Punjab has not only managed to produce around 1 lakh tonnes of fish against its target of 93,000 tonnes in 2012-13,it has also topped the country in highest fish productivity per unit area for seventh time in a row.
The state has been producing around 6,560 kg (6.5 tonnes) of fish per hectare,which is double the national average of 3 tonnes per hectare. While the target for 2012-13 was 93,000 tonnes,Punjab has already produced 1 lakh tonnes,Director (Fishery) B K Sood said.
He added: Though Punjab does not have a coastline,still it has again topped in the country when it came to fish production per unit area. Better seed,hardwork of the farmers and proper care has made Punjab number one in fish productivity.
Explaining that fish farming has been taken up in artificial ponds as well as in natural water,including rivers like Sutlej,Beas,Ravi and Ghaggar,Sood said: We have been developing fish ponds in areas where salinity and waterlogging has affected the land and thus,agriculture is not possible. Our experiments have proved that a farmer can produce more then 3 tonnes fish per hectare from such land and earn around Rs 1 lakh… On an average,farmers are earning between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh per hectare for fish farming in the state.
Around 50,000 farmers are engaged in fishery and the department plans to engage 10,000 more in the next couple of years. While fish varieties of Singhara and Sole are found in natural water,exotic breeds such as grass carp,silver carp,common carp and Indian Rohu,Katla,Mrigal are grown in village ponds.
However,though the fishery department is making efforts to enhance fish farming,hardly anything is being done to control the pollution in rivers and the soil.