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Vice President Calls for Responsible Fishing

Kochi: Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu called upon fishery scientists and policy makers to draw upon a future outlook focusing on judicious use of the fishery resources by reducing losses and value addition and supplementing the ever increasing need for fish through modern aquaculture technologies and diversification of the products.

He was delivering his inaugural address at 11th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum (11th IFAF) hosted by the ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (ICAR-CIFT) in collaboration with Asian Fisheries Society Indian Brach (AFSIB) at Cochin, Kerala at Hotel Le Meridien, Kochi.

He expressed satisfaction over India’s contribution to global fish production and agricultural GDP of the country with Fish and fish products emerging as the largest group in agricultural exports of India, accounting for around 10% of the total exports of the country and nearly 20% of the agricultural exports. He called for ensuring the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) as well as bringing in a more regulated and well managed fishing environment through global marine capture fisheries policy and governance, as well as addressing marine conservation concerns.

He expressed concerns over economic benefits from both capture fisheries and aquaculture  not reaching the primary producers, ie. the fishers and fish farmers. The Government of India is seized of the issue of doubling farmers’ income and in this context, the scientists and technocrats present at the Forum should think beyond producing more and producing responsibly ensuring good income for the fishers and aquaculture farmers.

He called for concerted efforts involving all mandated organizations for interventions in many areas, starting from reducing the role of  middlemen, providing crop insurances, easier access to credit,  developing cold chains and good upcountry  market linkages, cooperative marketing federations, providing required infrastructure for post-harvest storage, handling and value addition, reducing post-harvest losses, ensuring food safety and HACCP protocols, market intelligence and technological back stopping by research and developmental agencies, developing Public Private Partnership (PPP)  in infra development and management as well as for  distribution networks, to mention a few.

Hon’ble Governor of Kerala Shri Justice (Retd.) P. Sathasivam; in his speech stressed that there are several areas of concerns and constraints for fishermen and aqua culturists in the country. Scientific gatherings such as the present one should provide outputs for common people, fish farmers and primary producers.

Earlier, Dr. T. Mohapatra, Secretary DARE and DG, ICAR highlighted the contributions of ICAR towards and doubling fish farmers income. He emphasized on efforts taken up since independence by the fisheries institutes under ICAR in realizing Blue revolution in India

Later, Smt. J. Mercykutty Amma, Hon’ble Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry, Govt. of Kerala gave away the Gratitude Awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards, Gender Justice and Equity Award, SOFTI Biennial Award, Prof. HPC Shetty Award, Dr. TVR Pillai Award, Shri J.V.H. Dixitulu National Award and PFGF Awards as part of the triennial event. compliment all the recipients of the Awards. She wished that work and contributions of the award winning scientists in their respective fields will certainly set the standards for the younger generations to emulate and  motivate them to do more for the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Dr. K.T. Jaleel, Minister for Local Administration, Government of Kerala,  Smt. J. Mercykutty Amma, Hon’ble Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry, Govt. of Kerala; Shri K.V. Thomas, Hon’ble MP, Ernakulam along with Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE & DG, ICAR; Dr. J. K. Jena DDG (Fishery Science), ICAR and many more luminaries also graced the event which will run for 4 days till 24 November, 2017.