Mangaluru, (The Hindu): The Matsyotsava at Dr. K. Shivaram Karanth Pilikula Nisargadhama drew a huge crowd of fish lovers on Sunday. At this annual event, fish seedlings that were let into the Pilikula Lake last year are caught and sold.
During the festival, over 500 kg of fish, each ranging from 1 kg to 11 kg, were caught, while the Nisargadhama earned about Rs. 55,000 from the sale.
More than 6,000 enthusiasts visited Pilikula Lake to participate in the Matsyotsava as well as boating. They bought the fish in the auction, which got exhausted by 3 pm itself.
Apart from fish catching, people flocked stalls selling sea fish and those preparing various delicacies set up by the Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation. The corporation earned over Rs. 1 lakh income through sale of sea fish and delicacies, according to Nisargadhama Executive Director Prasanna Kumar.
Inaugurating the Matsyotsava, Minister of State for Fisheries Pramod Madhwaraj said the government would extend all support to boost tourism and aquaculture at Pilikula which has abundant water sources.
He said the government has already released Rs. 10 crore towards developing aqua culture. The proposal to establish an Oceanarium at Pilikula at a cost of Rs. 200 crore is being examined by the government, Mr. Madhwaraj added. The Minister noted that fish, rich with vitamins, has been the common staple for people in the coastal region. It is also completely free from pesticides and insecticides. The government is making every effort to promote and support fishing and allied activities, Mr. Madhwaraj added.
The management should focus on providing tourist and water sports amenities at the Nisargadhama, Mr. Madhwaraj, who also holds the Youth Empowerment and Sports portfolio, suggested. Later, the Minister released fish seedlings into the lake, which would grow in a year.
Speaking on the occasion, Moodabidri MLA K. Abhayachandra Jain urged the Minister to get at least Rs. 10 lakh released for the proposed Kambala event at the Nisargadhama. District in-charge Minister B. Ramanath Rai, Government Chief Whip at Legislative Council Ivan D’Souza, Mangaluru South MLA J.R. Lobo, Zilla Panchayat President Meenakshi Shanthigodu, Moodushedde Gram Panchayat President Hariprasad, Pilikula Zoological Park Director H. Jayaprakash Bhandary and others were present.
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