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Plan For Cage Culture


Odisha Government is mulling to open up the major reservoirs for cage culture by the eligible investors for fish production.

While the Government of Odisha is finalising the cage culture guidelines by March 2020 and open up the reservoirs for cage culture by eligible investors through socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable approach, officials say.

Odisha has huge potential for fish production through cage culture from freshwater reservoirs. There are 138 reservoirs with about 2 lakh hectares of water spread area in Odisha.

Promotion of cage culture by the state with proper guideline can quickly ramp up the fish production in a sustainable manner and help in achieving self-sufficiency in domestic fish demand.

A high-level delegation led by Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, Agriculture Production Commissioner has recently made an exposure visit to reservoir cage culture sites in Pune, Maharashtra recently.
Raghu Prasad, Secretary, Fisheries & ARD, N Thirumala Naik, Director of Fisheries, T. Prasad Rao Dora, President, FISHFED, Odisha and Umesh Kumar Mohanty, Additional Director of Fisheries were in the delegation.

WorldFish has organised this exposure visit under the existing technical collaboration with Government of Odisha.

The delegation has interacted with officials of Maharashtra State Commissionerate of Fisheries, visited cage culture unit of a major private sector player, Vaidika Group in Kasarsai Dam in Pune and the cage net manufacturing factory of Garware Wall Ropes Ltd., which is a major global producer of fish cages, at Wai Industrial Area, Pune.

In 2016, National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Ministry of Fisheries and Animal Husbandry, Government of India has brought out a “guidelines for cage culture in inland open water bodies in India”.

Accordingly, states such as Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana have speedily promoted cage culture in their respective states with centrally sponsored Blue Revolution and RKVY schemes.

So far about 10,000 cages have been installed in reservoirs across India. Pangasius and GIFT Tilapia are major species grown in these cages. Also, marine cages are installed in places such as Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu and Karwar in Karnataka and fishes such as Bhetki (Seabass), Red Snapper and Cobia are farmed in these marine cages.

Odisha has started promoting cage culture in reservoirs since 2015 under centrally sponsored Blue Revolution and RKVY schemes and also under state plan scheme.

However, so far, only 320 rectangular cages have been installed in 13 reservoirs across the state. Most of them have been handed over to the Primary Fishermen Cooperative Societies (PFCS) and a few of them have been leased out to private entrepreneurs. All of them are farming Pangasius fish (Jalanga), which has limited market potential in Odisha.

At present, about 50,000 metric ton of major carps such as Rohu and Catla are imported from neighbouring states, mainly from Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, Odisha targets to achieve self-sufficiency in fish production on war footing basis.

To grow Indian Major Carps (Catla and Rohu) there is need for large circular cages. In this direction, Fisheries and ARD Department has already installed 2  large circular cages (Norwegian design) in Hirakud reservoir and the carp production by local PFCS is under progress on pilot basis.

At its full potential, Odisha can install a minimum of 40,000 rectangular cages or 4,000 circular cages and produce a minimum 1.25 lakh metric tons of fish from its 8 medium and major reservoirs.

In order to boost the fish production through cage culture, the Government of Odisha has drafted a “guidelines for taking up cage culture in reservoirs by PFCS, Private Entrepreneurs and Private Companies”.

Stakeholder consultation is under progress, especially by involving PFCS, local elected representatives and concerned government departments for their suggestions and inputs to finalise this draft guideline. 


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