Itanagar, Mar 2: A hatchery unit has been set up at Iduli Fish Seed Farm in Lower Dibang Valley district, with support from Uttarakhand-based Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) on Cold Water Fisheries, to boost pisciculture at high altitudes and create new venues for employment in Arunachal Pradesh.
The farm which is the first of its kind in the state is located 21 km away from here in Roing, the district headquarters. Aimed at artificial breeding of Chocolate Mahseer seeds in Lower Dibang Valley having conducive weather conditions for better growth of Mahseer and other exotic species.
Based on its success of articial breeding of Mahseer across India, ICAR has provided the sophisticated hatchery capable of hatching 2.5 lakh eggs and rearing nearly 2 lakh swim-up fry (newly-hatched fish).
Articial breeding of cold water fishes, like Mahseer and Snow Trout would protect many species, like Chocolate Mahseer which are under threat in the region, following rampant fishing, said district fisheries development officer (DFDO) Goken Ete.
Mahseer has huge demand both in the local and outside markets in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, West Bengal and other hilly states of India. This prompted the department to take up research and production venture to make pisciculture commercially viable, he added.
Mahseer production could also be taken up in high altitude regions of the state with seeds from the hatchery, Mr Ete said yesterday,adding all poissible assistance and technical support would be extended to those interested farmers to popularize it for economic gain.
''Large quantities of Chocolate Mahseer collected from natural water bodies are being cultured in the existing two ponds at Iduli.
Though ready for artificial breeding, their growth is being monitored for further studies,'' informed Mr Boni Amin Laskar, technical assistant form ICAR.
The department is being guided under the National Research Centre and Cold Water Fisheries for various experiments and research on feeding and breeding of Chocolate Mahseer, he said.
A comprehensive policy is needed to provide adequate technical staff and sufficient manpower necessary for the success of the project, as well as encourage local farmers to make pisciculture profitable and sustainable in this hilly land-locked state, Mr Laskar added.