Aquaculture support dispensed during 2012-2013…

As per the livestock Statistics, the national fish production in Bhutan during 2012 is estimated to be only 64.34 MT. However, towards the end of 11th Five Year Plan (FYP) period, the National Centre for Aquaculture (NCA), Gelephu is committed to achieve minimum national production of 150 MT of fish. To achieve this, various strategies has been developed and implemented. One such is, “Aquaculture Support:- A Cost Sharing Approach” which is guiding tool developed by NCA to ensure that support is dispensed in uniform, efficient and transparent manner, which received ministry’s endorsement somewhere during February 2012. Immediately after its endorsement, implementation of dispensing support service was initiated within four dzongkhags of Tsirang, Sarpang, Samtse and Sarpang.

Owing to limited time for implementation this program could support only 21 beneficiaries, out of which 17 constructed new ponds, one constructed new ponds as well up scaled his existing ponds, two only up scaled their existing ponds where as one received 271 kg of fish feed. With the completion of this program, additional of 13.976 ha of land has been brought under aquaculture with minimum estimated production potential of 8.735 MT, thereby enabling us to estimate fish production during 2013 to be approximately 73 MT. The following table gives summary of aquaculture support program 2012-2013.

Sl. No. Dzongkhags Area (Ha) Beneficiaries Supported (No of Farmers) Minimum Estimated Fish Production (MT)
1 Samdrup Jongkhar 6.346 9 3.96625
2 Samtse 3.905 7* 2.4405**
3 Tsirang 2.075 3 1.297
4 Sarpang 1.65 2 1.03125
Total   13.976 21 8.735

Since, the NCA was implementing such type of activity for first time; various challenges were encountered during the implementation phase, however they were smoothly tackled over course of time. From the lessons learned during the first phase of support program, the NCA devised supplement tool: – “A Guidebook to Implement: Aquaculture Support; A Cost Sharing Approach” which is intended to ensure effective support dispensing.

The dispensing of support, as described above, was possible with active support from and cooperation of the Dzongkhag authorities and Regional Livestock Development Centres (RLDC). The NCA wholeheartedly thanks these agencies and looks forward to enjoying their continued support and cooperation hereafter also.

Submitted by

Gopal Prasad Khanal, Aquaculture Support Dispensing Coordinator, NCA.

Thai fisheries professionals visit the NCA…

A group of three highly knowledgeable and experienced fisheries professionals from Thailand’s Department of Fisheries, under Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, visited National Centre for Aquaculture (NCA) in Gelephu under Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) from 20/06/2013-29/06/2013. The main purpose of the visit by the professionals was to provide technical assistance and free consultancy support to the NCA toward strengthening Bhutan’s aquaculture/ fisheries sector. The Thai professionals were led by Mr. Kiettikun Charoensawan, Director of Suphanburi Fisheries Research and Development Centre, with Mr. Surasak Kullai, Director of Phetchaburi Inland Fisheries Research and Development Centre, and Mr. Noppadon Jindaphan, Director of Yalla Inland Fisheries Research and Development Centre being the other two members of the group. At the DoL in Thimphu, the professionals were received formally by the then Director General of the DoL Dasho Karma Dukpa. On behalf of Department of Fisheries, Thailand, the professionals presented several aquacultural and fisheries materials to the DoL’s Director General for experimental use at the NCA. The Director General profusely thanked the professionals and expressed his hope that the relations between the two countries grow from strength to strength in the years to come.

At the NCA, where they were engaged in technical activities from 23-26/06/2013, the professionals made several contributions to Bhutan’s technological vault, the most notable of which are summarized below:

Demonstration on induced breeding of carp using suprefact-domperidone combination: –The method to induce-breed fish using Suprefact-Domperidone mixture as the inducing agent is something that the NCA could adopt. This method appears to be related cheaper and more potent when compared with the existing method that uses synthetic hormones.

Demonstration on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging and pellet hormone implantation: – The RFID tagging could help the NCA manage and breed its fish more systematically. Using this method, inbreeding can be avoided. The method will particularly come handy in the NCA’s effort to propagate the endangered Golden Mahaseer. Species from different rivers in the kingdom could be bred and propagated in such a way as to produce pure-lines to conserve genetic purity and variability.

Use of “Bruselin” and HCG to encourage gonadal maturity: – The professionals also demonstrated the method to ‘encourage’ gonadal maturity in fish by administering “Bruselin” and Human Choriono Gonadotropin (HCG) into it. The NCA could use this method in its effort to research out a technique to breed Golden Mahaseer in captivity.

Designing of the blueprint for a hatchery for Golden Mahaseer and other sub-tropical native fish: – The visiting professionals also helped the NCA draw up the blueprint for a hatchery to propagate Golden Mahaseer and other sub-tropical native fish species that is proposed to be built as soon as funding becomes available.

Having spent a few quality days at the NCA, the professionals flew back to Thailand on 29 June, 2013. Presently, the NCA is following up on building upon the contributions of the Thai professionals.

The NCA remembers the Thai professionals’ visit with fondness and gratitude.

Submitted by Gopal Prasad Khanal and Drukpola, NCA.

Fish farm registration guideline…

So that eligible fish farms may seek registration with National Centre for Aquaculture (NCA), an informal guideline has been produced which may be downloaded at the link below. The end goal of registering fish farm is a dynamic and progressive Fish Farming Value Chain (FFVC) in the kingdom. Livestock officials may use the guideline to understand, among other, the (i) requirements for registration, (ii) procedure to seek registration and (iii) obligations of a registered fish farm.

The existing eligible fish farms have already been registered and the registration numbers communicated to the appropriate authorities. Therefore, the guideline may be used to facilitate the registration of any new aspiring farms. Please write to us at for more information/ clarifications/ assistance.

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Aquaculture events’ calendar 2013-2014…

National Centre for Aquaculture (NCA) intends to organize a couple of important events in the financial year 2013 – 2014. The expected participants are the registered aquaculturists and livestock officials serving in the Dzongkhags and at the Regional Livestock Development Centres (RLDC’s). The planned events have the following objectives:

  1. Confer Certificate of Registration (CoR) to the registered aquaculturists;
  2. Sensitize the registered aquaculturists regarding the opportunity to earn significant income from semi-commercial/ commercial scale aquaculture;
  3. Sensitize the registered aquaculturists regarding the support available to them should they choose to undertake aquaculture on a semi-commercial/ commercial scale;
  4. Identify the newly arisen and/ or persistent challenges that aquaculture industry in Bhutan is facing and devise suitable strategies to overcome them;
  5. Concretize Bhutan’s Aquaculture Value Chain Network;

The tentative calendar of planned events may be downloaded at the link below.

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A layman’s guide to fingerling acquisition and transportation…

It is that time of the year now when farmers and Dzongkhag Extension Officers from faraway Dzongkhags visit National Centre for Aquaculture (NCA) and Regional Centre for Aquaculture (RCA) to collect fingerling for stocking into empty ponds back home. Transporting fingerlings over distances of 200 to 300 km is no trifle thing; anything can happen en-route, including the fingerlings succumbing to transit stress. When you are moving with a consignment of extremely sensitive very young fish, it is like walking on a hot tin roof: everything has to be done in a hurry, lest you want your feet burned. And still, at the end of the journey when you check on your fingerlings, if you find yourself smiling, you are more than averagely lucky.

Now, there are things that you could do, and not do too, to minimize the trouble associated with acquiring and transporting fingerlings from a faraway hatchery. The NCA has put together a list of DOs and DON’Ts that you may want to observe if you are desirous of acquiring and transporting fingerlings from a hatchery that is some 200 to 300 km far from your home. You may download the list-guide at the link below:

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