Launch of All India Network Project on Fish Health
CHENNAI: Launch of All India Network Project on Fish Health was held at CIBA (ICAR), Chennai on Saturday . The Secretary of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), Dr. P. Ravichandran was the chief guest of the function. Dr. K.K. Vijayan, Director, CIBA presided over the meeting. Representing the brackishwater aquaculture sector, Mr. Muthukaruppan, President, Society of Aquaculture Professionals, Mr. Balasubramanian, Secretary shrimp Farmers association, and Dr. Panda, in-charge, MPEDA-RGCA Quarantine Facility, joined the occasion. The meeting was attended by10 partnering institutions (7 ICAR fisheries research institutes, CIFE-the Deemed University in Fisheries and 2 universities from West Bengal and Gujarat) of the All India Network Project on Fish Health, along with the scientists, and staff and research students of CIBA (ICAR). The meeting commenced with the welcome address by Dr. Saraswathy, Principal Scientist, who welcomed the Chief Guest, the Director CIBA, the dignitaries and the gathering. This was followed by the address of Dr. Vijayan, Director CIBA, and he accentuated the importance of collective action by the different working groups for surmounting the challenges faced by the aqua-farmers and the aquaculture industry today. The director impressed up on the issues concerning:
- Economic losses faced by the farmers especially with respect to disease, the associated slow growth, the crop-losses faced by the farmers, due to disease related crop loses.
- Indiscriminate use of undocumented products, chemicals and antibiotics in aquaculture in the backdrop of the problems of rejection of the Indian seafood exports. Need for certifying safe chemicals and beneficial products so that some guidelines may be brought out for the benefit of the farmers and for providing scientific data, which could be used in drafting guidelines, partnering with other institution such as CAA.
- Developing a National level certification program for the aquaculture produce in India, bringing together different institutions,
- Also the Director suggested that a fraction of the revenue from seafood export be voluntarily kept laying aside as a token of responsibility by the stakeholders so that R and D funding can be obtained for addressing the key problems of the sector and the farmers. This money should go to the R&D institutions, with a responsibility on the technology backstopping in Indian Brackishwater Aquaculture