Fishery industry in Himachal Pradesh is providing ample opportunities for livelihood to the people and has also emerged as an important source of revenue for the State. The State Government is making concerted efforts to bring "Blue Revolution" in Himachal. The Government is encouraging youth for adopting fish farming as self-employment for which numerous incentives are being made available. With the provision of financial support and technical knowledge, more and more people are coming forward to adopt fish farming which is helping them in making economically self reliant.
With the concerted efforts of the State Government and keen interest shown by the people towards fisheries activities, full time self employment has been provided to 5238 fishermen in major reservoirs of the State during last year, which includes 2652 in Govind Sagar, 2479 in Pong Dam, 74 in Chamera and 33 fishermen in Maharaja Ranjeet Sagar.
To engage the youth in fisheries activities various schemes are being implemented in the State. Assistance for construction of pond of one hectare size Rs. one lakh are being provided to SC/ST beneficiaries while Rs. 80,000 to the general category beneficiaries.
Fish farms are foundation stones of fish farming and the Himachal Pradesh Fisheries Department is providing fishery support services through 12 fish seed farms. Out of 12 fish seed farms six are trout farms and other six are carp farms. The Major fish species available in the streams of Himachal Pradesh are trout, mahasheer, barilus, glyptothorax etc. With an aim to bring the blue revolution in the State two new species including Hungarian common carp and Amoor common carp have been imported.
During the last two years 16818.32 M.T fish worth Rs. 13628.17 lakh were produced in the State along with the production of 490.74 M.T. trout fish in the Fisheries Department's trout farms and private farms.
Following the success of Rainbow trout farming technique in the state, 100 trout units have been installed in private sector.
The State Government is committed to ensure the social and economic safety of fishermen. 11251 active fishermen working in the reservoirs of the State have been brought under Reservoirs Fishermen Accident Insurance Scheme. Under this scheme there is a provision to provide rupees 2 lakh to the dependents of the fishermen in case of his death or permanent disability and rupees 1 lakh in case of partial disability. A cover of rupees 10 thousand has been provided towards hospitalization expenses. The Government of India and Government of Himachal Pradesh share the insurance premium in 50:50 ratio.
The State Government provides financial assistance to the fishermen during the closed season. With this purpose financial assistance of worth rupees 1800 are distributed to the fishermen in two instalments during the two months' closed season under saving and relief scheme. Proportionate amount is contributed by Central and State Government with contribution of Rs 600-600 respectively. Where as a part of amount is contributed by the fishermen with a deposit of Rs. 60 per month in consecutive 10 fishing months.
The State Government is also providing training and technical guidance to the entrepreneurs who adopt fish farming in sort of self employment. Besides, the State Government is also providing financial assistance for the renovation of ponds and tanks, to prepare a new pond, to establish fish feed units and for the integrated fish farming.