National Policy on Marine Fisheries to guide sector for 10 years: Minister

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh on Monday said the ‘National Policy on Marine Fisheries, 2017’ would guide development of marine fisheries sector for the next 10 years.

Addressing an inter-session meeting of the consultative committee of the Ministry on ‘Marine Fisheries – Mariculture in India’ in Rameswaram, he said “it is inevitable to venture into mariculture practices to meet our future demand for seafood.” Three rounds of national consultations with stakeholders and a write-shop were held in October last year, where the guidelines for sea cage farming were drafted and published.

The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF) had also formulated a document on Mission Mariculture – 2022 with the main objective of enhancing fish production from marine sector. Accordingly, it had been proposed to promote open sea cage culture activity in all maritime States and Union Territories on a priority basis, he said.

Indigenous fish requirement would be 15 million tonnes by 2020 against the production of 11.4 million tonnes, Mr. Singh said, adding the gap could be made up only by inland aquaculture and mariculture. “As marine fishery resources have reached the maximum sustainable levels, development and standardisation of commercially viable mariculture activities is the major prerequisite,” he said.

Collector S Natarajan, Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Krishna Raj, Parshottam Rupala, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal, eight MPs, members of the consultative committee, and officials were present.

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