Sale of live fish: Wide gap in demand and supply

Fisheries dept to introduce caged fishing of one more variety of fish

Customers who bought Pangasius fish, live from outlets in the city, will soon be able to buy another species of fish. Following the success of live fish sales, the Fisheries department is contemplating to sell Tiger Tilapia. However, customers will have to wait for at least six more months, before the department will be able to supply the same.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Ramakrishna, Deputy Director of Fisheries department said that the department has enjoyed reasonable success in the sale of live Pangasius fish. In fact, the department is not able to meet the demand for the fish in the market. “On Sunday, we sold one tonne of fish in the city and still there was demand in the outlets,” he said.

Looking at the sales pattern in the city, the department will sell 500 to 700 kg on weekdays, and one tonne during weekends, he said. While it has about 50 tonnes of fish ready for supply, it is difficult for the department to meet the demand for Pangasius in the city for the next two months, as the second crop of the fish will only be ready only by February.

On Tiger Tilapia, Ramakrishna said that this variety of fish too grew to a size of one to 1.5 kg within six months and like Pangasius, were suitable for caged fishing. “We will seed the species of fish, as soon as Pangasius crop is emptied,” he said.

Apart from Tilapia, the department was also experimenting on the caged cultivation of other varieties of fish, such as Carp. However, he said that unlike Pangasius and Tilapia, there were several challenges involved in the cultivation of the same.

Caged fishing

The department has installed 48 cages in an area of 0.75 acres over Krishnarajasagar reservoir. There are two docks in the expanse, each having 24 cages, where the fish are reared. Each cage has a dimension of 6x4x4 meters, allowing to rear more than a tonne of fish in each cage.

He said that it cost the department Rs 80 lakh to build the dock and takes about four to five persons to maintain the facility. Cages have a docking life of 10 years, with two crops ensured per year.

The department is also awaiting a policy decision to “privatise” caged fishing, he said that it would allow for the cultivation of different species of fish.

“We can or cannot use the same species of fish in different reservoirs. As and when the policy is ready, we can encourage different species based on the region where the cages will come up,” he said.

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