Imphal: Fisheries officials, aquaculture experts and scholars of Manipur and central government institutions gathered in a brain storming meeting at the Directorate of Fisheries, Manipur at Lamphelpat and discussed about the feasibility for development of coldwater fisheries and aquaculture in Manipur particularly in the hill districts, on Monday.

The meeting was organised by the Directorate of Fisheries, Manipur in collaboration with the ICAR – Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR), Bhimtal, Uttarakhand.

Director of Fisheries, Manipur H. Balkrisna Singh appreciated the efforts of Dr. Pramod Kumar Pandey, director of DCFR for visiting Manipur and inspiring the stake holders for developing a roadmap for aquaculture and conservation strategies for the management of fish biodiversity and ecosystems.

He said in view of the anthropogenic activities, it becomes imperative to have a discussion, debate and formulate a proper plan for the management and development of the state’s fisheries resources.

He expressed optimism in developing coldwater fisheries in the state in view of the available potentials and logistic and technical support, hand holding of officials, etc. being provided by the DFCR, Bhimtal and Manipur University.

Dr. Pramod advised the district fishery officers of hill districts to collect accurate data of rivers, lakes, reservoirs and water bodies having perennial water sources for exploration of feasibility of coldwater fisheries and aquaculture, bring out protocols or strategies, develop eco-tourism, fish sanctuary and ornamental fisheries for indigenous fish species and create awareness regarding ban on illegal fishing practices.

He stressed on establishment of fish feed technology based on available local feed ingredients. He assured of providing hand holding support to the officials of the Directorate of Fisheries, Manipur and other logistic and technical assistance through Zoology department of Manipur University where one breeding unit of coldwater fish species is being set up under the sponsorship of the DCFR, Bhimtal in near future.

He advised the director of Fisheries, Manipur to submit a proposal for setting up of a Fish Pathology Laboratory in Manipur under the PMMSY scheme through the concerned ministry and proposed for holding a state Level workshop for stake holders in Imphal sometime in december this year after all the inputs and real time data collection is done.

Dr. Rameshori Yumnam, assistant professor, department of Zoology, Manipur University dwelt on robust data collection and conservation activities by imposing ban on illegal fishing practices and developing fish sanctuaries in appropriate hot spots by direct participation of the local populace.

Sapam Jiten Singh, district fishery officer, Chandel highlighted the scope and potential of coldwater fisheries in Manipur through power point presentation. Senior officials of the Directorate of Fisheries, Manipur and district fishery officers also took part the discussion and contributed their knowledge and field experiences.

Coldwater fisheries have gained economic significance in India during recent years. It occupies a prominent place among the fresh water fishes. It is generally conducted in the waters that remain in the temperature range from 5 to 25 degree Celsius throughout the year.

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