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Fisheries at a glance

Fisheries Department of the then Government of West Bengal was first set up in the year 1911.

Thereafter, on the recommendation of the Bengal Retrenchment Committee, the Department was abolished in the year 1923. The Department was again revived in the year 1942 as it was felt necessary to cope with the growing needs for increase in production of fish by way of exploring all the available impounded water resources in the then undivided Bengal primarily for two reasons:

(1) Love of fish in the diet for every Bengali family and,

(2) increase in population.

After revival of the Department in the year 1942, it has been functioning continuously till date.

The scope of activities of the Department had been expanding gradually and since the beginning of the first five year plan, increasing number of schemes are being taken up for development of pisciculture in West Bengal with a view to not only attaining self-sufficiency in regard to production of fish in the State but also exploring possibilities for exporting fish and fish products across the country and abroad.

Because of involvement of the Department in multi-directional fishery related activities, it has been renamed as the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Resources & Fishing Harbors (hereinafter referred to as the Department) in May, 2001.

The Department has, under its administrative control, one Directorate i.e. Directorate of Fisheries, West Bengal with its officers posted in the headquarters and districts responsible for not only implementing various programmes and policies of the Department with the object of increasing production of fish of various species by way of exploring different methods of culture keeping parity with the modern scientific and technological developments in the world but also for disseminating knowledge and methods of scientific pisciculture to entrepreneurs and fish farmers by way of imparting training at regular intervals at different places.

The Department has also under its control two Corporations viz. State Fisheries Development Corporation Ltd. (SFDCL) and West Bengal Fisheries Corporation Ltd. (WBFCL) and one apex body of fishermen's co- operative viz. West Bengal State Fishermen's Co-operative Federation Ltd. (BENFISH). Besides, there is one agency namely, Fish Farmers' Development Agency (FFDA) under the control of the Department.

All the Corporations, apex body and agency as noted above are engaged in executing multi-dimensional activities of the Department related to comprehensive development of fisheries and upliftment of socio- economic condition of the fishermen community which continue to belong to the under privileged section of the society.