Fish Hospital
Kolkata will have a fish hospital by the middle of next year, the first of its kind in the country. (Representational Image)Reuters

A hospital full of aquariums and water tanks instead of beds and guess who the patients are? Yes, Kolkata will have a hospital to treat fish by the middle of next year, the first of its kind in the country. 

The construction of an initial set-up with 25 water tanks to house affected fish is nearing completion, said TJ Abraham, fish micro-biologist at West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences (WBUAFS), reported Hindustan Times.

More than 20 percent of the fish production is affected by poor management practices, which lead to stress in the organisms and as a result they are afflicted with a variety of diseases, he said.

The project costs ₹1.75 crores, which is funded by Indian Council of Agricultural Research under the Union Ministry of Agriculture. The project aims at increasing the fish production by improving management practices, the report says.

Since 2012, West Bengal was the leading producer of fish. About 60 types of diseases and abnormalities have been found in various fish species of Southern Bengal by researchers, says the report.

New pathogens have started developing, with the untreated municipal waste, industrial run-off, pesticides and chemical fertilisers that drain into the water bodies of the city, the HT reported, Scientists have found that some bacteria have developed multiple antibiotic-resistances that can travel from fishes to human beings.

The project is expected to offer solutions to the problems faced by fish cultivators.

"Once the hospital comes up, fish cultivators can come to us with diseased fishes. Once the necessary tests are performed, we can suggest medicines and treatment," added the fish micro-biologist.

HT also cited a similar venture being undertaken in Kochi in association with the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies.