SAMBALPUR: Cage fish farming in Hirakud dam reservoir (HDR) here has failed to produce the expected output as far as fish production is concerned. The Fisheries department had introduced it in the HDR in 2013.
According to reports, 28 cages with four metres length, four metres width and four metres depth, besides floating storage shed were installed in the reservoir at an estimated cost of around `47 lakh. The cage is enclosed on all sides with mesh net made from synthetic material that can resist decomposition in water for a long period of time. The Fisheries department released 3,000 fingerlings of fast-growing fish variety Pangasius in 24 cages. The department had set a target to produce 72 tonnes of fish from the 24 cages in a period of two years. However, fish production from the cage fish farming in the HDR was not so encouraging and only 31 tonnes of fish was produced from the 24 cages between 2013 and 2015. Fishes were last harvested from the cages in October last year and since then, cage fish farming has been stopped in the HDR.
The department had expected the fingerling would grow between 1 kg and 1.5 kgs in six months. However, the average weight of the fishes in the cage was found around 750 grams even after six months.
District Fisheries Officer, Sambalpur, Abdul Rashid said the department had started the cage fish farming in the reservoir on a pilot basis. However, it failed to generate the expected production due to high intensity wind. The cages, which were installed in deep water, floated back to the bank of the reservoir several times due to the wind, hitting growth of fish and many fishes managed to escape from the cages.
However, the department has now planned to carry out cage fish farming on PPP mode. A firm has already been shortlisted and the department will enter into an agreement with it shortly.