Indian Council of Agricultural Research


ICAR-CMFRI throws open wonders of marine life for public

ICAR-CMFRI throws open wonders of marine life for public 

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CMFRI, Kochi

A large number of people turned up to watch the wonders of marine life as the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) opened its doors for students and public to mark its 73rd Foundation Day on 4th February 2020 at its Headquarters in Kochi and various Regional Research Centres. The Open House programme evoked a huge response from the public to enjoy the ringside view of marine wonders and to learn the latest developments in marine research. Nearly 4000 people visited the Headquarters of the Institute located in Kochi, to watch in awe the splendours of aquatic organisms in the sea and to interact with the scientists.

The huge crowd who came to see the wonders of marine world was awestruck by rare collection of marine aquatic life showcased at National Marine Biodiversity Museum, marine research aquarium and various laboratories.  The museum showcased a collection of marine species such as sea hares, flying squid, horse shoe crab, sea snakes, sea birds, pearl oyster, sea cow, sharks, penguin, dolphin, etc. The ICAR-CMFRI museum is the national designated registry of marine species which has a collection of around 3000 marine specimens. 

ICAR-CMFRI also arranged a display of pelagic, demersal, molluscan and crustacean fishery resources such as flying fish, horse fish, rare species of sharks and rays, giant tiger shrimp and giant-sized crabs on the occasion. Marine research aquarium showcasing rare ornamental varieties and the exhibition of pearls, pearl oysters, squid jigs, different varieties of mangroves, seaweeds, etc. also drew the attention of visitors. Models of cage fish farming, aquaponics, ornamental fish farming, recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) etc. were demonstrated to the public. An awareness session, that gave insight into marine pollution and the impact of plastic pollution on fish ecosystem, was also held at the exhibition. An exhibition-cum-sale of photographs on sea birds captured by ICAR-CMFRI Technical Assistant and bird enthusiast Aju K Raju was also held as part of the programme. 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.  

Earrings made up of fish otoliths drew attention of large number of people at the exhibition. A huge rush felt to have a close look on the ornaments in different size and design made up of otoliths.  Though majority of the fish have otoliths, only that of around ten species are suitable for making ornaments. 

Madras RC of CMFRI

The 73rd Foundation Day of CMFRI was celebrated at Madras Research Centre of CMFRI, Chennai on 05.02.2020. The celebrations began with an inauguration of the ‘Open House’. The Scientist-in-Charge welcomed the Chief Guest and the students and teachers of St. Antony’s School, Santhome, Chennai who also graced the occasion. The Chief Guest inaugurated the function by lighting the traditional lamp and addressed the gathering by highlighting the service rendered by CMFRI over 7 decades and his association with CMFRI. The Chief Guest also released two publications brought out by the Madras RC “Oyster farming” and “Green mussel farming” on this occasion. As a green initiative of Madras RC of CMFRI, Chennai samplings (Gooseberry and Guava) were also handed over to two of school students to plant in their school premises. The students were then given a brief history and background of CMFRI and the achievements over 7 decades through a video and based on which a quiz was conducted and prizes given away to the students by the Scientist-in-Charge. Booklets on eminent Scientists/ personalities were also distributed to the students. The students were then given an exposure to all the laboratories, the biology lab where different species of fish/ shell fish were displayed and explained by the Scientists/ Technical staff. The fishery environment, marine biotechnology (Tissue Culture), biodiversity and mariculture activities were also displayed and explained. Marine and freshwater ornamental fish/ shell fish species displayed in the aquariums, and museum were major attractions to the students. A digital display of the research activities of Madras Research Centre was highly appreciated.

Mandapam RC of CMFRI

The 73rd foundation day was celebrated at Mandapam Regional centre of ICARCMFRI on 3rd February 2020. ‘Open House’ was inaugurated by Dr. R. Jayakumar, Principal Scientist & Scientist-in-Charge in the presence of school & college students. More than 2,000 students from the schools, colleges and general public of Ramanathapuram district visited the aquarium and museum. Scientists and technical staff of Mariculture, Pelagic, Demersal, Crustacean, Marine Biodiversiy, Fisheries Environment & Management and Socio-Economic Evaluation & Technology Transfer Division exhibited and explained the visitors about the research activities taken up by the respective divisions for the benefit of fisher folk. Awareness on marine resource conservation, biodiversity issues and mariculture activities were also given to the students through video shows. 

In continuation of the celebrations, a motivation and career guidance programme was organised on 4th February for school students. More than 225 students representing Kendriya Vidyalaya, Mandapam, Raja Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Kunjaravalasai, Vedalai, Government Higher Secondary School, Mandapam Camp, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Mandapam participated the programme. Comdt. M. Venkatesan, Commanding Officer, Indian Coast Guard Station, Mandapam was the chief guest and he motivated the students by sharing his own experience from family and profession. He gave practical tips for solving problems and developing soft skills. He also stressed the importance of communication skills.

Tuticorin RC of CMFRI

Foundation day was celebrated at Tuticorin Research Centre of ICAR- CMFRI on 04.02.2020. The Centre conducted Open House and opened its research laboratories and other facilities for the public. The function was inaugurated by Dr. P.P. Manojkumar, Principal Scientist & Scientist-in-Charge, Tuticorin Research Centre of CMFRI, Thoothukudi. Students from various schools and colleges visited the centre and all the laboratories, museum, hatcheries, aquarium and video show was arranged at the Conference Hall of the centre. The total number of visitors including the students and other public were more than 1300 members (which includes approximately 1100 numbers of school and college students from 5 schools and 6 colleges and 200 numbers of general public). Scientists explained various activities being carried out by them to the students and public. 

ICAR-CMFRI hosts third international symposium on marine ecosystems

ICAR-CMFRI hosts third international symposium on marine ecosystems 

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The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi hosted the third international symposium on marine ecosystem: challenges and opportunities (MECOS-3) from 7th to 10th January 2019. Organised by the Marine Biological Association of India (MBAI), the MECOS-3 set a platform for discussion on a wide range of topics, including impact of climate crisis in marine ecosystems, meeting sustainable development (SDG) goal-14 (life under water) of the UN, development of small-scale fisheries, recent development in aquaculture, eco-labelling and green fishing technologies. 

Dr Petri Suuronen, Director, Blue Economy Natural Resources Institute, Finland inaugurated the symposium. He said that marine fisheries will be more profitable and the people involved in the sector will have a better socio-economic status if ocean resources are made sustainable. A renowned researcher in marine fisheries, Dr Suuronen said that policy makers, government agencies and the whole people working in the sector should cooperate and work together to achieve sustainability in marine fisheries of the country.  Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR-CMFRI presided over the function. He said that eessential fish habitats were facing serious challenges because of anthropogenic as well as natural pressures. The third Dr. S Jones memorial prize, instituted by the MBAI for outstanding contributions in marine biology and fisheries, was presented to Dr T Balasubramanian, Vice Chancellor of Chettinad University, Chennai. Dr K Sunil Mohamed, Convenor of MECOS 3 and Dr V Kripa, Secretary of the MBAI also spoke at the inauguration of the symposium. 

While addressing the delegates on the third day of the symposium, Smt. J Mercykuttyamma, Minister for Fisheries, Kerala said that sustainable development of marine fisheries sector should not be limited only on conservation of resources and the environment, instead it should follow a holistic approach giving greater importance on the role of fisheries as sources of livelihood for billions of people. Recognition of the social agency, well-being and livelihoods of people working in the sector is equally important in marine fisheries, she added. 

The symposium proposed a blanket ban of trawling in the territorial waters within 12 nautical miles. According the recommendations of the symposium, these areas should be demarcated as exclusive zone for small-scale fishermen. The symposium also demanded that the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 be reformed in a way making it effective in conservation of marine species of the country. Authoritative science, knowledge and planning are required to assess the performance of the Act, it said.  A panel of experts have to look into the Act to bring in adequate changes in various Schedules and Categories of the Act. Since extinction risks are different between marine species within a group, proper assessment is required on the impact of the Act on marine ecosystems, according to the recommendations of the symposium. 

Seafood fest

Dishes made with the octopus were the major attractions of a seafood festival held as part of the symposium at ICAR-CMFRI. The festival offered mouth-watering octopus cuisines such as biriyani, puttu, momos and snacks.  Many more other varieties with mussels (kallummakkaya), clam, squid, shrimp, crab, fish and oysters were also available at the festival.