the cause of various diseases of fishes and help augment its production.
The proposed laboratory will come up on 10 acres of land at Chakgeria in South 24 Parganas.
The laboratory will help find out the causes of various diseases that affect the fish population. It may be recalled that in the late 1980s, prawn cultivation on South 24 Parganas was badly hit by white spot disease. Before fishermen could understand anything the disease spread affecting prawn cultivation badly and as a result crores of rupees went down the drain. The projects were funded by World Bank. A team from the funding agency came and it was found that the food as prescribed by them had become too heavy for the prawn fingerlings. They vomited due to the additional food causing infection in them. It was then decided that in the area along with prawn, Indian carp would be released. This had helped to overcome the problem.
A senior official of the department said that before the fisherman releases fish seed, it was necessary to test the soil. This testing will be done in the laboratory.
Also, when a disease breaks out, it is necessary to do intense research to find out the cause as in fishes disease spreads very fast. Once the cause is detected it is easier to tackle the situation. Also, the laboratory will be of immense value as it will help in augmentation of fish production.
A large chunk of fish in the state comes from Andhra Pradesh and if there is transport strike or something of that sort, the supply is affected and there is crisis in the city and state markets. Steps have been taken to make the state self sufficient in fish production. From time to time the farmers will be given training on how to increase fish production and maintenance of the ponds.