The report, prepared by the city-based Maharashtra Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, contains a slew of recommendations, including fixing minimum support price (MSP) for fish and fisheries products.
Ashish Paturkar, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said the current inland fish productionin the region, which consists of nearly a dozen districts, is 68,000 metric tonne.
"During the remote sensing mapping (undertaken by the varsity), 9,000 more water bodies were found which were unrecorded earlier.
"If modern fisheries management techniques and scientifictechnologiesare adopted,fish production potential in Vidarbha can go up to 1.41 lakh metric tonne from the 30,650 water bodies that were mapped," he said.
These water bodies are spread in an area of1.87 lakh hectares, Paturkar said.
The report, submitted to the state government last week, has documented institutional framework and identified undermining factors of fisheries development in the region located in Eastern Maharashtra.
The report surveyed 14 fish seed production and 12 fish seed rearing centres.
It said at present spawn output was only 35 per cent of the production capacity, while for fry and fingerling it was only 12 per cent.
As part of the exercise, 240 fishermen's cooperative societies, representing the 11 districts of Vidarbha, were surveyed and performance assessment ranking (PAR) was carried out.
Paturkar said the suggested action plan includes bringing a separate inland fisheries and aquaculture act for the entire state and a host of other measures.
These include strengthening of fish seed production and rearing centres and effective monitoring of private fish seed centres,establishment of five new fish seed production and rearing facilities in Vidarbha.
The other recommendationsinclude establishment of riverine fisheries cooperative societies, promotion of fish marketing on the lines of the APMC Act and suggested fixing MSP for fish and fisheries products.
Establishment of a fish market price information system was also one of the recommendations.
Paturkar said the report, titled "action plan for development of fisheries and aquaculture in Vidarbha", was submitted to the animal husbandry and fisheries ministry.
He said there is a need to undertake a similar survey covering the entire state.
The report was prepared with funds from the Vidarbha Development Board.
"The survey was conducted over a period of one year and the entire exercise cost Rs 23.10 lakh," he said.
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