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Reservoir Fisheries (Gobindsagar, Himachal Pradesh)


Gobindsagar reservoir is located in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. The reservoir is formed on the river Sutlej and covers an area of about 10 000 ha at effective storage level. The water spread at full storage level encompasses

16 000 ha. Gobindagar is one of the best-managed reservoirs in the country from the fisheries point of view. The average fish production from the reservoir during the last five years was about 1 000 tonnes per annum or 100 kg/ ha/ yr. The maximum yield obtained from Gobindsagar has been to the tune of 122 kg/ ha/ yr, which is the highest in the country for a large reservoir.


The reservoir has a predominant fauna of the exotic Silver carp (about 60 -65 % of the total catch) followed by Indian major carps (20 - 25 %), Mahseer species (8-10 %) and Minor carps (8 - 10 %). The Indian major carps are dominated by Catla catla. The Department of Fisheries, Government of Himachal Pradesh implements several welfare and production oriented schemes for the benefit of the reservoir fishermen. These Centrally Sponsored Schemes include, Saving-cum-Relief Scheme, Group Insurance Scheme for Active Fishermen and the Housing Scheme. The Schemes implemented under the State Plan include Risk Fund Scheme and a Calamity Relief Scheme.


Besides closed season, which is implemented in the reservoir for 02 months (01 June through 31 July) every year, areas suitable for natural breeding in the reservoir are also protected to allow the fishes to breed and thereby help in auto stocking of the reservoir. To maintain species balance, supplementary stocking is done from time to time.


About 3 000 registered fishermen inhabit the periphery of the reservoir of which about 1 900 are active. These fishermen are grouped into 16 co-operative societies, which are then grouped into an apex body called the Bilaspur Fisheries Marketing and Supply Federation.  The Federation assists the fishermen in disposal and marketing of fish  (including retail marketing, if necessary) and its assets include a cold storage, an ice plant and refrigerated vans. The Gobindsagar fish is marketed in major towns/ cities in Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi and also the bordering areas in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.


Gobindsagar is an excellent example of a well-managed large reservoir and the practices adopted need to be replicated in the other large and medium reservoirs of the country.


Contact:  Advisor (Fisheries), H P Aquaculture, Fishing and Marketing Society, Government of Himachal Pradesh Undertaking, Regd. Office: Directorate of Fisheries H P, Matsya Bhawan, Bilaspur - 174 001, Himachal Pradesh. (Tel: # 1978 - 223013; Fax: # 1978 -224068; Email: kuldip50@rediffmail.com).

2)               Carp Farming (Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab)


Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab have emerged as the most progressive states with respect to the development of freshwater fish farming in the country. While Andhra Pradesh was to some extent a traditional fish farming State, Haryana and Punjab are non-traditional states and fish farming started only during the early seventies.  Today, fresh water fish from Andhra Pradesh is marketed in about a dozen other states (all the states in the NE region, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh) and also in the neighbouring countries - Bhutan and Nepal. Similarly, fish produced in Punjab and Haryana is marketed in the neighbouring states after meeting their own requirements.


In Andhra Pradesh, the Kolleru Lake area is the hub of freshwater fish farming. Besides, Indian major carps (IMC) such as catla and rohu, farmers also raise catfishes like African magur (Clarias gariepinnus) and Pangasius sutchi. The average productivity from the farms in Kolleru Lake area is around 5-6 tonnes per ha and scientific methods of farming are deployed to maximise the returns from the ponds. The seed and feed inputs are well organised in the area, which is a big support to the fish farmers. Similarly, the marketing infrastructure is also well knit that takes care of the fish transportation by refrigerated vans to far-flung areas of the country. Per hectare production in Haryana and Punjab is close to 4 000 kg and besides Indian major carps, the farmers are also raising freshwater prawn. In these two states, the markets are close to the production centres and, therefore, the per kilogram realisation to the fish farmer is much higher as compared to what the farmers get in Andhra Pradesh.


Freshwater carp farming in the above-referred states exemplifies the innovations and ingenuities of the small-scale fish farmer in optimising per hectare yield from the fishponds and are worth replication in the other carp farming areas of the country.


Contact: (i)             Commissioner of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Matsya Bhavan, 4th Lane, Shanti Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 028, Andhra Pradesh. (Tel: # 40 - 23452270, 23450274; Fax: # 40 - 23376256).


            (ii)          Director of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Government of Haryana, SCO No 817, Shivalik Enclave, Mani Majra, Chandigarh - 160 001. (Tel/Fax: # 172 - 27349791). 


3)               Ornamental Fish Culture and Trade (Chennai, Tamil Nadu)


Kolathur village on the outskirts of Chennai is famous for ornamental fish cultivation by small-scale producers. There are about 600 families

earning their livelihood through ornamental fish cultivation in Kolathur and on an average each household the village earns over Rs 5 000 per month through ornamental fish farming. About 45 kms from Kolathur, Gummidipoondi village is another hub of ornamental fish production where women SHGs have successfully taken up breeding and raising of ornamental to earn their livelihood.


On the commercial front, the ornamental fish trade is a growing business with Chennai and Kolkata turning out to be the major production and export centres. The domestic trade is a mix of medium and small ornamental fish farmers. In Chennai, many farmers grow fish in their backyards and sell the stock to bigger companies, which are engaged in the export business. The State Government undertaking Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation (TNFDC) joined the field in 2000. It rears popular varieties like goldfish, angelfish, mollies and fighters in its farm near Coimbatore. The ornamentals are sold in the local markets.


The global trade in the ornamental fish is estimated at Rs 5 000 crores, of which India has a minuscule Rs 2.0 crore. This is despite the country’s tropical climate, varied freshwater sources, and 8 000 plus-km coastline. However, the growing demand for ornamental fisheries and the growing interest in aquarium may change all this very soon.


While Singapore and other South East Asian countries account for 80 per cent of the global trade. The main markets are the US, the UK, Belgium, Italy, Japan, China, Australia and South Africa. According to industry estimates, India’s domestic annual turnover is about Rs 15 crores, but the global market is much bigger. With its tropical climate, India can become a key player. Many Indian species like catfish, dwarf and giant gouramis, and barbs are popular abroad and fetch good prices.


To popularise ornamental fish production and trade in Orissa, Kolathur is an excellent example to copy. It provides a good mix of both domestic as well as commercial-scale production, which largely cater to the export market.


Contact: Director, Bay of Bengal Programme, 91, St Mary’s Road, Abhiramapuram, Chennai - 600 018, Tamil Nadu. (Tel: # 44 - 24936188; Fax: # 44 - 24936102: Email: bobpysy@md2.vsnl.net.in). 


4)               Shrimp and Scampi Seed Production (Chennai, Pondicherry)


Presently, about 237 shrimp hatcheries have been set up in the coastal states with an installed capacity of about 12 billion seed per annum. Of these as many as 110 have been set up in Andhra Pradesh, 67 in Tamil Nadu and 21 in Kerala. In Orissa, 13 shrimp hatcheries exist.


Practically, all hatcheries were set up to breed tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon, with some also breeding P. indicus. However, during the last 4-5 years, may of these hatcheries have also started breeding freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii (scampi).


Most of the modern and state-of-art hatcheries are located either in Kakinada area in Andhra Pradesh or in the Chennai - Marakanam belt in Tamil Nadu. These hatcheries are an excellent example of the efforts that have gone towards the development of commercial-scale shrimp and scampi farming in the country and any further development envisaged in this sector has to keep in mind the hatchery infrastructure set up so far.

Contact: (i)           Director of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Administrative Office Building, Teynampet, Chennai - 600 006, Tamil Nadu. (Tel: # 44-24320791; Fax:

# 44- 24320791, 24335585).


            (ii)          Director of Fisheries, Fishermen Welfare-cum-Additional Registrar of Fishermen Cooperative Societies, Government of Pondicherry, Botanical Garden, Pondicherry - 605 001. (Tel: # 413 - 2338761, 2220614).


 (iii)    President, AISHA, C/o Santir Aquatic (P) Ltd, Door No 7-1-44, Kirlampudi, Visakhapatnam-530 017, Andhra Pradesh (Tel: # 891- 2754543/ 2754828).


5)               Farmers’ Associations or Aqua clubs (Thanjavur, Bhimavaram)


(a)    Thambikottai-Vadakadu Shrimp Farmers Association in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu.


In Tamil Nadu, shrimp farmers in Thanjavur district have formed village level associations and organise regular meetings to follow good management practices for achieving eco-friendly and sustainable shrimp farming.  One of the best examples of this association is the "Thambikottai-Vadakadu Shrimp Farmers Association". The members of this Association consult themselves before initiating pond preparation, introducing water in their ponds, selection and stocking of seed, feed management, shrimp health management, prevention of disease, formation of separate channels for draining out waste water, time for harvest of the crop, fixing of price, etc.


The Association members also inspect the shrimp hatcheries located at Chennai and Marakanam areas and collect seed samples for testing in at least three PCR laboratories to ascertain the presence/ absence of pathogens.   The tested seed is purchased in bulk, which is then DIVided amongst the members of the Association as per their requirement.  If a viral disease affects any farmer’s crop, all precautionary measures are taken to prevent the spread of the disease to the other ponds.  The Association also suitably compensates the affected farmer’s loss.  The Association takes the responsibility of road laying and providing other infrastructure like drainage canal and street lamps to the villages adjacent to shrimp farm cluster.  The Association organises meeting of the members on fortnightly basis and discusses and solves their problems with mutual consent.


(b)  Sri Subrahmanyeshwara Aqua Club in West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh


To promote cooperative approach in management of shrimp farming activities and other common issues that commonly arise in cluster-based shrimp farms, aqua clubs have been set up in Andhra Pradesh. A total of 128 aqua clubs with a membership of 3 367 farmers is now existing in the State. However, one of the best initiative of this kind is the Sri Subrahmanyeshwara (SS) Aqua Club in Mogalthur village is West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. The SS Aqua Club comprises 58 farmers with 108 ponds spread over 58 ha and the farmers involved are mostly small-scale, practicing improved traditional farming with low investments. Based on the technical inputs provided by the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia -Pacific (NACA), Bangkok and the Marine Products Export Development Authority, Kochi, the farm level ‘better management practices’ or the BMPs were demonstrated in the shrimp ponds of the SS Aqua Club with great success.


The above two initiatives by the shrimp farmers in the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh need to be replicated in the other coastal states also where shrimp is fast developing on commercial-scales.


Contact: (i)          Commissioner of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Matsya Bhavan, 4th Lane, Shanti Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 028, Andhra Pradesh. (Tel: # 40 -23376255; Fax: # 40 - 23376256)


                  (ii)          Director of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Administrative Office Building, Teynampet, Chennai - 600 006, Tamil Nadu. (Tel: # 44-24320791; Fax:

# 44- 24320791, 24335585).


(iii)          Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority, MPEDA House Panampilly Avenue, Post Box No 4272, Kochi - 682 036, Kerala. (Tel: # 484 2361167; Fax: # 484 - 2314467/ 2313361).


6)               Corporate Sector in Aquaculture and Seafood Processing (The Waterbase Ltd, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh)


The Waterbase Limited (TWL) is the largest and the only integrated aquaculture unit in India located in the heart of shrimp country at Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. The Company began operations in 1993 and is today a US$18 million company (Rs. 1 billion) with facilities that comprise a shrimp hatchery, feed plant, grow-out farms, and an ultra-modern process plant. Black Tiger (P. monodon), White (P. indicus) and Scampi (M. rosenbergii) are raised in the farms of the Company.  The Company sells shrimps in various forms such as cooked, beheaded, deveined, etc depending on the customer requirements. Apart from its own stock of shrimp, the Company also sources it from other farmers to meet orders. The Company follows HACCP guidelines and is among the few Indian companies that have FDA approval for export of marine products to USA.


The Company exports shrimp in different forms to the quality-conscious markets of Japan, USA, and Europe. It has a 50: 50 joint venture with Handy and Son of US. This JV is exporting pasteurized crabmeat that is considered a delicacy in the West. The Company has also made a retail foray with a specialty seafood restaurant in Bangalore called Tiger Bay and proposes to take this concept to other cities soon. The Company has recently entered into an R&D alliance with INVE of Belgium.


The Government of India has recently permitted the Company to import

P. monodon broodstock from Myanmar waters for breeding and also for initiating a long-term programme on domestication of tiger shrimp. The Company is also in the process of perfecting the technology for breeding and raising of mud crabs (Scylla serrata), which have a lucrative domestic and export market.


M/s Waterbase Ltd is today the only corporate sector player in shrimp farming and its integrated unit in Nellore is an excellent example of corporate sector’s contributions to the development of seafood industry in general and shrimp farming in particular.


Contact: Chief Executive, The Waterbase Limited, PB No 4902, #22 (Old #8), Sadashivam Street, Gopalapuram, Chennai - 600 086, Tamil Nadu. (Tel: # 44 - 28113682, 28110684; Fax: # 44 - 28113681, 28114913:Email: waterbase@vsnl.com).


7)               Sea weed Farming (Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu)


Seaweeds grow in the shallow coastal waters of the seas and are vital as a habitat for a variety of marine organisms. Seaweeds provide a valuable source of raw material for manufacture of health food, medicines, food additives, pharmaceuticals, etc. Some of the important products of seaweeds include agar, algin and carrageenan. The most common seaweeds in India available for farming include species of the Genius Gracilaria, Gelidiella and Eucheuma/ Kappaphycus.


In Tamil Nadu seaweed cultivation is common in Rameshwaram, Pamban, Mandapam, Vedalai and Kilakarai areas, where cultivation is now being promoted through the SHGs. M/S PepsiCo India Holding (p) Ltd is also supporting the enterprise through buy-back arrangements.


Seaweed farming is a viable livelihood option for fisher-communities and has considerable potential in other states also. It is environment-friendly and has no adverse impact on the coastal ecology. The experience of the SHGs and other fisher groups in Tamil Nadu can be considered as a successful example for replication elsewhere in the country.


Contact: (i)          Director, Bay of Bengal Programme, 91, St Mary’s Road, Abhiramapuram, Chennai - 600 018, Tamil Nadu. (Tel: # 44 - 24936188; Fax: # 44 - 24936102:

 Email: bobpysy@md2.vsnl.net.in).


             (ii)           President, Aquaculture Foundation of India, 4/40 Kapaleeswarar Nagar, Neelankarai, Chennai 600 041, Tamil Nadu. (Tel: # 44 - 24490840; Fax:

# 44 - 24490924; Email; afi@vsnl.net). 


8)               Marine Mussel Farming (Kerala)


Marine mussels form one of the must dominant cultivable species all over the world. In India, two species of marine mussels (green mussel - Perna viridis and brown mussel - P. indica) support a traditional sustenance fishery. However, in recent years, the increasing demand for mussels (especially in northern Kerala) has enabled farmers in north and central Kerala to adopt commercial-scale technologies for mussel farming. More than 450 families in Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Malappuram are now proud owners of mussel farms.


The technologies for mussel farming have been developed by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi and include rack, long line and raft methods.

The Malabar Coast of Kerala has now become the centre of mussel farming in India producing about 4 000 tonnes during 2004-05. On an average the mussel farmer is earning about Rs. 6 800 per season. Based on the success of this activity, women SHGs have adopted mussel farming in the back waters adjacent to there houses and the Banks are providing loans ranging between Rs. 8 000 - 9 000 per member of the SHGs. The Government of Kerala also provides finanancial support through DWCRA and IRDP programme to promote mussel farming.


Contact:   (i)                     Director, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Post Box No 1603, Ernakulam North PO, Cochin - 682 014, Kerala. (Tel: # 484- 2394867, 2394357, 2394798 (Director): Fax: # 484 - 2394909: Email: mdcmfri@md2.vsnl.net.in).
              (ii)          Director of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Government of Kerala, Vikas Bhawan, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 033, Kerala (Tel: # 471-2303160). 


9)               Hygienic Marketing of Fish in the Domestic Sector (Chennai, Kochi)


Hygienic marketing of fish and fish products in the domestic sector has been a neglected area. Despite several attempts by the Central and State Governments, no tangible results could be achieved. However, in recent years retail marketing of fish and fish products (mainly marine fish) by the private sector has been successful and retail shops have been set up in Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore and Hyderabad. While some of these retail outlets are linked to processing units, others have been set up by enterprising youth. A visit to some of the retail shops in Chennai or Kochi will show the difference it makes to the quality of the product.


This is a significant development and there is a need to promote this initiative, especially through the private sector in the other states also.


Contact:   (i)          Director of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Administrative Office Building, Teynampet, Chennai - 600 006, Tamil Nadu. (Tel: # 44-24320791; Fax:

# 44- 24320791, 24335585).


(ii)          Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority, MPEDA House Panampilly Avenue, Post Box No 4272, Kochi - 682 036, Kerala. (Tel: # 484 - 2361167; Fax: # 484 - 2314467/ 2313361).


10)         Self-Help Groups in Fisheries (Tamil Nadu)


The Southern Districts of Tamil Nadu have witnessed significant increase in the number of fisherwomen Self - Help Groups (SHGs). Punnakkayal village in Tamil Nadu has the largest number of SHGs in an Indian village with over 50 groups consisting exclusively of fisherwomen.


Today, there are several examples of successful fisherwomen SHGs in the region and their experiences need to be promoted in the other states also. Examples: The fish market at Neelankarai is managed by fisherwomen belonging to 12 SHGs. The management practices established by this group demonstrate their efficiency and unity. Similarly, the SHGs formed by fisherwomen in Vellapatty village in Tuticorin has enabled its member to conduct inDIVidual business involving a wide range of activities, including fattening of crabs for sale in the local market. These SHGs also have good linkages with the NGOs who have helped them in the promotion of their business.


Contact: Director, Bay of Bengal Programme, 91, St Mary’s Road, Abhiramapuram, Chennai - 600 018, Tamil Nadu. (Tel: # 44 - 24936188; Fax: # 44 - 24936102: Email: bobpysy@md2.vsnl.net.in).   


11)         State Institute of Fisheries Technology (Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh)


The State Institute of Fisheries Technology (SIFT) at Kakinada provides an excellent example of state-level institutional support to the fisheries sector. From the original mandate of imparting practical training to marine fishermen in handling mechanised fishing boats with imported gear, SIFT now handles a variety of activities. These activities broadly include training and awareness programmes; induction and refresher courses for officials of the Fisheries Department of the State Government and testing of diseases in fin and shell fishes, antibiotic residue testing, soil and water analysis and testing of other inputs such as feed used in aquaculture.


The SIFT has an attached hostel for outstation trainees, a good library, a state-of-art laboratory for detection of shrimp diseases and testing of antibiotics and other necessary infrastructures. The Institute also generates its own revenue through the fee levied on analysis of animal tissue /soil/water samples and PCR testing of shrimp larvae and adults. SIFT provides a good support to the fisheries sector in the State by meeting the requirements of training, skill upgradation, awareness and other technical advice to the fish farmers and the Department of Fisheries.


Contact: (i)          Commissioner of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Matsya Bhavan, 4th Lane, Shanti Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 028, Andhra Pradesh. (Tel: # 40 -23376255; Fax No: # 40 - 23376256).


   (ii)   Mr M Ramagopala Rao, Principal/ Additional Director of Fisheries, State

Institute of Fisheries Technology, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Jasannickpuri,
Kakinada, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. (Tel: # 884 - 2387370).


12)         Fishermen Cooperatives (SIFFS, Trivandrum)


The South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS) originated through the intervention of NGOs in the artisanal fishing sector during 1970s and 1980s. Starting as an apex body of societies of Trivandrum district, SIFFS in its present form comprises a three-tier structure. The three core activities of SIFFS include (i) marketing of fish caught by members, (ii) providing credit for renewal of fishing equipment and (iii) promoting savings. Some of the major interventions of SIFFS include:


Boat Building


SIFFS pioneered the introduction of marine plywood boats in 1982. Since then, it has been playing a major role in the promotion of marine plywood boats in three districts on Southwest coast of South India. The activities under this programme include (i) setting up boatyards to manufacture different models of boats and undertake repair works, (ii) conducting research and development on designs of boat models and materials for boat building and (iii) providing training in boat building and maintenance. Today, SIFFS is a leading player and a leader in plywood boat building market in South-West Coast of India.


Outboard Motors


SIFFS recognises the link between OBMs and plywood boats and, therefore imports outboard motors and spare parts for distribution to the beneficiaries at affordable prices.  Today, SIFFS is the country dealer for Suzuki marine products, and a leading importer of OBMs and spares in South India. Over the years, SIFFS has also kept pace with rapid increase and spread of motorised craft through setting up of OBM service centres and spares parts outlets for sale and maintenance works.


Fish Marketing & Ice Plants


Fish marketing has been one of the major areas of intervention of SIFFS and has been exploring new areas for marketing of both fresh and processed fish through trials and experiments in export market. Quality improvement programme is an area of priority for SIFFS now. SIFFS has also initiated marketing of fish in the domestic sector through a retail shop in Trivandrum. The shop aims to serve as a channel to sell the surplus fish procured for the export purpose.


SIFFS is an excellent example of cooperative endeavour coupled with modern marketing enterprise, which can be replicated in other states also.


Contact: Chief Executive Officer, South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS), Karamana, Trivandrum 695 002, Kerala. (Tel: # 471 - 2343711, 2343178; Fax: # 471 - 2342053; Email: admin@siffs.org).


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