Assam is well on its way to becoming self-sufficient on the fish production front. The State Fisheries Department has revealed that there is only a gap of only 0.7 percent between the fish production of 3.93 lakh metric tonnes and demand of 4.00 lakh metric tonnes. "With schemes like PMMSY, RKVY, CMSGUY, RIDF and Ghare Ghare Pukhuri Ghare Ghare Maach going on in full swing the State is on the threshold of becoming self-sufficient on the fish production front in the near future," said Fisheries Development Officer, Pratul Deka. The fish production has gone up from 2.94 lakh metric tonnes in 2016-17 to 3.93 lakh metric tonnes in 2020-21, registering an increase of 33.67 percent. "From a yawning demand-supply gap of 42 percent in 2015-16, it has come down to mere 0.7 lakh metric tonnes in 2020-2021," quipped Deka. Per capita fish consumption has risen from 8.5 kg per annum to 11.88 kg per annum. Fish seed production, too, has increased from 5,678 million to 9,886 million in the same corresponding period witnessing a rise of 74.11 percent. 12,610 individual ponds covering 1,523.74 hectare, 4,029 community ponds spread over 468.1 hectare, 1,824 rearing tanks covering 229.94 hectare, 4,204 beel fisheries spread over 763.87 hectare, renovation of 995 existing ponds covering 259.64 hectare and 1,420 integrated fish farming covering 629.9 hectare have been constructed in the last five years. More than 2,000 hectare have been brought under new ponds in comparison to only 900 hectare prior to 2016-17. 521 fish seed hatcheries have been built under different schemes for the period 2016-17 to June 2021-2022. 20 fish feed mills have come up in the same period. Deka said that 13 numbers of Recirculatory Aquaculture System (RAS) have been introduced, besides 38 batteries of modular cages in several beels. 87,000 applications for KCC have been submitted to the banks out of which 8,500 have been sanctioned so far. There are altogether 22 Fish Producers' Organisations (FPO) and 13 Farmers' Producers Companies (FPC). Livelihood support has been extended to 20,000 fishermen with Central share being Rs.3,000 and beneficiaries' share Rs.1,500. A draft State Fishery Policy is being finalised which will boost the fisheries sector in a big way. In the past couple of years, 99 Fisheries Development Officers, 32 Junior Engineers, 98 Fishery Demonstrators, 30 Junior Assistants and 11 Grade IV staff have been recruited. The department has got a shot in the arm with the transfer of administrative control of revenue from the Revenue department together with administrative control of FISHFED from the Cooperative department.