Fish farm owners in Swat seek govt help for revival of business

Published January 26, 2023
A trout fish hatchery damaged in Aug 2022 flash floods. — Dawn
A trout fish hatchery damaged in Aug 2022 flash floods. — Dawn

SWAT: About 235 trout farms and hatcheries were destroyed by the recent flood, causing more than Rs1,100 million losses to farmers but the government ignored them completely, said Swat Trout Fish Farm Association president Mutwakil Khan.

He told local journalists that the August 2022 flood wreaked havoc with every sector, but it inflicted heavy losses on trout fish farms and hatcheries, constructed near the river and streams.

He appealed to the government and other organisations to extend financial support to farm owners to revive their business.

“The catastrophic floods destroyed about 235 trout fish hatcheries in different parts of Swat. Of these, 200 were completely destroyed while 35 were partially damaged in different parts of Swat. It incurred almost Rs1,100 million losses on the owners,” he said.

Flanked by owners of farms, he said that the trout fish of Swat was popular across the country. He said that the trout fish was not only enjoyed by tourists during their visit to Swat, but it was also supplied to big hotels and restaurants in different cities of the country.

“Hundreds of people are associated with trout fish farming. They all earn livelihood for their families through it, but all of them are now unemployed and compelled to get loans to meet both ends meet,” said Mr Khan.

He said that trout fish farming played a key role in promotion of tourism in Swat. He said that hundreds of restaurants were set up near the trout fish farms at the picnic spots. “The restaurants serve the tourists with frying trout fish. Swati trout is also known for its unique taste. Many tourists visit the trout fish farm to eat the delicacy,” he said.

He said that that all the owners and workers of restaurants were also jobless. He said that the prices of fish also increased after the flood and badly affected tourism in Swat.

“Unfortunately, neither the government nor NGOs helped the affected trout fish sector so far,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2023

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