Punti, Khoira, Tangra, Nyados, Koi and Folui fish are rarely seen in local markets of Bengal these days. The fisheries department has taken up a pilot project in an effort to conserve and save these varieties of fish from becoming extinct.
The fisheries department has chosen eight districts and eight water bodies in those districts to save these varieties of fish so that they do not vanish from the plates of food-loving Bengalis.
"Punti, Lal Punti, Khoira, Lata, Nyadosh fish have almost disappeared from the markets. We only get Rohu and Katla fish, which are imported from Andhra Pradesh. Fresh fish have become a thing of the past," said minister of state for fisheries Subrata Saha.
According to Saha, pisiculture has been neglected in our state for all these years. "Therefore we have started concentrating specifically on pisciculture at present."
"We are trying to grow Rohu, Katla and Mrigel along with Punti, Khoira, Tangra, Nyados, Koi and Folui fish," said Saha.
The eight districts chosen for this project are North 24Parganas, Nadia, Birbhum, Burdwan, Hooghly, Purulia, Cooch Behar and Murshidabad.
"These varieties of fish were only caught for consumption but no effort was made to save these varieties of fish or any conservation project undertaken," the minister said.
"We selected two co-operatives, one in North 24-Parganas and another in Nadia district and two huge water bodies for the project. Fish worth R1.5 lakh were released in the water bodies in these two districts," he said.
The fish were released in North 24-Parganas on July 25 and in Nadia on July 27.
The water body in North 24Parganas is in Bagda and is known as Kolka Bill and the water body in Nadia district in Haringhata is known as Bhomra Bill, said the minister.
"We have got great response from fishermen of these areas. I was present on both occasions when these varieties of fish were released into the water bodies," Saha said.
"Now, we would give R6 lakh each to all districts to implement the project. Besides each of the co-operatives would be given R25,000 each to look after the fish," the minister said.
The minister also verbally told all the co-operatives (cooperatives fishermen have) to stop cultivating foreign fish such as Talapia and Rupchanda fish and Glass Carp. "These kinds of fish do not let others grow in water bodies. By undertaking this project we are trying our best to become self-sufficient in fish production," said Saha.