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SFDC preparing roadmap for fish cultivation in unused area at Digha

Kolkata: The State Fisheries Development Corporation (SFDC) is preparing a roadmap on how to cultivate fishes on a huge tract of land, with as many as 50 waterbodies that have been lying unutilised at Digha in East Midnapore for quite some time.
The land belonged to West Bengal Fisheries Corporation (WBFC), which has been recently merged with SFDC, thereby providing the latter the opportunity to utilise the land. Senior officials of SFDC visited the land spanning around 331 acres that earlier belonged to WBFC at Digha recently and stumbled upon the unutilised land, with ready infrastructure for channelising water from the sea, that can be used effectively for fish cultivation.
It may be mentioned that a top official of WBFC, during the erstwhile Left Front government, had given these waterbodies on lease to a number of companies for fish cultivation. But after the lease expired, there was no renewal and hence activities came to a standstill.
The waterbodies have either dried up or have suffered a decline in navigability due to years of neglect. However, there are sluice gates at various places for smooth flow of water. Bushes and shrubs have filled the entire tract of land, making it an eyesore and a haven of nuisance activities.
"After the visit, our senior officials briefed about the condition of the land available in the area, that has the potential to turn into a major hub for fish cultivation. State Fisheries department minister Chandranath Sinha has immediately instructed us to prepare a detailed plan on the types of fishes that can be cultivated there," a senior SFDC official said.
It may be mentioned that shrimp farming has been given a major boost in Digha and its adjoining areas in East Midnapore by the Mamata Banerjee government.
The state government is planning 'eco fish tourism' project in Digha, in which tourists would be taken to the water bodies managed by the Fisheries department. They can draw the nets along with the fishermen to pull in the fish and can then indulge in the quiet joy of angling.
The waterbodies would be kept stocked with adequate fish. The fishes caught by the tourists would be cooked and served to them. They would not be allowed to take any fish home. "With the development of this area, the prospect of eco-tourism is expected to get a major boost," the official maintained.

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