KOCHI: Going by the Success of the Matsya Samrudhi project, it is expected that fish production in the State would rise to 1.5 tonne by in the next three years, said Fisheries Minister K Babu.
Speaking after inaugurating construction of the Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Management Laboratory at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), Thevara, on Sunday, Babu said the laboratory would benefit the Matsya Samrudhi project by facilitating quality testing of seeds.
“After the Matsya Samrudhi scheme was launched three years ago, fish production increased to 1.2 tonne. Under the scheme, seeds and fertilisers are distributed among farmers, besides offering free insurance coverage.
“Under such circumstances, monitoring of seeds is very important. The laboratory, which is being set up spending `1.68 crore, will be used for it,” said Babu, adding that Kerala would soon achieve self-sufficiency in fish seed production.
“The hatcheries at Bhoothathankettu, Kallada, Thevally, Odayam, Neyyar Dam and Thenmala are ready for operation. Quality checking of seeds at the hatcheries can also be conducted at the laboratory,” he said, adding that never before did the State’s fisheries sector witness so many developmental projects as it did in the past five years.
The government has allotted `1.12 crore for the laboratory, which is being set up by renovating the Fishermen Training Centre at Thevara, while the remaining `56 lakh will be provided by the National Fisheries Development Board. The laboratory is expected to help the authorities monitor incidence of diseases, and evolve effective strategies to maintain aquatic health.
Hibi Eden MLA presided over the function, at which K V Thomas MP, Dominic Presentation MLA and Ludi Louis MLA were also present.