Fisheries resources: The rivers and their tributaries, lakes and tanks constitute a rich potential source of inland fisheries.
The rivers Bhima, Sina and Bhogavati and 6,940 hectares of tanks offer a good scope for the development of fishery. Under the control of Zilla Parishad and Gram-panchayats, there are 29 tanks with a total area of 62 hectares. Most of these tanks are short seasonal. Perennial tanks have been surveyed and are being taken for development of fisheries. There are eight tanks under the jurisdiction of the municipalities in the district, with a total area of 168 hectares. The total area of lentic waters in the district thus comprises 7,882 hectares.
Fish catch from riverine resources mainly comprises Labeo fumbriatus, cat fishes and local minor fishes. Major carps, i.e., Rohu, Catla and Mrigal are, however, available in very small quantities from the Sina river. The commercially important varieties of fish found in the district are Kirti or Shinghala, Murrel, Shivda (Pahadi or Daku), chamar or chalat, pal or Dandaonya, Khavlya, Khaval, Kolshi, Zinga, Boi, Kalundar, Kharabi and Muri.
As the natural waters are found to be lacking in quick-growing varieties of fish such as catla, Rohu, Mrigal, etc., the water resources particularly reservoirs, have been surveyed and these are now being stocked with fry and fingerlings of major carps. These reservoirs are stocked with four to five lakhs of fry every year, the rate of stocking depending upon the availability of fry and fingerlings. Efforts are made to produce the fry of major carps and other cultivable fishes within the district by artificial methods of fish breeding.
Organisation: Considering the potential of water resources, particularly the irrigation reservoirs from the view-point of developing fisheries in the district, the department of fisheries established an
office in the district in 1968-69 under the charge of Assistant Superintendent
of Fisheries, Sholapur, who is responsible to the Superintendent of Fisheries
stationed at Pune. The Superintendent works directly under the Director of
Fisheries, Maharashtra State, Bombay.
The duties of the Superintendent of Fisheries are:
to grant lease of fishing rights of portion of rivers, tanks and ponds in the district; to conduct survey of new sheets of water to assess their suitability for pisciculture; to stock tanks and reservoirs with suitable varieties of fishes; to collect local fry and its nurture in nursery tanks; to supervise the tanks; to investigate the applications from fishermen for loan for fishery works and subsidies on fishing twine; to watch and effect loan recoveries and credit the money to the treasury; to encourage the fishermen to take advantage of the guidance afforded by the Government; to collect statistics of fish and other data pertaining to fisheries and fishermen of the district; and to supervise the work of development of fisheries in the districts of Pune, Sholapur and Ahmadnagar.
In the socio-economic field, although the fishermen are scattered, efforts have been made to organise them into fishermen's co-operative societies. There are at present six such societies with a total membership of 215 which are actively engaged in fishing. The fisheries department helps these societies in getting tanks on lease for the purpose of pisciculture, besides giving financial assistance by way of loan and subsidy, on essential commodities required for gear, craft and other accessories. Financial assistance is also granted for construction of rearing and nursery tanks, for de-silting and renovating tanks and for screening of the outlets. All these steps are taken eventually towards increasing the production of fish in the district.
An amount of Rs. 0.67 lakh was spent on schemes undertaken
under the Programme of Fisheries during 1969-70 to 1972-73.