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Bhutan: Fisheries
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Agriculture > Fisheries


A less productive but still significant food source resulted from fishing, both from cold-water streams and lakes (primarily trout) and warm-water fisheries (primarily carp). A growing demand for fish as a dietary supplement was reported in the mid-1970s following a 1974 FAO aquaculture study and a 1976 FAO survey of rivers and lakes to determine the level of fish stock. Fisheries were developed, and carp were imported from Assam. In 1977 the Department of Animal Husbandry established a Fishery Development Programme, initially for stocking rivers with game fish and for developing commercial capability as a long-term goal. Between 1979 and 1987, an average of 1,000 tons of fish were caught or produced annually. Another FAO survey was conducted in 1981, and the government included fishery development for the first time in the Fifth Development Plan. The Integrated Fisheries Development Project was started at Geylegphug in 1985. The National Warm Water Fish Culture Centre supplied fish to farmers, and some twenty-one tons of carp were produced at fisheries for local and national consumption. To control cold-water fishing, the Department of Forestry issued fishing licenses and enforced seasonal and fishsize prohibitions.

Data as of September 1991

Last Updated: September 1991

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Bhutan was first published in 1991. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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