Leh, May 21: Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur, today attended the brainstorming session on Roadmap for Sustainable Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Union Territory of Ladakh organised by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR), Bhimtal-Uttarakhand, in collaboration with Department of Animal, Sheep Husbandry (ASH) and Fisheries, Ladakh, at Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIAR)-DRDO in Leh.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Department of ASH & Fisheries, Ladakh and ICAR- DCFR, Bhimtal, for the long-term development of fisheries in Ladakh. Secretary, ASH & Fisheries, Ravinder Kumar, was present in the session.
The LG stressed on the need to provide assistance to fish farmers in Ladakh based on their needs. He requested ICAR-DCFR to look into the possibility of fish production in glacial and brackish lakes in Ladakh. He also requested to conduct an extensive scientific baseline study on fisheries in Ladakh and continued handholding during the initial years of development of fisheries in the region. He further requested for continuous scientific research works on best practices that can be implemented in Ladakh keeping the geographical conditions and climate of Ladakh in mind and also scientific experiments to find Ladakh-specific solutions for the fish farmers from Ladakh.
LG Mathur stated that some amendments are needed in the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to enable fish farmers from Ladakh to avail benefits of the scheme. He requested ASH & Fisheries Department with the assistance of ICAR-DCFR to frame schemes under which fish farmers can earn up to Rs 10 lakh annually. He also requested for guidance in providing testing kits to the fish farmers and also continued trainings and publicity programmes to promote fisheries among the people of Ladakh.
Earlier, Director, ICAR-DCFR, Dr PK Pandey stressed on the need for handholding of fish farmers and the development of clusters in Leh, Kargil, Drass and Nubra in Ladakh. He emphaised on convergence of efforts, exploration, documentation and conservation of biodiversity resources in Ladakh.
Scientist, ICAR-DCFR, Dr Biju Sam Kamalam, gave a detailed presentation on priority areas for the development of fisheries in Ladakh, including promotion, expansion and sustainable intensification of aquaculture; conservation of endemic, aquatic diversity and harnessing ecosystem service; capacity-building framework; short, mid and long-term targets, challenges, solutions/strategies, etc.
Deputy Director-General (DDG) Fisheries, ICAR, Dr JK Jena, discussed technologies to promote fisheries, build up supply chain, provide training and skill-development programmes and the need to conduct a biodiversity assessment study in Ladakh.