BHUBANESWAR: The State Government will soon introduce a new reservoir fishery policy for scientific management of vast and valuable reservoir resources and augmentation of fish production.The Odisha State Reservoir Fishery Policy 2019 is being formulated with aim to develop fishery in reservoirs and generate employment through strengthening of primary cooperatives operating for exploitation of fishery in water bodies.
With its immense water resources, Odisha has vast scope for augmenting fish production and generating rural employment. The policy will introduce systematic management strategies, both for conservation and sustained fish production.
As per the draft policy, fishing rights of all reservoirs above 10 hectare Mean Water Spread Area (MWSA) will be vested with Fisheries and Animal Resources Development (ARD) Department.Fishing rights of reservoirs up to 10 ha will be transferred to respective gram panchayats for leasing them out to primary fishermen cooperative societies (PFCS) registered under Odisha Cooperative Societies Act or Societies registered under Odisha Self Help Cooperative Societies Act.
An official said steps would be taken to provide basic infrastructure like fish landing shed, captive hatchery, nursery, fry rearing centre, storeroom and repair and maintenance gears in the existing irrigation projects to facilitate fishing activities. “The safety of irrigation project will no way be jeopardised as a result of fishing activity,” he clarified.
As per the new policy, a coordination committee at the district level will be set up under the chairmanship of collector and Fisheries Department will take steps for rearing fish seed of over 100 mm size in the captive nursery/cage for stocking. Cage culture will also be taken up in potential reservoirs to ensure additional fish production.
The reservoirs have been classified according to size. While water bodies having MWSA of 10 hectare to 1000 hectare will be known as minor reservoir, those of 1001 hectare to 5000 hectare will be termed medium and the big ones with an area of over 5,000 hectare will be categorised as large reservoir.
Preferences will be given to displaced persons/project affected persons to be members of PFCS. A lease value of Rs 60 per hectare per year will be charged to PFCSs/SHGs for fishing in minor reservoirs and Rs 240 per hectare as seed cost. The lease value will be Rs 20 per hectare for medium and Rs 10 for large reservoir. There will be ban on fishing in selected areas from June 15 to August 31 every year for fish breeding.“The new policy will replace the State Reservoir Policy of 2012 once it gets the approval of the Government,” the official added.