Karnataka govt. soon to begin inviting e-tenders for fishing rights in inland water bodies

Minister for Fisheries, Ports and Inland Transport S. Angara expressed optimism of the State’s revenue from fisheries increasing substantially after shifting from the present practice of leasing the fishing rights in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and other water bodies to inviting e-tenders.

Responding to a question from K.S. Naveen in the Legislative Council on Wednesday, Mr. Angara said the State had earned a revenue of ₹10.35 crore from the fishing rights in 3,531 water bodies during 2021-22 and ₹15.89 crore from the fishing rights in 2,897 water bodies during 2022-23.

With regard to export of prawns and other fish from Karnataka, Mr. Angara said Karnataka had exported prawns and other fish amounting to ₹1,962 crore during 2021-22.

However, Mr. Naveen said the State’s earning of ₹10.35 crore during 2021-22 and ₹15.89 crore during 2022-23 were not high compared to the State’s water resources. The same was the case with export of marine produce, he said while pointing out that even though Karnataka’s coastline was a third of Andhra Pradesh, the neighbouring State earns more than ₹20,000 crore, he said.

In response, Mr. Angara said that the State’s revenues from fisheries could increase two to three times by shifting from giving leases to inviting e-tenders for the fishing rights and cited the example of how a lake in Ballari fetched them ₹66 lakh through e-tender against the mere ₹6 lakh earned through lease earlier.

Mr. Angara said the State needs 66 crore fish seeds annually, but it falls short by 20 crore, forcing Karnataka to meet its requirement from neighbouring States. The State will soon begin rearing fish seeds in Almatti reservoir area.

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