Chairing a meeting of the consultative committee on “Marine Fisheries-Mariculture in India” at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh talked of “Mission Mariculture-2022” with the main objective of enhancing fish production from marine sector.
It is proposed to promote mariculture including open sea cage culture activity in all maritime States and UTs on priority basis with the active participation of maritime States/UTs and fishers, he said.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Smt. Krishna Raj, Parshottam Rupala; Minister of State for Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal and other Members of the Consultative Committee were present on the occasion.
In the face of the estimates by scientists that the fishery resources of near-shore waters within the 200 meters depth zone are over-exploited, Minister called on all the coastal States to adopt necessary reforms towards responsible and sustainable fisheries.
Singh said considering the negligible opportunities of additional fish production from the near shore area, the government has decided to promote ‘marine culture fisheries’ and included the sub-components of ‘Mariculture’ under ‘Blue Revolution’ Scheme.
Open sea cage farming is one of the eco-friendly farming activities under mariculture which is being practiced in open sea where wave action is less. The fishes that are being cultured in cages are high value fishes; hence there is a huge export demand for cage cultured fishes.
He informed that the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad has provided financial assistance for demonstration of open sea cage farming in 14 locations along the coasts of almost all maritime states on pilot basis. Based on the successful implementation and outcome of the pilot projects, it was recommended that open sea cage farming be established across the country, he added.
On this occasion he also reminded the participants about the “National Policy on Marine Fisheries, 2017”, which will guide the development of marine fisheries sector for the next 10 years. Singh informed that the government has also included a sub-component namely, ‘Assistance for Deep-Sea Fishing’ under ‘Blue-Revolution’.
Under this scheme, traditional fishermen, their associations, organizations or self-help groups are provided with central financial assistance upto 50% of the cost of the vessels i.e. Rs 40 lakh for ‘Deep-Sea Fishing Vessels’. For implementation of this scheme, Rs 312 crore of central share has been released in the first year (2017-18) to benefit the traditional fishermen of the country, he underlined.
Agriculture Minister further said that fish production in India is estimated at 11.4 million tonnes and it is expected that the indigenous fish requirement by 2020 would be 15 million tonnes as against the production of 11.4 million tonnes. This gap of 3.62 million tonnes is expected to be made up by Inland Aquaculture and also through mariculture.