State to soon start health tests of fishes at Junput

: The state Fisheries department will soon start health tests of fishes at its advanced laboratory at Junput in East Midnapore. The laboratory is already involved in testing of water and the soil underneath the water to assess whether it is fit for fish cultivation or not.

“We are working in collaboration with Arizona University for activities of the advanced laboratory in Junput. We need some new instruments for conducting health tests of fishes and we hope to start the facility in two-three months. We have started a training centre at Junput where people in group of 50 are being trained in scientific fish cultivation and how to do breeding of fishes,” Roy Chowdhury said addressing an ‘Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Conclave organised by Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) on Wednesday.

The minister pointed out that the challenges before the sector include non-scientific farming of fish such as overharvesting, overfeeding, use of antibiotics which are not viable in the long run. In this backdrop, the department has set a target of training 50,000 youths by this financial year and 40,000 have already been imparted training. In the last four months, such a programme is being arranged in all the districts of the state except Darjeeling. The training is being imparted to each batch in two to three phases of three days duration.

The Fisheries department has already done a survey of waterbodies above 5 acres and have identified 12,749 ponds. Out of these, 2,572 are government-owned ponds. These large water bodies are suitable for cultivation of fishes that grow big. Swapan Debnath, state minister of Animal Resources Development, said that the state is presently producing over 1,370 crore eggs annually out of the state’s requirement of 1440 crore.

“We need to increase egg production by another 64-65 crore to become self-sufficient, which we expect to achieve by December 2024,” he added.

While speaking on the livestock sector, Debnath said that Bengal exported meat to Qatar during the last football World Cup. Bengal is the second highest producer of meat after Uttar Pradesh with 11.9 per cent growth rate.

Next Story
Share it