Fish import permits will be issued only in favor of registered contractors: Virender Kanwar

Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Virendra Kanwar said here today that from the financial year 2022-23, fish import permits would be issued in the state only in favour of registered contractors by the Fisheries Department. He said that keeping in view the interests of the fishermen of all the reservoirs of the state and to ensure the security of their employment sector, fish import is being partially banned in all the districts of the state from the financial year 2022-23.

 Virender Kanwar informed that about 10 thousand families of Himachal Pradesh were involved in fisheries business. Fishing is being done in cold water, riverine areas, ponds and reservoirs of the state. About 5500 oustees families were directly connected with fishing business from Maharana Pratap Pong Dam and Gobind Sagar Reservoir, which were the main reservoir of Himachal Pradesh.

He said that at present, applications for permits to import fish from different districts of the state reach the department. According to the demand of the applicants, the department issues fish import permit in their favour for that financial year. He said that this is adversely affecting the fishermen of the state and the revenue of the Fisheries Department is also getting affected as people were bringing old fish kept in cold stores from outside states and selling them at low prices. The quality of this type of old fish is very less as compared to fresh fish because the fish that is caught from the water bodies of the state is fresh and nutritious.

Despite the availability of good species of fish in the reservoirs of the state, good prices of fish are not being found in the market, mainly due to the regular import of fish in large quantities in the state. This has adversely affected the livelihood of more than 5500 fishermen of the state, who depend only on fisheries for their livelihood.

Apart from this, all the rules for obtaining fish import permit from the Fisheries Department will also be made strict.

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