Sh. Bashir Ahmad Bhat
The Department of Fisheries was established in 1903 mainly as a fish preservation Department entrusted with the conservation of natural water resources, issuance of licences to the Trout Anglers and the local fishermen. The culture fisheries could not be taken up due to lack of technology and manpower. In 1978 the Department was re-organized facilitating thereby the establishment of District Level units and consequently undertaking detailed survey. For the first time the Department set before it the following aims and objects and since then the department has been making strenuous efforts to achieve these objects for overall development of fisheries in the State.
Moreover Kashmir offers, one of the best, spring fed as well as snow fed trout fishing, in the world, amongst the pollution free scenic and exclusive streams and rivers with snow capped peaks and thick pine forests, besides a number of fresh water lakes. Kashmir is situated in the heart of western Himalayas between 23.0°C to 37 .O°C latitude and 72.50 to 80.00 longitude. The mountains surrounding this valley go upto 17,000 feet above the sea level. The average rainfall is between 95 cms to 190 cms and the temperature ranging between maximum 33°C to 6.6°C. The valley is inhabited by Kashmiri speaking people and most of them have the working knowledge of English. There are about 150 fishing beats spread over 40 streams with an aggregate length of 500 kms, besides, there are 12 high altitude lakes ranging from 8000 feet to 12000 feet above the sea level having Brown Trout.
- To promote Culture Fisheries in the State by utilizing all the available resources to boost fish production in the State.
- To adopt latest technology of Fish Farming viz; Composite Fish Culture of Indian Major Carps and Exotic Carps.
- To produce quality Trout Seed for rearing in captivity to table size for sale to the common men.
- To stock the Natural Cold Water Streams with trout seed to promote sport fisheries in the State.
- To propagate Fish Culture in Private Sector to provide avenues of earnings to the educated un-employed youth.
- To develop Endemic Fisheries in the State by adopting the relevant technology.
- To develop Hill Stream and High Altitude Fisheries.
- To develop Recreational Fisheries as a means of earnings for the interested persons who may take up Aquarium Fisheries as a trade.
- To provide better marketing facilities to the fishermen to eliminate the role of middlemen.
- To introduce Welfare Schemes for upliftment of Fishermen Community.