Trout fish farming gets boost in Himachal Pradesh



Himachal Pradesh has emerged as a major trout fish producing hub in the country and the state government is planning to commercialise the sector in the coming days.

The state has decided to open trout fish selling outlets in Shimla, Chamba and Kangra under the centrally sponsored scheme under Blue Revolution, a government spokesperson told IANS.

"The state has set a target of 800 metric tonnes of trout fish production in 2020-21, while it will go up to 950 metric tonnes in 2021-22," Fisheries Minister Virender Kanwar said in a statement.

The department has chalked out ambitious marketing strategy for sales of trout fish to develop 940 trout units as revenue-earning centres to boost economy activities in the sector, including establishing clusters during this fiscal for marketing through mobile fish vans.

Trout fish production is likely to touch record 685 metric tonnes in this fiscal, officials said on Sunday.

A total of 568.443 metric tonnes trout fish production valued at Rs 25.58 crore was recorded in the state in 2018-19 in seven trout fish production districts of Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kangra and Sirmour.

Presently, around 50 per cent of trout produced is being sold outside the state mainly in five-star hotels in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

The state has also decided to shift focus on marketing to other metro cities by enhancing quality and quantity both to ensure remunerative prices to around 500 trout farming families.

Trout farms have been set up at Patlikuhal and Hamni in Kullu district; Holi Thaila and Bhandal in Chamba district; Barot in Mandi district; Sangla in Kinnaur district; and Dhamwari in Shimla district to boost its production.

The government has decided to set up 29 trout hatcheries in the private sector in seven districts -- Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kangra and Sirmour.

Each hatchery will have a trout ova production capacity of two lakh annually.

Himachal Pradesh with its five rivers, and numerous streams and reservoirs has a big potential for fish production, say experts.

Of the 3,000-km network of fisheries' water resources, 600 kms of cold water streams are conducive for trout farming.

The history of trout fishing in Himachal Pradesh dates back to colonial times. The British introduced trout in 1909 to promote angling. At that time, fingerlings were released in various streams and multiplied.IANS