Kochi: Eminent scientists, policy makers, research managers, academicians, industrialists, bankers and administrators met at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) recently to mark 37 years of mariculture research, education and development in the country. The meet had urged the industrialists to invest money in mariculture in order to increase fish production in the country.
Pointing out the present crisis in capture fishery, Dr J K Jena, Deputy Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi asked the industrialists in the sector to come forward and concentrate on mariculture besides their entrepreneurial initiatives in shrimp farming. ”Since the union government is deliberate on eradicating poverty in India by 2030, it will promote and encourage all initiatives to increase production in food and nutrition sectors”, he said adding that mariculture was one of the best alternatives for ensuring food security in the country. Industrial Advisor Board Experts form mariculture research, industry and banking sectors spoke at the meet which was organized as part of the ongoing year-long platinum jubilee celebrations of the CMFRI. The meet proposed to formulate industrial advisory bodies with the participation of scientists and industrialists to accelerate mariculture entrepreneurship in India. Experts opined that consortium of experts from research, industry and banking was required to elevate the mariculture industry from a mediocre level to corporate level. The meet also demanded that the PG and Ph D programs in mariculture should be restarted in the country.
Representing the industry, Mr P.Surendran, an industrialist, said mariculture was one of the emerging and prospective sectors for entrepreneurs. “The industry at present in mostly constrained to shrimp farming which produces 5 million tonnes per annum earning Rs 35,000 crore”, he said.
Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI said, private-public partnership was the need of the hour to boost mariculture in the country. “We have to emulate the successful mariculture models implemented by the South East Asian countries where mariculture has grown significantly catering to the food and economic security of those countries. The Chinese model of developing seafood based products from plant origin materials such as seaweeds and micro algae can complement our requirements on growing demand for seafood”, he said. Apart from the traditional monotonous single species-oriented culture systems, India should go for multiple species in mariculture, he added.
Dr. Gopalakrishnan also said that CMFRI is in the process of preparing the guidelines for formulating the National Mariculture Policy to enhance the sea catge fish farming ventures in the country. Dr P S B R James, former CMFRI Director said, CRZ rules should not be amended for the sake of tourism. “ The regulation is meant for the protection of the sea and coastal areas not for promoting tourism”, he added.
Dr Suresh Kumar, senior official from NABARD explained the financial assistance being given by the NABARD for promoting agricultural initiatives. Prof M.V.Pylee, former Vice Chancellor of CUSAT and Dr E.G.Silas, former Director of CMFRI under whom the mariculture courses were started at CMFRI were present at the meet. CIBA, Chennai Director Dr K.K Vijayan, Dr Vedavyasa Rao, Dr A.Noble, Dr P.Jayasankar among others spoke on the occasion.
Source : Aqua International