Bhubaneswar, 28: Utilize the full potential of Cage Aquaculture in Hirakud reservoir through local entrepreneurs, directed Asit Tripathy, Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) Chairman and Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister.
Tripathy gave this direction while reviewing the ground-level progress of the project at Hirakud.
He directed to bring in around 100 entrepreneurs through expeditious leasing out procedure of the cage fishing area.
Tripathy also advised the department to set up one fish disease diagnostic laboratory near Hirakud reservoir.
The lab while helping the farmers to maximize their production will also add value to their produce.
The review showed that Hirakud reservoir was the first of its kind to have cage aquaculture zones. Around 31 Cage culture in 31 zones were identified well within the limits of national guidelines. Three zones have been marked with geo-coordinates for leasing to the entrepreneurs.
A total number of 100 subzones was identified including 60 subzones from the Hirakud side and 40 subzones from the Burla side. The department of fisheries and animal resource development had floated an expression of interest inviting applications from entrepreneurs, firms, primary fishery cooperative societies, and self-help groups.
A total number of 54 applicants had expressed their interest out of which 39 came forward to start the venture in the first phase. As of now, 44 subzones have been leased out to 39 entrepreneurs. Each subzone can accommodate 3 circular cages of 16m diameter and 5m depth or 24 rectangular cages of 4X6X4m dimensions.
As on date, assembling work of 51 circular cages is continuing with the active involvement of the entrepreneurs. Each circular cage can produce 25-30 MT of fish. Other entrepreneurs have also started assembling their cages. Hirakud reservoir has the potential to accommodate 1875 circular or 15000 rectangular cages.
WODC Chairman said, “Odisha government has plans to support the entrepreneurs with a floating jetty and common facility center to be developed by IDCO. Cage aquaculture has a lot of potentials to augment fish production in the state. Common facility center will provide storage space, parking, common toilet, waste disposal water, and power supply for 100 entrepreneurs.”