MINGORA: Officials of the fisheries department have claimed that production of trout fish will soon surge to 240,000 kilogrammes annually and will become the third most revenue earning business after fruit and vegetable in the Swat valley.
They said the increase in production of trout would make the Swat valley one of the largest markets for trout in the country because of the cold water of the Swat River and suitable environment.
“Presently 63 trout fish farms produce 60,000kg fish annually while work on establishment of 63 more farms is underway which will soon be completed. The total production of trout fish will reach to 240,000kg annually soon,” Ibrar Ahamd, assistant director fisheries department, Swat, said, adding that it would earn Rs204 million per annum.
However, he said proper marketing was the major issue for trout in Swat and the government should work on that.
“More than 70 per cent tourists eat trout fish in the valley as it is famous for its quality and taste while a huge quantity is transported to hotels across the country,” Usman Ali, an owner of a trout fish farm in Madyan, said.
Chail valley in Madyan is known for trout fish farming where large number of tourists visit to eat it and also to take it to their homes.
“Whenever we visit Swat we go to Chail valley to enjoy trout fish because eating fry fish in a cool and scenic environment makes our trip delicious and memorable,” Akbar Aman, a tourist from Mardan who was eating trout fish with his family in Chail valley, said.
Meanwhile, Swat Deputy Commissioner Amer Afaq and officials of fisheries department released over 60,000 baby trout fish into the Swat River and other small rivers to increase its number in the valley.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Afaq said fish farming in the district was being promoted so that more and more people got connected with the business thus, boosting tourism and creating job opportunities for local people. He said private fish farming was also being encouraged by the government.