Trout fish production booms in Srinagar

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Srinagar, Dec 14 (ANI): The production of trout fish has increased in the Kashmir Valley this year due to pleasant weather conditions and a proper breeding of fish by the fishers department.

Last year, the production of trout fish was about 150 tonnes and this year, it is about 155 tonnes thus increasing the production by around five tonnes.

The State Fisheries Department set up a trout fish-farming project at Kokernag, in south Kashmir with the European Economic Community's assistance in 1984. The project was successful and emerged as Asia"s largest trout farm.

Since then the Kokernag farm has restocked trout fish in the valley's streams and the production has increased manifold, claimed Asifa Khan, a project officer.

Dachigam located on the outskirts of Srinagar is one of them with its streams abounding in ice-cold crystal waters, ideal for cultivating trout fish, a valuable commercial fish.

"This year we have been benefited from glaciers otherwise we used to face many difficulties in summers. Water level is very good this year and we have been very lucky during breeding. We are also hoping to be successful in our endeavour to involve private sector into fisheries, as the local demand is very good. If public sector gets involved we'll be able to fulfil the rising public demand for trout fish," said Imtiyaz Ahmad, Technical Officer, Dachigam fish farm.

The production for this fish has been seeing a year on year growth supported by a good water level and proper breeding.

The efforts to increase production have been fuelled by the need to meet the local demand for trout fish, which has considerably increased with the change in the dietary habits of locals.

Trout is highly nutritious diet. An average-sized trout contains about 1.8 grams of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is needed for the development of brain and retina in infants. Trout also contains 20 percent protein, Vitamin A, B, B1, C2 and D and forms the basis of healthy, low fat and fiber-rich diet.

Trout fish is said to have been introduced in the Kashmir Valley by a British for angling during the colonial rule. Subsequently the first trout hatchery was established at Harwan situated on the outskirts of Srinagar in 1901. By Afzal Bhat (ANI)

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