THE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME:

1. Trout Fishery:

The trout fishery development programme was confined to production and stocking of brown trout fish seed in the coldwater streams and lakes for promoting angling and the trout farming as an economy activity was a distant dream till few years back. Now, with the priority of Government the trout farming as an economy activity has been initiated in the private sector. The trout seeds required for development in the private and public water bodies are produced in the Government trout farms under control condition. There are 5 (five) trout farms in the State.

The Fisheries Directorate has also ensured natural recruitment of trout seeds in the wild by prohibiting trout fishing during the breeding period which is declared as closed season and last for five months from the month of October.

2. Carp fishery:

With the objective to utilize the water resources of mid-altitude level carp fishery development programme is initiated under various beneficiaries scheme in the private water bodies for carp fish production and in the public water bodies for carp seed production for availing to the farmers. The technology available is for culture of exotics carps in the hills. Recently a Hungarian strain of common carp and mirror carp has been introduced in the state which is said to have 47% higher growth rate than existing strain of carp available in the state.

In order to motivate farmers to take up carp fish farming, 419 farmers were provided with financial assistance from Rs 1500/- to Rs 5000/- as loan in the interest rate of 4% from the state Government prior to 1990-91 with the total financial implication of Rs 4 lakh. Later on the unit cost of the scheme for carp farming for the sake of availing subsidy to farmers is followed as per the guidelines of MOA,GOI. During 8th Plan and upto1999-00,altogether 636 were covered under FFDA scheme(50:50CSS) with the financial assistance of Rs2000/- to Rs4000/- to each beneficiaries with the total financial implication of Rs21.50 lakhs as central share in the form of subsidy and training stipend. Similarly during the period from 2000-01 to 2004-05,altogether 498 beneficiaries under FFDA scheme(75:25CSS) were covered with financial assistance of Rs4000/- to Rs5000/- to each beneficiaries and in total Rs20 lakhs was spent as central share in the form of subsidy for adopting fish culture and training stipend. Similarly 132 beneficiaries were covered for same under Cold water Fisheries and Aquaculture scheme (75:25CSS) with the total financial assistance of Rs 9 lakhs as central share during the period from 2005-07 with the revised subsidy amount of Rs 8500/- per beneficiaries due to revised unit cost of the scheme and further 275 new beneficiaries were covered under NFDB scheme with Rs 7.07 lakhs for training only during 2007-08 and the same beneficiaries were assisted with Rs 12000/- to Rs15000 per beneficiaries with the total financial implication of Rs37.71 lakhs for tank construction and input cost during 2009-10.Some more beneficiaries were also covered under Zilla scheme of East district with the Financial assistance of Rs 18000/-per beneficiaries. During 2010-11,it is proposed to benefit 300 farmers at a time for carp farming with the financial assistance of Rs 30000/- per beneficiaries which constitute 50% of the unit cost by dovetailing various scheme. The remaining portion of the unit cost is to be borne by the farmers themselves. The National Fisheries Development board has advised to avail financial assistance of remaining portion of the unit cost in the form of loan to beneficiaries which are refinanced by NABARD. This will be taken up from the current financial year.

The state being an hilly terrain, the fish ponds/raceways constructed in the villages are of smaller sizes which are implemented with the involvement of village Panchayats. All these beneficiaries are covered under the scheme are namely: PRI, TSP/SPSC, RKVY, CSS and NFDB scheme. Besides benefiting the individual beneficiaries, the Fisheries Co-operative and self help group are also assisted with technically and financially for adopting fish culture in the villages.

3. Riverine Fishery:

The Management of Riverine Fisheries through the enforcement of Fisheries Act 1980 and Fisheries Rule 1990 is done with the objective of sustaining Fish production yield from the riverine resources for the economy benefit of the local Fisherman. Annually 600-700 fishermen are registered for legal fishing in rivers as per the terms and conditions laid down in Fisheries Act 1980 and Fisheries Rule 1990. There are 48 fish species recorded in the river system measuring approximately 900 km with an average annual estimated of fish catch of 120 MT annually. The Fisheries Field Officers enforces the Fisheries Act. The various clauses of Fisheries Act 1980 and Rules 1990 are under review for amendments with the changing scenario of riverine fishery. Identification of streams for declaring Fish Sanctuaries for conservation of fish diversity is also under process. Frequent awareness programme on conservation of Riverine fisheries are also organized with the stake holders. The infrastructure under these programmes was mostly constructed in the initial phase of Fisheries development programme in the state.

4. Mahaseer Fishery:

The Mahseer which is also called the King of Game Fish locally known as Sahar is available in the river system of Sikkim but its population has been decreasing due to habitat destruction by manmade activities and natural calamities. The mahaseer is declared as endangered fish species. The artificial stocking of mahseer seed in necessary to sustain mahseer population in our river system and therefore one small mahseer farm has been constructed at Baguwa in South Sikkim. The Mahseer farm is now made operational with the assistance of Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research Centre, ICAR,Bhimtal under a collaborative project name "Mountain Fisheries Development".

5. Ornamental Fishery:

In order to promote Ornamental Fishery, the Govt. has also established Aquarium at Gangtok and Geyzing for tourist attraction, academic knowledge to students, recreation to local people and for awareness of development programme of Fisheries Directorate to the farmers.Two planted aquarium has also been installed outside of ashirbad bhawan at Rajbhawan,Gangtok. The Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhuwaneshwar has been requested to assist the State Fisheries Directorate technically for popularizing Ornamental fish farming amongst the educated unemployed youths and for which the financial assistance can be availed from National Fisheries Development Board.

6. Reservoir Fishery:

The Hydel project reservoir at Dikchu has been stocked with mahseer fish seed on experimental basis with the intention to establish reservoirs fishery development programme in the State. The Mahaseer fish fry numbering 10,000 were stocked in 2008-09 and it is planned to stock 50,000 Mahaseer fry during 2009-10 from NFDB Scheme. A policy draft has been made for dealing Fisheries with all Hydel projects.

7. Training and Extension:

The infrastructure for Fisheries capacity building has been created in the form of Fisheries Awareness Centre at Geyzing and Fisheries training cum awareness centre at Rangpo which is due for completion by the end of current financial year. The farmers covered under various programmes for adopting fish farming are given short term training in the state and are also sent for exposure tour outside the state. Many farmers have already visited Himachal Pradesh for trout farming and Bhimtal and other places for Carp farming. The Departmental Officers are also sent for short term training to various places under capacity building programme of National Fisheries Development Board and ICAR.

8. Research and Development:

Under research programme, the State Fisheries Directorate has undertaken research and development programme in collaboration with the Directorate of Coldwater Fisheris Research Centre, ICAR Bhimtal, for the period of five years from 2008-09 in the following areas:-

  • Exploration of new potential and commercially importance Fish species found in Sikkim.
  • Setting up of Mahseer hatchery and strengthening water supply system.
  • Capacity building of Fisheries Directorate's Officers and staff in trout farm management.
  • Raising of Govt.Trout brooders in Government trout farms.

The program no
a) is taken up by the ICAR , Tadong centre, Gangtok.

The program no from b) is already completed and the remaining are under implementation.

d) is taken up by the state Fisheries Directorate.

The funds of the programme under implementation by both the agency is under the disposal of ICAR, Tadong

The Rainbow trout brooders raising at utterey and Yoksom is continuing under this programme. Four field level Fisheries officers and staffs has undergone a short term training on trout farm management at Kokernag trout farm in Jammu and Kashmir.