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Japanese Innovation Revolutionizes Trout Farming in Himachal Pradesh: A Sustainable Aquaculture Leap

In a groundbreaking development, Japanese technology is poised to revolutionize trout fish farming at the Indo-Norway Trout Fish Farm in Patlikuhal, Kullu district. The introduction of Japan’s “recirculating aquaculture system” promises to quadruple fish production while efficiently conserving water and space.

This innovative system recycles and filters water from the fish farming tanks, enabling its reuse for continuous fish production. Notably, this technology ensures the farm’s functionality even in waters affected by the periodic flooding of the Beas River.

The ambitious project, underway for a year, is projected for completion by March 2024. Khem Singh Thakur, Deputy Director of the Department of Fisheries, anticipates that this technological leap will usher in a transformative era in fish production.

The Patlikuhal trout fish farm has long been a crucial supplier to renowned hotels across the country. Originating between 1988 and 1991, the collaborative effort between Norway and India introduced commercial production, importing brown and rainbow trout seeds from Denmark. This venture currently yields an annual production of 15 to 20 tonnes, generating approximately ₹2 crore annually for the state government.

Beyond economic contributions, the consumption of trout fish is associated with various health benefits, including cancer risk reduction and cognitive function enhancement.

The Fisheries Department has achieved remarkable progress by introducing fish cages at the Kol dam reservoir in Kasol, specifically for rainbow trout, under the CSS-Blue Revolution initiative in 2020. This initiative has shown promise, with the rapid growth of fish reaching nearly 1 kg in just eight months, a significant reduction from the usual 2 to 2.5 years required in cold-water regions. This success paves the way for culturing trout fish in warm districts during the favorable water-temperature span of 5 to 9 months.

Currently, around eight metric tonnes of trout fish are produced at Kol dam, with an average weight of 300gm and a maximum weight of 1 kg. The upcoming years anticipate a harvest of an estimated 100 metric tonnes, contributing significantly to the growth of the fishery industry. With over 12,000 registered fishermen and numerous households relying on fisheries for their livelihoods, this success story signals a sustainable and prosperous future for aquaculture in Himachal Pradesh.

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