Sikkim : AH & VS Department Reviews Electrification Of Menmoitso Trout Farm, Completed After 45 Years

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Posted in Featured, Northeast, Sikkim

 

  • NET Web Desk

Recently, the Secretary of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services Department, Sangey D Bhutia; and Director of Fisheries N Jaswant along with other senior officials reviewed the electrification of Menmoitso Trout Farm, East Sikkim.

The Directorate organized an awareness program on Riverine Fisheries Conservation, participated by fish farmers, fishermen and stakeholders.

Speaking on the occasion, Bhutia congratulated the officers and staff of the Directorate for the commendable work which has been done in the recent past.

The electrification of the Menmoitso Trout Farm, that finally happened after 45 years of its establishment is a remarkable achievement of the Directorate, thereby considering various hurdles mainly being the lack of adequate budgetary provisions.

Further, he also urged the general public including the fishermen and stakeholders to come forward and support the Directorate in the conservation of Riverine Fisheries Resources.

N Jaswant, Director, Directorate of Fisheries in his speech highlighted the importance of Riverine Fisheries conservation.

He stated that the population of various fish species has been depleted drastically in the recent past due to various anthropogenic activities.

Dr. Pushpa Tamang in the year 1993 had reported about 48 fish species in the drainages of Teesta & Rangit River system of Sikkim.

An independent study conducted by MoEF in the year 2002 had reported only 31 species.

Further, as per a preliminary report of the ongoing study being conducted by the College of Fisheries, Lembucherra, Tripura only 21 species have been reported in Sikkim.

He further stated that introduction of cat fishes in riverine system is one among various reasons for the decreasing population of indigenous fishes.

It is being promoted by the religious practice of the local people called the Chettda whereby live fishes (mainly the cat fishes) are released in the river.

There are around five locations where the population of these cat fishes are observed to be maximum.

The cat fishes feed upon the small fishes and fingerling of the indigenous fishes thereby decreasing their population.

Apart from that illegal fishing practices like the use of poison, electric fishing by use of batteries/UPS, drastically wipe out entire generation of fishes contributing to the loss of aquatic biodiversity.

The Director also highlighted that the indiscriminate loss of aquatic biodiversity is going to have a grave repercussion.

Besides, the fishermen community who are dependent on fishing for their livelihood will be directly affected due to reduced catch.

It will also affect the ecology in some way or the other causing the breakdown of the ecosystem.

Therefore, the need of riverine fisheries conservation is of outmost importance at this point of time.

The Director also made aware about the State Fisheries Policy being formulated by the Directorate of Fisheries for the first time in the history.

He further stated that the policy shall focus on :

Fish (Flesh & Seed) Production : With the objective to increase the per capita fish consumption of the state from a mere 1.2 Kg per annum to the national average of around 10 Kg the Directorate shall strive for increasing the fish seed and flesh production by formulation and implementing various schemes and programmes.

Indigenous Fish Conservation : Breeding protocol of various indigenous fish species shall be developed and regular ranching of the seed produced shall be done to increase the population of indigenous fishes in the wild.

Apart from that, conservation of the breeding and feeding ground of various fish species by providing highest level of protection through some notification or declaration of Fish sanctuary shall also be done.

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