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NITI Aayog organises national workshop on Harnessing the Potential of Fisheries in Marine States at ICAR-CMFRI

NITI Aayog organises national workshop on Harnessing the Potential of Fisheries in Marine States at

ICAR-CMFRI


The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi hosted a high-level national workshop on ‘Harnessing the Potential of Fisheries in Marine States’ on 5th January 2024. The workshop was ogranised by the NITI Aayog, in association with ICAR-CMFRI and the Department of Fisheries, Government of Kerala.Shri Suman Bery, Hon’ble Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog inaugurated the workshop.  He underscored the importance of frontier technologies like artificial intelligence in tackling the challenges in the marine fisheries sector.  He stressed the importance of understanding the dynamics of demand for prioritising production strategies.

The workshop was organised to discuss relevant issues in the sector and evolve strategies for optimal utilisation of the highly prospective marine resources.Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Ramesh Chand, Hon’ble Member of NITI Aayog said the growth of demand for fish doubled in the past decade ending 2022, compared to the previous decade ending 2012. Fisheries has a promising export share in agriculture and food commodities, he said. On measures to boost seafood export, Prof. Ramesh Chand proposed enhancing value addition and cutting-edge processing innovations in the sector.Dr J K Jena, Deputy Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) pitched for exploring untapped potential of oceanic and deep-sea resources. Citing the estimated harvestable potential of oceanic and deep-sea resources, he said that deep sea fishing would offer a potential new frontier for commercial fisheries. Dr Jena emphasised the importance of ensuring quality and enhancing the skilled capacity to utilise the prospects of deep-sea fishing.


   


 

 ICAR-CMFRI proposes policy suggestions for sustainable marine fisheries management

 

During the technical session on Certification and Sustainability in the Marine Sector, ICAR-CMFRI proposed a set of comprehensive policy suggestions, including the introduction of central legislation (Marine Fishery Act). The proposed Act is necessary for the regulation of fishing in areas beyond territorial waters to address policy and legislative vacuum, providing a much needed frame-work for sustainable practices. The proposals were presented by Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Direcotor, ICAR-CMFRI.Institutionalisation of regular stock assessments of marine fishery resources was another major recommendation. The government has to institutionalise a regular mechanism for the stock assessment of these resources, as resource health status is going to be crucial in WTO subsidy negotiations and other national and international discourse, Dr Gopalakrishnan said.Referring to the recent debate on certification of Indian marine fisheries, CMFRI suggested a national guideline on the eco-labeling of marine fishery resources. “Private investments must be made competitive and subject to regulations to safeguard the livelihoods of small-scale fishers and entrepreneurs in the post-harvest sector”, ICAR-CMFRI Director said.

   


Some of the major proposals are as follow:

· Streamlining of open sea mariculture, emphasising the need for sustainability and equity to receive adequate focus in determining different ownership and operatorship formats for scaling-up mariculture activities;

· Implementation of AI-mediated automated mechanisms for landing estimation, tracking of fishing vessels through Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), and analytics of sub-stock-level information;

· Focused research and exploration projects are required to assess and characterise deep-sea and non-conventional fishery resources;

· Establishing an institutional mechanism for overseeing deep-sea fishing was also recommended, with a clear emphasis on economic viability and adherence to national and state-specific policy guidelines;

·  Estimating the potential and exploring the possibility of utilising mesopelagic resources as source for fish meal;

·  Strengthening of accident insurance, fishing vessel insurance, and coastal immovable asset insurance is required through technological and policy interventions;

·  Greater attention needs to be given to island ecosystems and planned expansion of the fishery and value chain development, along with management of the live bait fishery of Lakshadweep; and

· Ongoing artificial reef installation programmes in coastal waters should be intensified with mechanisms for continuous impact assessment monitoring and improvisation.

   


Dr J K Jena, Deputy Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) who moderated the discussion, said India needs to achieve sustainable production from coastal waters and enhanced production from offshore waters. “One of the approaches to intensify capture fish production is the exploitation of oceanic and deep-sear resources, which are yet to be tapped fully”, he added.The proposals were presented in the presence of NITI Aayog member Prof. Ramesh Chand and a diverse array of key stakeholders, including policymakers from the Central and state governments, leading industry experts and researchers.The workshop provided a platform for experience sharing between marine states, enabling open dialogue on the challenges faced and potential solutions. Discussions on critical aspects of certification and sustainability, market linkages, value addition and seafood export, and the challenges in the fishing and seafood industry were held.Rrepresentatives from the governments of Kerala, Odisha, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu attended.  A diverse array of key stakeholders, including policy makers from the Central and state governments, leading industry experts and researchers attended the workshop that served as a platform for experience sharing between marine states, enabling open dialogue on the challenges faced and potential solutions.Discussions on critical aspects of certification and sustainability, market linkages, value addition and seafood export, and the challenges in the fishing and seafood industry were also held at the workshop.

 

 


Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying unveils ICAR CMFRIs study on Marine Fish Stock Status of India 2022

Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying unveils ICAR CMFRIs study on Marine Fish Stock Status of India 2022

Shri Parshottam Rupala, Hon’ble Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has unveiled a remarkable study report by the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CMFRI) on 31st August 2023 during the ‘Sagar Parikrama phase VIII at Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.The report titled ‘Marine Fish Stock Status of India 2022’ reveals that India’s marine fish stock is healthy and sustainable. According to the study, a resounding 91.1% of the 135 fish stocks assessed in 2022 were deemed healthy, marking a significant milestone in India's efforts to maintain the sustainability of its marine fisheries. The report also highlighted the substantial reduction in unsustainable practices, with just 4.4% of the stocks facing overfishing.These findings are poised to substantiate India's position at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and are anticipated to have a favourable impact on the country's stance in international trade negotiations. This report is also expected to be a game-changer in India’s seafood exports as sustainability has emerged as a key criterion in the global seafood trade. Minister Shri. Rupala also released ICAR-CMFRI’s special publication titled ‘Good Management Practices in Seaweed Farming’ on the occasion. ICAR-CMFRI has identified 333 prospective seaweed farming sites covering 23,950 hectares, aimed at horizontal expansion of seaweed cultivation. India has a seaweed production potential of 9.88 million t wet weight per year while the current production stands at merely 52,107 t wet weight per year. Seaweed farming has the potential to provide revenue up to Rs. 13.28 lakhs per hectare in a year on a dry weight basis.

   


On the previous day, 30th August 2023, Union Minister Shri. Prashottam Rupala visited the Vizhinjam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI, Vizhinjam, Kerala. Addressing the gathering at the Centre, the Minister emphasised that offshore cage farming is the immediate focus of the country using bigger cages. “Cage fish farming is to be expanded to the offshore waters with better cage designs having a size of 30 diameters or above that can accommodate lakhs of juveniles”, Shri Rupala said. He added that ICAR-CMFRI should spearhead research and development efforts in creating these advanced cages. The Minister also urged ICAR-CMFRI to expand seed production technologies for finfishes to all the coastal states utilising the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode. Shri Parshottam Rupala also underscored the untapped potential of Pearl Oyster production, urging ICAR-CMFRI to take a proactive role in scaling up its production in a bigger way. Dr L Murugan, Hon’ble Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying and Shri. V Muraleedharan, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs accompanied Shri Parshottam Rupala.

   

Shri. Abhilaksh Likhi IAS, Secretary, to the Department of Fisheries, Govt. of India also visited the Vizhinjam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI on 31st August 2023. He said that the Central Government is keen on developing bivalve farming, including mussels, edible oysters, pearl oysters and clams in the country under its PMMSY scheme. He appreciated the efforts of ICAR-CMFRI and its Vizhinjam Centre, which has been at the forefront of providing training to the fish farmers of Kerala in ornamental fish culture and cage culture. 

Refresher Workshop on Finfish and Shellfish Species Identification organised by the Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI

Refresher Workshop on “ Finfish and Shellfish Species Identification” organised by the Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI

Mandapam Regional Centre of the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) organised a five-day Refresher Workshop on “Finfish and Shellfish Species Identification” in Hybrid mode from February 12th to 16th, 2024. A total of 20 participants from the Chennai, Tuticorin, and Mandapam regions attended the training. Dr G. Tamilmani, Senior Scientist and Head-in-Charge, inaugurated the training and briefed on the importance of marine fish landing data collection. Dr. J. Jayasankar, Head, FRAEED gave the inaugural address. The training included theory and practical classes taken by Shri.M. Rajkumar (Identification of Shrimp, Crab, Lobster, Stomatopod, Cephalopods, Gastropods, and Bycatch Resources), Dr. L. Remya (Demersal Resources), Dr. R. Vinothkumar (Pelagic Resources), and Dr. Shoba Joe Kizakudan (Sharks). Field visits to Mandapam South and North fish landing centres and Pamban Therkuvadi for species identification were also arranged. The species identification skills of the participants were evaluated at the beginning and end of the workshop.