To raise fish production of Mangla Dam reservoir, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Anglers Association on Monday released over 2.6 million fry into all its major pockets.
AJK Anglers Association President Ramzan Dutt, said the initiative will raise the annual fish production of the reservoir to a maximum of 5,000 metric tons and help boost the local economy.
Giving details, Dutt said that two to three inches-long fry of Rohu, Mohri, Grass carp, Theil and Bighead carp breeds have been released in all five major pockets of the reservoir, namely Khad, Mangla, Jari Kass, Kaansi and Poonch. He said the fry were bought from reputed fish hatcheries of Mureedkey, Faisalabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Ali Put Chatha.
Dutt said that as the economies of majority of the countries sustain on their produce of fish, fruit and vegetables, it is imperative that the AJK government utilizes all its natural water reservoirs to boost its local fishing industry. He lamented that the AJK government has been unable to promote aquaculture, adding that for this initiative the AJK Anglers Association, which is a non-governmental organisation, received no funds from the government.
Dutt pointed out that there are no established hatcheries in AJK, which is why the fish released into the Mangla Dam reservoir had to be bought from outside. He added that the only fish hatchery in AJK set up by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) before the raising of Mangla Dam is out of order due to non-maintenance by the AJK Fisheries and Wildlife Department
An official of the department, requesting anonymity, said the department could not maintain the Mangla Fish Hatchery due to shortage of funds. He added that department has already sent a request to the AJK government to allocate the required funds for the hatchery to foster local fish breeding.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2012.
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