Indian Council of Agricultural Research


Fisheries Minister agrees to implement key recommendations of CMFRI study on fisheries credit in Kerala

Fisheries Minister Agrees to Implement Key Recommendations of CMFRI Study on Fisheries Credit in Kerala

The Hon. Minister of Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry, Government of Kerala, Smt. J. Mercykutty Amma has agreed to implement the key recommendations of ICAR Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) to reform fisheries credit delivery system in the state. She was responding to the starred questions on the subject in the Kerala Assembly on 11.06.2019. A recent study1 conducted by CMFRI on financial inclusion in fisheries sector made several recommendations which include i) reforming the fish auctioning system by introducing greater state control on price fixation and by regulating the involvement of auctioneer middlemen ii) to consider fishing vessels as collateral security for institutional loans by linking vessel insurance with credit and iii) to introduce Fishermen Credit Cards similar to Kisan Credit Cards in agriculture to bring in greater flexibility in loan disbursement and repayment. According to the Minister, the recommendations would be implemented by strengthening co-operative societies. The Minister also stated that the Fisheries Department is in the process of introducing a Bill on fish marketing, auctioning and quality control to enhance marketing of good quality fish with greater participation of fishermen.

Assembly Questions & Answers based on CMFRI studies

Marine fish production of India down by 9%, sharp drop in oil sardine catch

Marine fish production of India down by 9%, sharp drop in oil sardine catch

The catch of oil sardine from the Indian coasts suffered a sharp decline of 54% as the fish fell down to 9th  position from the first spot, according to India’s marine fish landing estimates for the year 2018. The total marine fish production in 2018 recorded 3.49 million tonnes with a drop of 3.47 lakh tonnes (9%) compared to the previous year mainly due to reduced catch in West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra with a drop of 2.01 lakh tonnes, 0.95 lakh tonnes and 0.86 lakh tonnes respectively. The data, which was released by the Kochi headquartered Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) on Friday, also showed Indian mackerel (2.84 lakh tonnes) is the most landed marine fish in the country during the year followed by cephalopods (2.21 lakh tonnes), non-penaeid prawns (1.94 lakh tonnes), ribbon fish (1.94 lakh tonnes) and penaeid prawns (1.84 lakh tonnes). The catch of sardine dropped to 1.55 lakh tonnes all over India from 3.37 lakh tonnes in 2017.While a steep fall  was recorded in West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra Among the nine maritime states, Gujarat remained in the first position in the landings with 7.80 lakh tonnes followed by Tamil Nadu (7.02 lakh tonnes) and Kerala (6.43 lakh tonnes). Unusually huge catch of red toothed trigger fish about 72,000 t was another highlight of the estimates, with Karnataka recording high landings of this species.

Oil sardine catch drops 39% in Kerala

In Kerala, the oil sardine catch fell to 77,093 tonnes from 1.27 lakh tonnes in 2017 with a decline of 39%. However, the state registered a 10% increase with 6. 42 lakh tonnes in total landings compared to the previous year with all other major resources except oil sardine recording increased catch. As in the overall landings in India, the Indian mackerel (80,568 t) turned out to be the most abundant resource in Kerala too with a significant increase of 142% from the previous year. The other major resources topped in the state were anchovies (58,766 t), threadfin breams (53,549 t), penaeid prawns (50,472 t) and cephalopods (50,180 t). Ernakulam district contributed maximum (25%) to the state landings where Munambam remained as the most contributing fishing harbour in the state.

Slight increase in value of fish

The estimate of the value of marine fish landings based on price at landing centres across the country during 2018 was  Rs. 52,632 crores. with 0.4% increase over 2017. The average price per kg of  fish at landing centre rate was Rs.152 (11.1% increase). At the retail level, the estimated value of marine fish was Rs. 80,320 crores (2.4% increase). The unit price at the retail market level was Rs.232 (13.4% increase). The Fishery Resources Assessment Division of the ICAR- CMFRI estimated the annual marine fish landings of the country through its online data collection system. Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI, Dr P Pravin, Assistant Director General of ICAR, Dr T V Sathianandan, Dr K Sunil Mohamed, Dr G Maheshwarudu, Dr P U Zacharia, Dr Prathibha Rohit and Dr C Ramachandran were present on the news conference.

ICAR-CMFRI hosts FAO global expert meeting on shark trade

ICAR-CMFRI hosts FAO global expert meeting on shark trade

The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) hosted a four-day global expert meeting on shark use and trade in association with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations during 24th to 27th July 2019. The international meet was part of a collaborative research project between FAO and ICAR-CMFRI. The event, which was aimed at bringing together researchers in the spectrum to describe various methodologies being evolved and adopted in monitoring of sharks and rays, stressed the need for mapping the value chain of these species to manage and optimise the long term value of this commercial renewable resource, for the benefit of both, the stakeholders and the environment.

The expert meeting, which is the first of its kind in India, was attended by representatives from FAO in Rome, Italy and experts from UK, UAE, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Somalia, Myanmar and Namibia. In a bid to address knowledge gaps in the fundamental information needed for management of existing shark and ray fishery across the globe, the meeting came up with a solid frame work that will be used to publish well-informed guidelines, that all countries could use to improve data collection and mapping of value chains to promote sustainable fishing and trade of this vulnerable marine resource group.

Dr. Kim Friedman, Senior Fishery Resources Officer of FAO led the discussions that primarily focussed on developing refined strategies for collecting and reporting information on use, markets and market chain for shark and ray commodities globally. According to him, there is severe shortage of data across the full value chain, that included species and commodity based information on consumption, local and retail sale including exports of these resources. At the start of the four-day meeting, Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR-CMFRI elaborated the research achievements of ICAR-CMFRI in the conservation and sustainable utilisation of sharks and rays and said that Institute has already developed Guidance for the National Plan of Action (NPOA) on Sharks that is part of the FAO International Plan of Action for Sharks (IPOA), Non-Detriment Findings (NDF) documentation that is part of the required CITES provisions for trade in listed elasmobranchs and developed DNA barcodes of more than 100 elasmobranch (sharks, rays and guitar fish) species, that facilitates species identification.

The meeting was successful in sharing ideas and finding new ways and means to tackle the issues in data collection process on shark trade. In summary, it proposed a comprehensive road map to face these challenges in the field. The output of the meeting is expected to have a constructive impact on the shark fishery in India where mapping of full value chain of shark trade is very much important as sharks are landed whole and every part of the shark is utilised in one form or the other, in the country. 

The Demersal Fisheries Division of ICAR-CMFRI coordinated the event. 

ICAR - Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute bags Rajarshi Tandon Rajbhasha Puraskar

ICAR - Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute bags Rajarshi Tandon Rajbhasha Puraskar

ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi bagged Rajarshi Tandon Award (Ist Position) instituted by the ICAR, New Delhi for the excellent implementation of Official Language Policy among the Institutes situated in ‘C’ Region for the year 2017-2018. Institute is getting the Award for the 10th time. Dr.A.Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI and Smt. E.K.Uma, Chief Technical Officer (Hindi) jointly received this prestigious Award from Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General of ICAR on the occasion of ICAR Foundation Day Celebration held on 16th July, 2019 at NASC Complex, New Delhi. 

Winter School on Mariculture Technologies: Principles and Practices to augment the seafood production in India

Winter School on Mariculture Technologies: Principles and Practices to augment the seafood production in India

Mandapam Regional Centre of CMFRI

06 - 26 November 2019

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CMFRI promotes citizen participation for optical mapping of Vembanad lake

CMFRI promotes citizen participation for optical mapping of Vembanad lake

Around 250 students from 16 colleges joined a multi-institutional research project for optical mapping of Vembanad lake on 5th August 2019, as part of a campaign by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) to promote citizen participation in scientific research. The research project aims at understanding the extent of pathogenic vibrio pollution in the Vembanad lake, identifying their reservoirs in the ecosystem, mapping the distribution of vibrio carriers using remote-sensing techniques and developing forecast models that would serve to anticipate hotspots of microbial infection. The study is jointly carried out by the CMFRI, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Nansen Environmental Research Centre-India (NERCI) and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK under the India-UK Water Quality Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

The students started collecting data for the study using Secchi disc, a simple hand-held device to measure turbidity level of water, after undergoing a training at the CMFRI. They were also trained to upload the collected data using a mobile app which was developed as part of the project. The study mainly focuses on mapping the hotspots of vibrio in the lake and developing a forecast model using remote-sensing technology. The students are coming from colleges in Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts.

During the launch of the citizen participation initiative, Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI said a massive participation of students in the project would enhance the frequency and spatial extent of data collection, which is a crucial factor in a research initiative especially the study on Vembanad lake. “In addition to being a part of a scientific work of high social relevance, the students get a golden chance to shape their career in science”, he said. CMFRI would ensure the participation of stakeholders such as fishermen, environmental activists, NGOs and residents along the banks of the lake during the next phase of the project, he added.

Dr M S Sunil, philanthropist and winner of Nari Shakthi Puraskar inaugurated the programme. Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI presided over the meet. Dr P K Dineshkumar, Scientist in Charge of the Kochi Regional Centre of NIO, Dr Ajith Joseph, Director of NERCI, Dr T V Sathianandan, Principal Scientist and Head of FRAD, CMFRI and Dr Grinson George, Senior Scientist, CMFRI spoke on the occasion.


ICAR-CMFRI organises first National Symposium on Indian Oil sardine

ICAR-CMFRI organises first national symposium on Indian oil sardine

Experts call for collaborative research to develop regular forecasting model on availability of oil sardine

The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi organised the first national symposium on Enigmatic Indian Oil Sardine on 6th August 2019 to analyse the reasons behind the fluctuation of oil sardine in the southern Arabian sea. A panel of experts working in the area of climate change, oceanography, fishery biology, fish genetics, fishing technology and socio-economics actively participated in discussions aimed at identifying the factors affecting the Indian oil sardine along the south-west coasts and finding ways and means to address the issues.