Gangtok, November 21(IPR): The Directorate of Fisheries, Government of Sikkim celebrated World Fisheries Day at Menmeitso, East Sikkim today. The programme was attended by Hon’ble Minister for Forest and Environment Department Shri Karma Loday Bhutia as the Chief Guest along with Hon’ble Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department Shri Lok Nath Sharma, as the Guest of Honour, Director Fisheries Shri S. Pradhan along with officials and staff of Fisheries Directorate and Forest Department and Trout farmers of four districts.
In his address, the Chief Guest highlighted the importance and significance of fish farming and encouraged the gathering to be more dedicated and progressive to meet the highly growing demands in the State. He also added that the vision of the State Government to transform Sikkim into a sustainable and self-sufficient State will only be achieved if the people have focus and determination in their respective fields.
He also threw light on the history of Trout farming in the State way back in 1925 in Chogyal’s regime.
While addressing the gathering, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Shri L. N. Sharma informed that the World Fisheries Day is being celebrated for the first time in the State at an altitude of approx 12000 f. in Menmeitso. He also added that the Directorate of Fisheries has been working tirelessly for sustainable development in the fisheries sector, by way of motivating rural mass and providing the beneficiaries with various schemes and plans.
The Minister also informed that the fisheries sector has viable income-generating opportunities in the State and also encouraged and motivated the youths who are engaged in fish farming activities. The farmers are showing great interest in trout farming as the demand of rainbow trout in the State has also increased, he added.
He also reiterated the State Government initiatives in the sectors like agriculture, horticulture, dairy and encouraged the people to make complete use of various opportunities and schemes provided to them.
The Minister also shared the vision to develop aquaculture in Menmeitso in near future as the place is endowed with nature’s bounty and rich natural resources. He also informed that from next year the World Fisheries Day will be celebrated in a befitting manner and award will also be provided to honour the progressive fish farmers.
During the programme, the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour also distributed Best Trout Farmer Award to Shri Prem Kumar Rai of Pangthang and Shri Man Bahadur Chettri of Daramdin.
The Best Performing Trout Cooperative Society Award was given to Upper Sribadam Rainbow Trout Rearing Cooperative Society Pvt. Ltd.
Similarly, trout farmers Shri Nedup Lepcha, Shri Abiraj Katuwal, Smt Kopila Pandey and Da Norbu Sherpa were also presented with Progressive Farmers Award.
In the programme, the Letter of Appreciation was also handed over to the employees of the Directorate of Fisheries for their remarkable and commendable service to their Directorate. The awardees were Shri Surendra Bhandari, RO/Fisheries, Shri Sonam Tshering Bhutia, Block Officer/Fisheries and Shri Ishwar Gurung, Senior Accountant.
The programme saw the distribution of trout fingerlings procured from Denmark to the beneficiaries of four districts.
Earlier, Hon’ble Ministers along with the officials also visited and inspected the Rainbow Trout Farming and Hatcheries at Menmoitso and also enquired its production and development.
On the occasion of World Fisheries Day, the cleanliness drive was also carried out in the surrounding of Menmoitso lake. The drive was led by the Hon’ble Ministers for Forest and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services and was participated by the officials, staff of Directorate of Fisheries and Forest Department. The Minister for Forest also appealed to make the Lake and its surroundings neat and clean.
Thereafter, both the Ministers also visited Sherathang Police Station/Checkpost and interacted with the officials and Police personnel.