Kolkata to get nation’s first fish hospital

A fish hospital — the first of its kind in the country — will become operational in Kolkata in two-three months. The hospital, with facilities to diagnose and treat ailments in fish commercially bred in the state, will help farmers increase their produce.

West Bengal was the country’s largest fish producer till it was overtaken by Andhra Pradesh in 2011-12. Experts believe that the yield in Bengal can go up if healthier species are bred.

“The building has already been constructed and electrical work is in progress. Our aim will be to find out what ailments the fish bred in the state suffer from and help farmers increase the yield. While Bengal is one of the largest producers of fish in the country, things can certainly improve. The hospital is coming up at our campus in Panchasayar’s Chakgaria in Kolkata,” said Professor T J Abraham, professor (fishery microbiology) and principal investigator, department of aquatic animal health, faculty of fishery sciences, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Services (WBUAFS).

The facility comprises 50 glass aquariums and 25 circular water tanks to house the fish. The expense of Rs 1.75 crore has been borne by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research under the ministry of agriculture. According to Abraham, the hospital will first diagnose and treat fish that are bred by farmers. At a later stage, efforts may be made to find out ailments that wild fish, caught along Bengal’s coast, suffer from. A study conducted by Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) revealed that several species found in the wild, particularly marine varieties, have parasites in their intestines. This may affect their internal organs, reducing their growth and egg-laying capacity.

According to experts at WBUAFS, nearly 20% of the state’s fish production is affected due to poor management practices. It is estimated that India’s fish suffer from 60-65 diseases and nearly 10% of Bengal’s fish is wasted due to this.

A study published in the International Journal of Bio-resource and Stress Management by four researchers, including two from WBUAFS, suggested that parasites are more prevalent in carps cultured in bheris of Bengal and around Kolkata as farmers use sewerage water. This comprises 99% water and 1% of other material, including pathogens like bacteria, virus and large parasites. These can cause primary and secondary infections and mortality in fish.

According to Abraham, farmers can approach the hospital whenever they suspect a problem with their fish. They can report abnormalities like change in colour or size. They can even bring in samples for diagnosis and treatment.

Reference – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Kolkata-to-get-nations-first-fish-hospital/articleshow/47777615.cms

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India to see its first fish hospital in 2015

India’s first hospital to trat abnormalities and diseases in fish is set to come up in Kolkata by mid-2015.

fish-hospital

T J Abraham, senior scientist, spearheading the project told that the work has already started on the project.

He said that nearly 60-65 kinds of disease and abnormality were found in fish in India and the one reason why West Bengal slipped from the number one position in fish production was due to the fact that 10-20 per cent of them died of diseases.

“Such hospitals are quite common in foreign countries,” Abraham, a senior fish microbiologist with the West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, said.

The institute will not only help fish farmers increase yield by reducing the number of fish deaths, but will also ensure that people will consume healthy fish.

The hospital will have 50 glass aquariums, 25 circular water tanks, each with a capacity of 500 litres, to admit and treat diseased fish.

The hospital will also have a separate well-equipped pathological lab to diagnose various fish diseases.

He said that the diseased fish would be kept in aquariums for observation and after ascertaining the disease/ abnormality, medicines and tips would be provided to the growers.

The hospital, which is funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, under the Union Ministry of Agriculture, has a budget of US$815,321.

Abraham said that the hospital would document diseases affecting fish in West Bengal to be forwarded to the World Animal Health Organisation, Paris, of which India is a member.

India Ranks No 2 in Fish Output Globally

With huge coast line to an access of over 7000 km, India ranks number 2 in fish production globally, Indian agriculture minister, Radha Mohan said in Hyderabad.

“India stands world number 2 in global fish production. Further India stands world number two in the sectors of Inland capture and aquaculture. We are number seven in marine capture production/fisheries,” Radha Mohan said while addressing 33rd session of Asia Pacific Fisheries Commission.

“India registered an increase of 92.8% in aquaculture and 15.1 % in marine catches in the last 10 years (2003-12). The share of India’s production from aquaculture is 6.3% of the world. Currently, our total production is 9.51 million tonnes,” the minister adds.

India is bestowed with wide array of natural resources for developing marine, brackish water and inland fisheries and aquaculture holds importance, since enhanced fish production by sustainable aquaculture is the key for ensuring food security and poverty alleviation, the minister opined.
Aquaculture in India relies heavily on inland aquaculture of finfish even though potential for mariculture production of finfish remains largely untapped.

“We are finalising the guidelines for foraying in to mariculture in cages along with cage culture in open water bodies such as reservoirs. The cage culture is aimed at effective and optimal tapping the potential for natural water resources of marine and inland waters,” Mohan stressed.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates, the human consumption of fish is about 80 per cent of the world’s fish production at per capita of 17.1 kilogram which is expected to rise considerably by the year 2030.

“It is necessary that we need to collectively take measures for sustainable increase in fish production. With the capture fishery resources dwindling at an alarming rate, the international community needs to take certain harsh / drastic measures for ensuring continuous supply of food fish.

This underlines the importance that fisheries and aquaculture, directly or indirectly, play as an essential role in the livelihoods of millions of people in the region and entire world from the small-scale fishers and farmers who harvest the fish to the men and women who work in the post-harvest handling and large processing industry,” the Minister said.

Representatives from FAO, the Fisheries Commission and Agriculture Ministry, and delegates from countries of Asia Pacific Region attend the meet.

Asia Pacific Fisheries Commission (APFIC) is an important platform for the governments of APFIC members, international and regional fisheries and aquaculture organisations to discuss important and emerging issues related to the development and management of fisheries and aquaculture in Asia and Pacific region.

Retrieved from : http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/23497/india-ranks-no-2-in-fish-output-globally

Conservation of biodiversity important for aquaculture: ICAR Director General

Conservation of biodiversity and its applications are essential for growth and sustainability of aquaculture in the coastal region, said Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General and Secretary to Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) S. Ayyappan.

Note of caution

Delivering the inaugural address at the three-day National Seminar on Aquatic Toxicology, Biodiversity and Aquaculture that began here on Friday, he pointed out that both Krishna and Guntur districts were ideal for fresh and brackish water aquaculture. At the same time, he cautioned that biodiversity had to be utilised for enhancing the production, especially at a time when the entire globe was facing the threat of global warming.

The seminar has been organised by the Department of Zoology and Aquaculture, Acharya Nagarjuna University. Talking about toxicology and pollution, Dr. Ayyappan said that it was a difficult subject but he urged the professors, research scholars and aqua farmers to implement early diagnostic tools to overcome the problem. There are a number of bio-sensors available, students should take their help, he said.

Dr. Ayyappan said that the fishing industry had grown to the level of nine million tonnes a year of which the contribution of aquaculture stands at five million tonnes.

On focus areas, he said, “We need to focus on sustainability, secondary business and diversified culture.” He said “keeping in mind that our supply chain and cold storage chain are weak and post-harvest loss is huge, we need to think of secondary business such as establishing such chains. And at the same time we also need to add to the number of species being harvested.”

Earlier, addressing the gathering, the Vice-Chancellor of Anu K. Viyanna Rao pointed out that ICAR should think of establishing an aqua research centre in the Krishna-Guntur region as it was the hub of aqua culture in coastal AP.

The Head of the Department, Prof. K. Veeraiah, in his address said that the seminar was organised as the aquaculture sector was facing a crisis, especially with regard to pollution.

Reference – http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/conservation-of-biodiversity-important-for-aquaculture-icar-director-general/article5357869.ece

Tea garden eyes fish boom

Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd (APPL), the second largest tea producer in the country, is aiming to produce 200 tonnes of fish by next year in its gardens in Assam.

The company, which started fisheries in its gardens in 2007, now produces 130 tonnes of fish which is 35 per cent higher than the previous year. The fishponds are spread over 149 hectares in 15 gardens six of which have their own hatcheries.

The average size of a fish pond is 1.5 acres with the largest one spread over six acres. Rohu and katla fish from the carp family are produced in the gardens. Fish are sold at farm gate, local markets and at its kiosks at Hathikuli and Powai gardens in the state.

“Our endeavour is to increase production to over 200 tonnes in the next two years in the ponds and provide quality fish seed to the fish farming community for their yield and revenue maximisation,” Prabir Banerjea, chief operating officer of APPL’s agri business division, told this correspondent.

The fisheries project of the company is the largest in the private sector in the Northeast.

Previously known as Tata Tea, Amalgamated Plantations has its operations spread across 24 tea estates in Assam and north Bengal covering 24,000 hectares and employing approximately 30,000 workers.

APPL production during 2012-13 was 33.54 million kg of tea. The company has diversified into spices, dairies and fisheries. Six multi-locational hatcheries have been operationalised for producing quality fish seed.

“As a testimony to our quality, fish farmers from Nagaon, Sonitpur, Golaghat and Dibrugarh districts have already purchased over 10 lakh spawns and fries in the last few months,” an official said.

“The fisheries project generates significant employment and creates wealth for the local population and provides fresher and therefore more nutritious fish,” he said.

Thorough studies and training were undertaken to implement the fisheries project which proved successful and showed promise. Fish ponds were excavated in areas that have been lying fallow and no ground water is drawn for the fisheries project to ensure that there is no depletion of water table.

The official said based on the success of its hatchery operations, the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture in Bhubaneswar has appointed APPL the authorised multiplier unit for a new variety of rohu to cater to fingerling requirements of the Northeast.

“We are also working in close partnership with local fishing communities in some districts for knowledge transfer of best cultivation and management practices we have adopted,” he said.

In 2012-13, the fisheries project has generated almost one lakh mandays employment in the gardens.

Retrieved from – http://www.telegraphindia.com/1130815/jsp/northeast/story_17232093.jsp#.Ug2oy9Iqdsl

‘India’s fish output to surpass 13 mn tonnes by 2016’

India’s fish output will surpass 13 million tonnes mark by the year 2016 from the present level of more than nine million tonnes, said a study unveiled by trade body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
According to the study `Fisheries: A Prize Catch in Indian Export Basket’, “With appropriate incentives, coupled with robust investments in infrastructure, fish production in India can grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 7 per cent during the next four-five years from the current level of over 3.5 per cent CAGR.”
Reports suggest that Indian marine waters houses more than 1,700 fish species, consisting 200 commercially significant species. The sector offers employment to more than 15 million people. Fish eaters account for more than half of the country’s overall population.
ASSOCHAM Secretary General DS Rawat said, “India is the second largest source of aquaculture production in the world after China. Inland fisheries, reservoirs and freshwater aquaculture are the pillars of growth. Besides floodplain lakes and wetlands, irrigation canals, saline and waterlogged areas too contribute towards output.”
Moreover, export are responsible for 8-10% of the overall fish output in India. Fisheries’ export presently was at nearly $3 billion and may touch $4.7 billion by 2014.

Reference – http://news.indiamart.com/story/indias-fish-output-surpass-13-mn-tonnes-by-2016-168725.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IndiaMartNews+%28Latest+Business%2C+Finance%2C+Economy%2C+SME+and+Company+News+India%29

Aquaculture has potential to cut poverty, combat food insecurity – UN report

More than 50 per cent of the world’s food fish will come from aquaculture, making it a crucial method to reduce poverty and combat food insecurity, said a United Nations report released today, while calling for governments to step up their efforts to support this practice.

Aquaculture, which involves cultivating fresh water and saltwater populations of fish under controlled conditions as opposed to catching fish in the wild, is the world’s fastest growing source of animal protein, growing by more than 60 per cent between 2000 and 2008, from 32.4 million tons to 52.5 million tons, according to the report.

“With stagnating global capture fishery production and an increasing population, aquaculture is perceived as having the greatest potential to produce more fish in the future to meet the growing demand for safe and quality aquatic food,” said the report, World Aquaculture in 2010.

The report, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), states aquaculture has played an important role in reducing poverty in many parts of the world. However, it says it has not grown evenly throughout the planet.

Eleven out of the 15 leading aquaculture-producing countries are located in the Asia-Pacific region, and in 2008 they accounted for 89.1 per cent of global production. Most remarkably, China alone contributed to 62.3 per cent of production in the region that year.

The report also states that there are marked differences in production levels and types of production. China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and India for example, lead production levels of shrimp and prawns, while Norway and Chile produce mostly salmon.

The report warns that governments need to invest in aquaculture so they can continue to enjoy its benefits and address the challenges that are linked to this practice.

“Achieving the global aquaculture sector’s long-term goal of economic, social and environmental sustainability depends primarily on continued commitments by governments to provide and support a good governance framework for the sector,” the report says.

Key concerns regarding aquaculture include quality and safety standards, traceability, certification and eco-labelling. In addition, aquaculture faces major challenges due to climate change and the economic downturn in many countries, which could particularly affect small producers in Asia and Africa, where they make up the backbone of the industry.

The report calls for governments to increase their efforts to assist small-scale producers by organizing them into associations and through the promotion of better management practices to ensure the industry can continue to meet the global demand for fish.

Retrieved from – http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40343&Cr=food+security&Cr1=

Fisheries can emerge as ‘sunrise sector’ : Arunachal Pradesh

ITANAGAR, Aug 9: In a State where hydro power and tourism are seen as the best sources of a sustainable economy, Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin today emphasized on fisheries as another viable sector with huge potential. He said with a significant wide range of fishes ranging from Alpine varieties to tropical ones in the lower altitudes, fishery can emerge as a ‘sunrise sector’ in the State’s economy. He was inaugurating the two-day State Review Meeting on Fisheries Developmental Programmes at Banquet Hall here today.

With a deficit of 10,000 tonnes in fish production against a demand of 13,000 tonnes, Gamlin emphasized for an urgent need in promoting fisheries as an alternate source of livelihood.

Maintaining that in order to create employment opportunities, fisheries are an excellent way of bringing opportunities to the doorsteps of the people, he also advocated for bringing about a revolution in the fishery sector where the consumption requirements of fish would be produced within the State and not procured from farms in far-off States.

The minister however highlighted certain bottlenecks in sustainable use of natural resources like rampant exploitation of river-borne resources like boulders, sands, shingles, etc, which badly affect fish breeding habitats. He urged the government to sort out means to provide funds for rehabilitation of breeding habitats.

Dabi further urged the government to include fishery departments in the management plan committee of Environment Assessment Impact Management Plan for Hydro Power Projects coming up in the State. He also requested for dereservation of the forest areas where such resources are available.

Retrieved on 1oth August, 2011 from http://www.sentinelassam.com/arunachal/story.php?sec=2&subsec=7&id=85412&dtP=2011-08-10&ppr=1#85412