An industry stakeholder consultation on Blue economy was jointly conducted by FICCI and ICAR-CIBA on 27th February 2017 in Chennai. This was an initiative by the FICCI task force on blue economy as part of the business engagement with the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries. The programme commenced with the welcome address of Mr. Ar Rm Arun, Chairman-FICCI-Tamil Nadu State Council & Chairman, Valingro Group. Former ambassador Mr. Rajiv Bhatia spoke next and highlighted and the objectives of the task force in developing the blue economy as a business opportunity incorporating sustainable ways for ocean-based trade. Dr.S.V.Alavandi, HOD, AAHED CIBA presented a bird’s eye view of CIBA’S research activities towards the goals of a blue economy and future programmes envisaged with special reference to brackish water aquaculture, under the FICCI taskforce. Dr.T.Ravisankar, from technology management unit of CIBA highlighted the rich marine biodiversity, aquaculture Potential and related business in the IOR. He indicated that the market dynamics for higher export prices and improve the economy in the region. Dr.M. Sakthivel, Founder, Aquaculture Foundation emphasized that with limited land resources, coastal waters have enormous potential in aquaculture and mariculture in the form of production of fish, sea weeds, biodiesel and bio-fertilizers using natural resources, potable deep seawater supply and tidal energy. Also, there is need to have special focus on coastal aquaculture, fish processing activities and to train and educate local fisheries community. The consultation was concluded by Mr. Murari, IAS (retd), and Advisor to FICCI and Former Advisor to president of India. He mentioned that there was an urgent need for cold chain, up gradation of deep sea fishing vessels especially for tuna fishing, improving fishing vessels’ energy efficiency, vessel building and preventing wastage of small size and lesser-valued fish which get discarded in seas by deep sea fishermen.
The participants shared their views in relevance to sectors such as fisheries and aquaculture and biotechnology, tourism, renewable energy, shipping, ports and maritime logistics etc. Matters such as ban on sharks and sea cucumbers, price fluctuations, drugs form marine chemicals and hydrocarbon extraction were also discussed. Issues of fishermen crossing boundaries for want to better fish catch were highlighted. Banning purse seine/mesh size regulation along with sea ranching and Potential Fishing Zones with ISRO/INCOIS were also suggested as remedies.
The Chairman indicated that considering the importance of fisheries sector, there was a need to conduct a national level consultation on fisheries, where FICCI could play a major role in bringing institutions and stakeholders together. Representative stakeholders form industry, state and central Government and research organizations, universities and farming community took part in the meeting.
Source: Fishing Chimes