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mKRISHI Fisheries selected as one of the top 20 winners at National level contest on Social Innovation

mKRISHI® Fisheries is a mobile app developed in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Innovation Lab – Mumbai, ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) Hyderabad.  This app is a result of multi-dimensional research and field work involving the best of the expertise of all the partner organizations.    INCOIS  generates  Potential  Fishing  Zone  (PFZ),  a fish shoals prediction information based on the remote sensing data received from NOAA satellites, sea surface temperature  and  the  presence  of  phytoplankton which form the food of several fish species.  mKRISHI® Fisheries  app consolidates  these information and presents advisories in local language, with easy to use icons on Java and Android mobile phones.

Mumbai Research Centre of ICAR- CMFRI piloted this service in 56 fishermen societies in Raigad, Maharashtra. Fishermen used this service to plan their fishing trip and ventured into sea, only if PFZ was in their vicinity which helped to reduce unnecessary trips and the associated cost of diesel, ice  and labour. From a study conducted in 13 fishermen societies, ICAR- CMFRI estimated that it resulted in the saving of upto 30% in diesel costs which has huge benefits in terms of environmental impact where an estimated1.2% of global oil production is consumed in fisheries.

Apart from this, the prior information of Wind speed and direction, Wave Heights in a colour coded band, helped fishermen to identify the unsafe regions in sea. Fishermen are advised to go only when the information map is blue in colour. This five days upfront forecast helps even trawlers who go for multi-day fishing trips. Hence, this collaborative innovation aims at vulnerable fishermen population, majority of whom are below poverty line. It not only positively impacts their livelihood with improved catch, reduced cost; but also helps to prevent loss of lives, boat and fishing gears. Reduction in diesel consumption also leads to a less polluted environment. Lack of data signal availability in deep sea, posed another challenge for the fishermen. TCS and partners did a pilot to extend the mobile signal upto 30 km in the deep sea. This enable the price negotiation for the fishermen while they were in the sea itself and the fresh catch could be directed to desired port, optimizing the overall transportation.  

Dr. V.V.Singh, Scientist-in-charge, Mumbai Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI received the award on 9 January  2017 at  the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2017, Bengaluru

Download the App from http://www.tcsmkrishi.com/app/mfish/

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CMFRI Receives ‘Cashless ICAR Institute Award’

CMFRI Receives ‘Cashless ICAR Institute Award’

Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) received ‘Cashless ICAR Institute Award’ from Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, for implementing cashless transactions in the institute. The award comprises the citation and a cheque of Rs. 5 lakhs.

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Ernakulam of the CMFRI also received the award with a cheque of Rs. 50,000. Dr. Srinath Dixit, Director, Agricultural Technology Applications Research Institute (ATARI) received the award for the KVK, Ernakulam from the Union Minister. 


cashless.jpgDr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI receiving the Cashless ICAR Institute Award from
Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

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Kerala Governor Inaugurates Platinum Jubilee celebrations of ICAR-CMFRI

Kerala Governor Inaugurates Platinum Jubilee celebrations of ICAR-CMFRI
CMFRI announces new research programmes

Hon’ble Kerala Governor Justice P Sathasivam inaugurated the year-long Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) on February 18. In his speech, the Governor called upon the scientific community to address the issues being faced by the fishermen and fish farming community while carrying out research in fisheries sector. The research activities and policies should be helpful to improve the livelihood of fisher folks and fish farmers, he said.  

“No scientific organisation can succeed by remaining alienated from the people. CMFRI should be committed to the welfare of the fisher folk by helping to ensure sustainable fisheries through participatory mode. Researchers should increase their interaction with such communities and improve their awareness about opportunities for sustainable livelihood”, the Governor added.

“Ensuring the health of the sea has to be the top priority to maintain the sustainability of fisheries. Scientists should focus on research activities aimed at solving the issues being faced by the marine biodiversity. More inter-sectoral cooperation and utilisation of useful traditional knowledge are required for this”, he said adding that research institutes like CMFRI should also increase the employment of a biotechnological approach to enlarge fisheries and other related products.

He appreciated the efforts of ICAR- CMFRI for promoting open sea cage farming across the country. The development of hatchery technologies would also help to increase people’s participation and ensure better results in fish production, he said.

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Products and Research Reports Released

The Governor released a marine fisheries policy brief prepared by the CMFRI which highlights the global status of fishing using lights as an attractant and scientific stance on light fishing, giving recommendations for its management and regulations in Indian waters. The Non-Detriment Findings (NDF) study report prepared by CMFRI for export of shark and ray species listed in Appendix II of the CITES was also released during the function.

The Governor also released Cadalmin Anti-Hyper Cholestrolemic Extract, a neutraceutical product developed by CMFRI for obesity and launched the mobile app named ‘Fish Finder Version1’ to identify the fish varieties.

CMFRI’s handbook on application of GIS as a tool in marine fisheries research, a manuel on methodological tools for socio-economic and policy analysis in marine fisheries and of six video CDs on gender mainstreaming series on Self Help Group success stories on cage farming, chinese dipnet, aquatourism, clam Processing etc were also released by Justice Sathasivam during the function.

The special postal cover issued by the Indian Postal Department labelling CMFRI’s name in connection with the Platinum Jubilee was released by the Governor.
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Dr J K Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi presided over the function. He stressed the need for strengthening regulations in order to conserve the fisheries resources and maintain the sustainability in the sector. Dr A Jayathilak, IAS, Chairman of MPEDA offered felicitation.

Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan announced the future research plans of the CMFRI. Sumathi Ravichandran, Postmaster General (Kerala), Central Region, Kochi and Dr G Maheswarudu attended the function. 

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ICAR-CMFRI announces new research programmes

In connection with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the ICAR-CMFRI announced new research programmes to be carried out in immediate future. The institute will carry out a major research project to address the impacts, vulnerability and adaptation strategies of climate change in marine fisheries of the country. This is part of the Third National Communication (TNC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt of India. The report is expected to be finalised by the end of the year-long platinum jubilee celebration of the institute.

Another major programme which ICAR-CMFRI envisages is a revolutionary research programme on developing the breeding, seed production and farming technology of tuna, a major transboundary resource that is being cultured in far eastern countries.  ICAR-CMFRI plans to conduct the study for exploiting the growing international tuna market.

The ICAR-CMFRI will submit Mariculture Policy guidelines to the Union Government. With the capture fisheries hovering at potential level, not much production is anticipated from fishing. But the thrust is to utilize the coastal water bodies for mariculture related activities for enhancing production.

Another major milestone during the platinum jubilee year is the development of pelagic fish biomass estimation model for the effective management of pelagic fishery of the country with the support of satellite remote sensing technology. The ongoing Chlorophyll based Remote Sensing assted Indian Fisheries Forecasting System (ChloRIFFS) will be utilised for the research programme.  Dr Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI elucidated the future plans during the inaugural ceremony of Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

ICAR-CMFRI at a Glance

Established as a Marine Fisheries Research Station on February 3 in 1947 in Madras, the institute joined Indian Council Agricultural Research, (ICAR) family in 1967 and started functioning as a premier research establishment to undertake marine fisheries research in the country.

Apart from estimation of marine fish landings, its valuation and taxonomic studies, the research activities of CMFRI are diversified to a variety of niche areas such as sea farming and coastal mariculture, development of hatchery technologies for commercially viable marine fish species, cage farming, biotechnological applications of marine resources, biodiversity studies, development of sustainable ecosystem management interventions, policy studies, socio-economic evaluation and so on. Apart from the Headquarters, the ICAR-CMFRI, country’s national R&D body in marine fisheries, has 11 Regional Research Centres located respectively at Mandapam Camp, Visakhapatnam, Veraval, Mumbai, Chennai, Calicut, Karwar, Tuticorin, Vizhinjam, Mangalore and Digha, in addition to 15 field centres throughout the coastal belts of the country and one KVK at Narakkal, Ernakulum. A number of 154 scientists and over 600 other staff are working at the CMFRI in as many as 10 research Divisions.

Over the past seven decades, the institute has grown significantly in size and stature emerging as a leading tropical marine fisheries research institute in the world displaying an unparalleled research acumen and unbridled commitment which helped in developing sustainable management of marine production and responsible governance of the fisheries sector.

National Training in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology for fisheries professionals

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ICAR-CMFRI develops anti-obesity medicine from seaweed

ICAR-CMFRI develops anti-obesity medicine from seaweed

In a major advancement in the natural health care industry of the country, the Kochi headquartered ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has developed an anti-obesity nutraceutical from seaweeds. The product named CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract (CadalminTM ACe) is a natural remedy for obesity and dyslipidemia. ICAR-CMFRI scientists prepared the extract from seaweeds which are commonly available in the Indian coastal waters and are natural bounty of the sea and are known for their extraordinary medicinal properties.

Dr Kajal Chakraborty, Senior Scientist in Marine Biotechnology Division of ICAR-CMFRI, who developed the product said bioactive pharmacophore leads from seaweeds were used to prepare the nutraceutical product. “CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract can be administered to regulate clinical indicators leading to dyslipidemia or obesity, total adipose tissue and visceral fat, triglycerides, cholesterol, both good and bad, known as HDL and LDL. The product contains 100% natural marine bioactive ingredients from selected seaweeds by a patented technology, and would be made available in 400 mg capsules”, he said.

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CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic, an anti-obesity nutraceutical product developed by ICAR-CMFRI
   

“The nutraceutical does not have any side effects as established by detailed preclinical trials. CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract is the only product made by 100% natural marine bioactive ingredients from seaweeds as a natural remedy of obesity and dyslipidemia, as far as our knowledge goes” Dr Chakraborty added.

Dr P Vijayagopal, Head, Marine Biotechnology Division said that the active ingredients in the product would be packed in plant-based capsules to meet the dietary needs of the large vegetarian population in India and abroad. “CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract has a promising consumer appeal, and market potential especially for the large vegetarian population in India and abroad”, he added.

“Large scale extraction of the active principles from the raw material was optimized in a factory unit. The total yield of the active principles from the raw material in the factory unit was found to be greater than 20%, which demonstrated the commercial feasibility of the nutraceutical product. The product is being out-licensed to a pharmaceutical company”, he said.

4th Nutraceutical Product from ICAR-CMFRI

CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract is the fourth in the series of the nutraceutical products developed by the ICAR-CMFRI. Two anti-arthritic and one anti-diabetic nutraceutical products are the other three products developed by the institute in the past.  All these technologies have been commercialized through pharmaceutical companies.

According to Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR- CMFRI the institute is in the process of developing more health products from the underutilized seaweeds. “The ICAR-CMFRI is also in the process of standardizing and promoting seaweed farming all along the Indian coasts as a livelihood option for the coastal communities. This is expected to compensate for the dip in income for the fishermen during lean seasons”, Dr Gopalakrishnan said.

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ICAR-CMFRI Celebrates 70th Foundation Day

ICAR-CMFRI Celebrates 70th Foundation Day
Wonders of marine biodiversity exhibited at Open House programmes

The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) celebrated 70th foundation day on 3rd February 2017, by conducting the Open House, an exhibition-cum-education programme, at its Headquarters in Kochi and all the Regional Research Centres. The Open House helped students of schools and colleges and the public to enjoy the rare privilege of getting a ringside view of the wonders and secrets of marine biodiversity.

Nearly 4.000 people visited at the Headquarters of the institute located in Kochi, Kerala to watch in awe the splendours of aquatic organisms in the sea and to understand the latest developments in marine fisheries research. As part of the programme, the National Marine Biodiversity Museum, various state-of-the-art laboratories, marine research aquarium, Agricultural Technology Information Centre (ATIC) and hatcheries were opened to the public at the Headquarters. Information service was provided at the all exhibition stalls arranged under the aegis of 10 Divisions of ICAR-CMFRI. The museum, which is designated as the National Repository by the Union Government, was the main attraction to the visitors. Around 1137 finfish species, 153 crustaceans, 487 molluscs, 49 echinoderms, 198 corals and sponges, 91 seaweeds and 233 various other specimens make up the collection in the museum. The Antarctic krills, horse shoe crab, sea snakes, sea birds, pearl oyster, sea cow, sharks, penguin and dolphins were the main attraction at the marine biodiversity museum, which is designated as the National Repository by the Union government. The krills are the most favourite food item for blue whales and dolphins.

The visitors also displayed keen interest in understanding the functioning of the fish ageing laboratory situated at the Headquarters. The laboratory uses state-of-the-art equipment to find out the age of the fishes and the scientists explained to the visitors the various stages involved in the process. Models of cage fish farming, aquaponics, ornamental fish farming, recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) etc. were demonstrated to the public. The visitors also interacted with the scientists and engaged in discussions on the issues and challenges being faced by the marine fishery of the country. Laboratories related to molecular biology, bioprospecting, cell culture, fishery biology, environmental research, climate change, ocean acidification etc. also were opened to the public during the programme. 

Foundation day was also celebrated in all the Regional Research Centres located in Veraval, Mumbai, Karwar, Mangalore, Calicut, Vizhinjam, Chennai, Tuticorin, Mandapam and Visakhapatnam, and the Field Centre in Puri and the KVK of ICAR-CMFRI in Ernakulum by conducting similar Open House programmes, attracting the public to view and understand the research activities of the institute.

Dr. S. D .Tripati, Former Director of CIFE was chief guest at the Mumbai Research Centre of the ICAR-CMFRI. Students of schools and colleges, fishers, officials, stakeholders and faculty members from various colleges visited various laboratories and museum at the Centre. Students from 12 schools and local enthusiasts visited the museum, instrument laboratories and biogas plant at the Manglore Research Centre. A documentary film on the secrets of marine life and a short film on activities of the Mangalore RC were also screened for the public. The marine research aquarium named ‘sagarika’ was the key attraction at the Vizhinjam Research Centre where eminent fishery scientists delivered talks on the various phases of marine fisheries research in the country.

The Open House programme, organised at the Calicut Research Centre, evoked excellent response and more than 1000 students from various schools and colleges, besides the general public visited laboratories, marine fish farm, marine research aquarium and marine biology museum.

The Karwar Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI created public awareness on marine cage farming, nursery rearing, Recirculating Aquacutlure System etc. during the foundation day programme.

More than 2,000 students from the schools and colleges visited the aquarium and museum at the Mandapam RC of the institute. Awareness on marine resource conservation, biodiversity issues, mariculture and aquarium keeping was given to the students. Dr Paul Pandian, Fisheries Development Commissioner, Govt. of India was one of the guests at the foundation day programme organised at the Veraval Research Centre.

The Visakhapatnam Research Centre focussed on providing awareness on Recirculatory Aquaculture System (RAS) to the visitors of the institute during the Open House programme.

An elocution competition on the topic ‘Green Energy-Opportunities and Challenges’ was conducted at the Tuticorin Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI as part of the programme. Drawing competition on marine biodiversity and its conservation was also conducted in addition to the Open House at the Centre. The Chennai Research Centre helped the participants understand the ongoing research activities of the Centre through interaction with the scientists of pelagic, demersal, crustacean and molluscan fisheries divisions. The cashless mechanism facility installed at the Sale Counter of Krishi Vigyan Kendera of ICAR-CMFRI in Ernakulam was explained to the public and students with a request to utilize cashless transactions as far as possible. 

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Foundation day Celebration at various centres
1.Mandapam Regional centre
2.Mangalore Research Centre
3.Visakhapatnam Regional centre
4.Vizhinjam Research Centre
5.Tuticorin Research Centre

Union Minster of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Inaugurates RAS facility at Vizhinjam Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI

Union Minster of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Inaugurates RAS facility at ICAR-CMFRI

Shri. Sudarshan Bhagat, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare inaugurated the Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) at the Vizhinjam Research Centre of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

Speaking on the occasion, Hon’ble Minister said farmer-friendly technologies should be developed to attract people into fish farming. “In order to solve the issues in the fisheries sector following the decline in the availability fishes from the sea, steps should be taken to improve the facilities and technologies for boosting the fish production through alternative ways”, the minister said.

He said mariculture practices should be given due importance to increase marine fish production. “Sea cage farming is one of the best alternatives to increase the fish production and improve fisheries sector”, he said lauding the CMFRI for its initiatives to popularise the technology of cage farming across the coastal states.

Appreciating the efforts of Vizhinjam Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI in marine ornamental fish and ‘mabe’ pearl productions, the Minister said farming of ornamental fishes and pearl oysters should also be promoted among the farmers by giving training to them. He visited hatcheries and marine aquarium.

The 30-ton capacity Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) at ICAR-CMFRI, Vizhinjam was developed to boost the seed production for commercially important marine fishes especially for sea cage farming. The RAS utilises a series of filtration systems to recycle seawater used in fish rearing tanks so that optimum water quality can be maintained for marine finfish bloodstock development.

According to Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI, the newly installed RAS facility at the CMFRI could accelerate the growth of mariculture in the country.  “Mariculture is the hope of future generation. CMFRI is now focusing on research to enhance the mariculture activities through cage farming methods” he said adding that the sea cage farming of commercially important fish species such as silver pompano, cobia, groupers, lobsters etc. would help the country to increase its blue economy. 

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Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Sudarshan Bhagat visiting marine aquarium at the Vizhinjam Research Centre of CMFRI
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Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Sudarshan Bhagat stocking fishes into the RAS tank at the Vizhinjam Research Centre of CMFRI
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Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Sudarshan Bhagat visiting the Vizhinjam Research Centre of CMFRI

ICAR-CMFRI takes art route to create awareness on marine pollution, sets up symbolic cemetery of fishes

ICAR-CMFRI takes art route to create awareness on marine pollution, sets up symbolic cemetery of fishes

 As part of its Swachh Bharat Abhiyan initiatives, ICAR- the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has now taken an artistic route to illustrate the dangers of marine pollution by setting up a huge art installation named ‘Fish Cemetery. The art work was meant to create public awareness against dumping of plastic wastes into sea and on public places as well.

The installation covering an area of more than 2500 sq.ft. and having height of 13 feet has been set up on Fort Kochi beach in Kochi to attract the public attention to the grave issue of coastal pollution and its impact on marine ecosystem and human health.

Set up with the support of Cochin Shipyard Limited, the art work, which consists of giant fish like structures, was inaugurated by Kochi Corporation Mayor Soumini Jain on January 21 2017.

The ICAR-CMFRI launched the two-month long awareness campaign using this artistic concept against the backdrop of excessive accumulation of plastic wastes causing danger to the marine ecosystem and to the human health too.

The ‘Fish Cemetery’ is a symbolic expression of dead fishes as a drastic impact of the excessive presence of plastic wastes in the sea.

According to Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI, the art work named ‘Fish Cemetery’ is aimed at creating awareness on the dangers of plastic dumping. “The ICAR-CMFRI took the art route to get the public attention into the grave issue which many a time goes unnoticed”, he said.

The dumping of plastic wastes would lead into the degeneration of marine ecosystem resulting in the depletion of commercially important fish stocks.  “It is alarming to find out the presence of micro plastics inside the fishes causing danger to the human beings”, he said adding that participatory waste management was the need of the hour to sustain life on earth.

Dr Sunil Muhammed, Principal Scientist, CMFRI said an average of one kg plastic materials were being collected inside the net even during a one-hour fishing. “Existing waste management practices should be replaced with integrated approach using modern technologies”, he said.

Dr V Kripa, Principal Scientist and Head of Fishery Environmental and Management Division, ICAR-CMFRI said plastics had become one of the biggest pollutants threatening the aquatic ecosystem and its resources. “It is estimated that about 7 billlion tonnes plastics enter the ocean every year. Studies conducted by the ICAR-CMFRI have indicated that plastics from land enter the aquatic systems and have severely damaged near shore habitats which are the breeding and feeding grounds of several commercially important fishes”, Dr Kripa said adding that the accumulation of plastics in some areas for several years would lead to the creation of ‘dead zones’.

The art installation includes huge structures fishes made up of sacks and iron steels.

Inaugurating the art work, Kochi Corporation Mayor Soumini Jain urged the public to join hands for eliminating plastic menace, adding that the Corporation would support the proposals of scientific waste management practice.

Dr Shyam S Saleem, Principal Scientist and Nodal Officer of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at ICAR-CMFRI, said the institute would adopt coastal villages as part of the awareness campaign for maintaining plastic free coastal habitats. “ICAR-CMFRI will seek the support of the government to give incentives to the fisher folk for engaging in anti-plastic campaigns”, he said. 

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Kochi Corporation Mayor Soumini Jain inaugurating the art installation named ‘Fish Cemetery’ set up by the ICAR-CMFRI on Fort Kochi beach to create public awareness on marine pollution

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 View of the Fish Cemetery, a symbolic art installation, set up by the ICAR-CMFRI



Finance Minister, Kerala Dr. Thomas Issac visits CMFRI

Finance Minister, Kerala Dr. Thomas Issac visits CMFRI

Dr. T. M. Thomas Issac, Hon’ble Minister for Finance, Govt. of Kerala visited the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Kochi and held talk with the Director and Heads of the Divisions. During the meeting, the Minister said the State government is keen to consider the inputs from the scientific community to implement the Aquarian Reforms Policy. “The State government will consider the proposals being submitted by the CMFRI on adequate technologies, fishing methods, regulations and ownership rights of fisher folks in order to bring in the Aquarian Reforms in Kerala”, he said.

Sustainable management practices are required to save the fisheries sector against the back, he said adding that the government is hopeful to implement the reform policy in Kerala.  “The government wants to formulate the policy by laying emphasis on the practical aspects to implement it effectively”, he said.

Dr Issac lauded the CMFRI for its efforts to prepare the draft mariculuture policy in the country. He also said that scientists should focus on value added productions from the aquatic species. “Emulating the success model of clam fishery in Ashtamudi lake which got Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, similar initiative should be taken by the CMFRI in the case of clam fishery in Vembanadu lake”, the minister said. The government would extend full support for research works meant for upgrading the socio-economic status of fisher folks in the State, he added.

CMFRI Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan apprised the minister of various research activities of the institute. Dr R Narayanakumar, Dr P Vijayagopal, Dr T V Satyanandan, Dr K K Joshi, Dr P U Zacharia, Dr V Kripa, Dr Imelda Joseph and Dr Boby Ignatius attended the meeting.


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Finance Minister Dr Thomas Issac speaking at a meeting with CMFRI Director and Heads of Divsions in Kochi


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