Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal at a review meeting of Fishery department on March 5, 2018. Photo: DIPR

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday advocated an aggressive business policy for multiplying fish production and creating more job opportunities for the youth in the fishery sector of the state.

Addressing a review meeting of the Fishery Department at the conference room of his office at Janata Bhawan, Sonowal directed the department to amend the ‘Assam Fishery Rules, 1953’ with adequate clauses to root out monopoly in the sector.

He also asked the department to bring suitable legislation to upgrade the department into an Administrative Department to exclusively deal with its revenue matters.

“Fish farming has tremendous potential in Assam. An aggressive business policy coupled with scientific research for augmenting fish farming will help in branding Assam fish to tap the national and international market. Such an environment would also draw talented youth of the state into this profession and double farmers’ income”, Chief Minister Sonowal observed.

Stating that traditional method of fish farming in Assam needs scientific support to cope with the rising demand of fish in the market, he directed the department to conduct research in the field to identify habitation requirements to suit the needs of different types of fishes found in the state. Sonowal also suggested measures like boosting fingerling stocking in natural water bodies and experiment on cage fishing in natural water channels for enhanced fish production.

Underscoring the urgent need to end monopoly in the business and plug loopholes in revenue collection, the Chief Minister asked the department to incorporate new clauses such as production promotion activities for the lessees and upgrading the department into an administrative department. Moreover, suggesting steps to control malpractice by the lessees and monitoring fish farming activities, he directed the department to carry out physical survey of all its properties and promote new entrepreneurs with modern marketing strategies.

The officials of the Fishery Department informed the Chief Minister that a Gene Bank Project for conservation of indigenous endangered fish species have been mooted with the objective to conserve endangered local variety of fishes like puthi, kholihana, eleng, pabha, darikana with technical support from Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat and Assam Fishery College, Raha.

State Fishery Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Chief Minister’s Media Adviser Hrishikesh Goswami, Legal Adviser Santanu Bharali, Additional Chief Secretary of Fishery Department MC Johri, Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary Sanjay Lohia, Secretary of Fishery Department Rakesh Kumar and other senior officials of the Fishery Department were present in the review meeting.

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