Govt orders CCTV surveillance of fish farms in state

SRINAGAR: The state on Tuesday ordered round-the-clock monitoring of the Fisheries Department’s farms, with an aim to increase trout production in the state to 1,000 tonnes a year.
An official handout issued here said the Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Sajjad Gani Lone, ordered to connect all fish farms and angling spots of the department through CCTV cameras and broadcast the feed live on internet for round-the-clock viewing.
Chairing a review meeting of the Fisheries Department here, the minister, it said, expressed anguish over the low trout yield.
“In the 30 years we have just reached 90 tonnes and most of our 400 government and private trout farms are not producing enough,” the minister said.
“All this needs to change and we need to put in our efforts and scientific thinking to raise the yield to a minimum of 1,000 tonnes. And the second step should be to increase it to around 6,000 tonnes,” he said.
Discussing the problems “plaguing” fish production, the minister issued direction for “stopping pilferage in our farms and poaching of fish, install CCTVs in all farms, and angling spots”.
“I have already spoken to a telecom operator who is willing to connect all of these cameras and put the live feed on internet. This way, we will have round-the-clock monitoring and can check any illegal activity going on anywhere,” the minister said.
“Angling is a huge business and we are exploring to start fishing trails in joint collaboration with the Tourism Department,” he said. Regarding complaints of substandard fish feed being provided to the private farms, Lone asked for changing the vendors who supply the raw material. Asking for increased private participation in the fisheries production and marketing, he said the government’s role should be limited to regulation of the sector.
“Many private farms are also not doing their work efficiently; our subsidy is not acting as a catalyst. So, let us give subsidy to only deserving farms and let the others grow in competitive market,” he said.
“Denmark is planning to double its yield from 30,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes in a single year and we are not even achieving 100 tonne yield,” he observed, asking the Fisheries Department to step up its efforts for a significant increase in the yield.