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Goa Charts New Waters with Pioneering Aquatic Referral Lab for Fish Health

In a groundbreaking move, Goa is on the brink of establishing its first-ever aquatic referral laboratory in Old Goa, dedicated to in-depth analysis of diseases in fish species. This cutting-edge facility aims to focus on examining the health of cage-cultured fish species, promising not only to revolutionize the region’s aquaculture industry but also to serve as a crucial resource for monitoring and safeguarding the overall health of aquatic fish.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, during his annual budget speech earlier this year, announced this ambitious project, set to play a pivotal role in ensuring a bountiful and disease-free harvest. The laboratory is expected to be a significant asset for the fisheries department, addressing the challenges posed by fish deaths and parasitical growth on marine fish.

Fisheries Director Deepesh Priolkar highlighted the importance of having local expertise and a well-equipped laboratory to investigate inexplicable fish deaths and parasitical growth. The absence of a dedicated aquatic referral laboratory within the state has led the fisheries department to seek assistance from external institutions. The new laboratory is poised to enhance Goa’s capabilities in monitoring and protecting its aquatic resources, ultimately boosting the health and productivity of the local aquaculture industry.

“We are in the process of preparing the estimation in the detailed project report (DPR), which will be sent to the state government. The DPR will then be forwarded to the central government. Once approved, we can establish the laboratory within a year’s time,” said Priolkar, expressing optimism about the project’s timeline. The plan involves modifying existing rooms at Ela, Old Goa, for which assistance from the Public Works Department (PWD) has been sought.

The readiness to put the plan into action is evident, with Priolkar stating, “We are hopeful that the DPR will be approved in this financial year, following which the lab can be established. We only need to modify existing rooms at Ela, Old Goa, for which we have sought assistance from the PWD. The scientists for the lab will be selected by the central government.” This initiative signifies a significant stride forward for Goa, aligning with its commitment to advancing aquaculture practices and ensuring the well-being of its aquatic ecosystems.

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