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Unexplored sector of sport fishing in Jammu and why it is being ignored

Last Updated on September 29, 2020 at 8:03 pm

Jammu has always been known for its variety of outdoor activities. Situated in the northern part of India, Jammu lies in the foothills of the Himalaya. The UT is attracting many tourists for its adventure tourism during recent times.

The geographical location of Jammu and Kashmir makes it a suitable tourist destination not only for its natural beauty but also for its adventure tourism. Tourists from across India and outside the country enjoy spending their holidays in J&K. In 2015, The Union Territory of J&K bagged the best destination in the adventure tourism award at the International Travel Mart (IMT) in Pune, India. 

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There is no doubt that the tourism sector in Jammu is growing at a constant speed but still, in terms of adventure tourism, Jammu is still getting a small proportion of national as well as international tourists. According to the Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism, only 1% of tourists have visited J&K for adventure tourism.

Jammu has everything to satisfy the people who love adventure but still, it is behind many states in terms of adventure tourism. And this is all because of insecurities among tourists, political issues, terrorism, and constant shutdowns. The only solution to increasing adventure tourism in Jammu is to give emphasis on fishing. 

Jammu is one of the famous sites for fishing. The region of Jammu is full of water bodies in form of water streams, lakes, rivers, springs, and high-altitude lakes. These water bodies have great potential to be developed as cold-water fishing, warm-water and reservoir fishing. The shimmering water bodies will attract numerous visitors for fishing. Visitors are generally attracted by high-altitude lakes which have different varieties of fishes. There are many areas in Jammu which have the potential of other adventure sports that will help in boosting the adventure tourism in the Jammu region. 

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Fishing will extensively impact the economy of Jammu and can be one of the most famous outdoor activities in Jammu. A huge amount of revenue can be collected by renting equipment, selling licenses, organizing trips, or other fishing related events. The funds will benefit the government to increase job opportunities for the youth of Jammu. Fishing has always been a favorite sport since the time of British. The weather and environment of Jammu will create pleasure among the tourists and they can easily involve themselves with various outdoor activities like rafting, fishing.  Fishing will be great fun in Jammu. Visitors will have a good time while fishing. 

Water bodies of Jammu have a variety of fishes which will never make visitors disappointed. Spending some time and calming in the sun of Jammu will bring more thrill and adventure in the sport. The administration can take many steps to make sure that the visitors should not catch more than 6 fishes, after catching the fishes they have to let the fishes go back into the water bodies. Currently, in Kashmir valley, there are two adventure tourism institutes that are working to develop and promote adventure sports in the UT. These institutes provide courses in regard to different adventure sports. 

The Ministry of Tourism has released enough funds for these institutions for activities related to adventure tourism but the government has shown interest in developing adventure tourism.

Jammu has many gorgeous valleys, snow-covered mountains, flowing rivers, and lush greenery and it will be a visual treat for people to enjoy fishing in such scenic beauty. But the tourism in Jammu is totally ignored and the departments are doing nothing to promote fishing in Jammu.

The ponds, ditches are filled with plastic water but the government is taking no steps to clean them. Banks of Chenab can be used for fishing. Illegal fishing has increased to a larger extent in Jammu but the government doesn’t show any interest. The banks of river Tawi will give a great experience of fishing but they are not properly developed.

Similarly, Bani and Bahsoli remain unexplored from the fishing point of view. The government is just running behind Kashmir tourism and in return, it is achieving nothing but just wasting their time. 

Sport fishing will have great potential in Jammu and can be one of the fastest-growing sectors of state tourism. Its development will generate revenue and employment opportunities in the UT.

Government should consider and should take measures to develop and promote fishing in Jammu. The linkage between fishing and tourism requires a good understanding of both the sectors and will highly impact the economy. But there are political issues that are affecting the fishing sport in Jammu. The government should look into it and should resolve the matter immediately so that fishing can be developed properly in Jammu.