MTR: Trashigang dropped its target to produce two metric tonnes (MT) of fish annually following the mid term review (MTR) as the farmers were not keen on starting fisheries.

This was attributed to religious sentiments and social stigma attached to killing of animals. Besides, profitability was cited as another reason. Hence, the dzongkhag opted to do away with the activity.

Dzongkhag livestock officer NS Tamang said that despite the department providing financial and technical assistance, only two farmer groups from Thrimshing and Kangpar have proposed to take up fishery.

“Officials from the regional center for aquaculture are conducting feasibility studies at these locations,” he said. “As land at Kangpar has to be leased by the group, it may take time.”

However, livestock officials are hopeful of starting backyard fishery at Thrimshing this year by way of releasing fingerlings in the ponds. After the fishery is set up, 2MT of fish in a year could be achieved.

NS Tamang said a private semi-commercial fishery is also coming up at Buna that would help boost fish production in the dzongkhag.

“They have identified land and finished processing clearances as well. They were in the process of availing loan from Business Opportunity and Information Centre,” NS Tamang said. “Should the fishery come through, production will improve.”

Shongphu gup, Kinzang Wangdi said that fishery in Trashigang was impeded by the market scope. “There was a promising proposal but they changed their mind because of religious sentiments involved. Unlike in the southern region, they felt fishery was not a profitable venture in the east,” he said.

Samkhar gup, Sonam Dorji said the villagers would rather fish in the rivers than take up fishery. “So it was important to drop the fish production target which otherwise would affect the dzongkhag’s performance rating,” Sonam Dorji said.

Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang