SKUAST Sets Up Fish Hospital

SRINAGAR — Fisheries experts from Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences (SKUAST) Srinagar has set up a hospital to treat aquatic beings in the state especially species like trout which have been dying due to unknown reasons lately.

It is the second such medical establishment as a fish hospital was opened in Kolkata in 2015.

Scientists at SKUAST faced with frequent complaints from farmers that their produce was afflicted with some strange disease and were dying in large numbers took cognisance of the problem came up with an idea to start a fish hospital under the Aquatic Animal Health Management Division (AAHMD) at Rangil in Ganderbal district.

“From the last four years, we have conducted the survey in three divisions of the state and have screened many farms.

Many farmers have been complaining that their fish, particularly trout, are dying due to unknown reasons. Nature has provided us with abundant waters and fish. However, every year our farmers lose 30% fish to diseases and if we can control that, we could enhance the overall production by one-third,” said AAHMD head Feroz Shah, a fish diseases researcher was quoted as saying.

Shah said they have found the parasite in the blood of fish in Dal Lake as well. “There are apprehensions that due to global warming some deadly pathogens will invade our waters. If that happens, our fish cannot sustain those pathogens,” he said.

For the treatment of ill fishes, AAHMD fish hospital setup includes 20 glass tanks, cell culture facility, aqua clinic, pathology laboratory, and aquariums for antibiotic, antiparasitic and antiviral medications.

Around 122 species of fishes are found in state’s water bodies including streams and lakes. Now, fish farmers can approach the hospital for treatment and diagnosis of fishes. This move will result in an increase of commercial fish production as compared to the current fish production of 20 thousand tons in the valley.

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