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Developing Fisheries in Arid Areas of India

26 February 2014

INDIA - Speakers at a national seminar on Tuesday stressed the need to explore different ways of increasing fish production in the country in order to attain food security and self-sufficiency.

Around 200 delegates from across the country are participating in the two-day seminar on ‘Development of fisheries in water deficient regions,’ organised by the Fisheries Technocrats Forum, at the Central Institute of Brackish water Aquaculture, NewIndianExpress reports.

Mohammed Kasim, former principal scientist at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi, said that the main objective of the conference was to explore possibilities of developing fish culture in areas of water scarcity in the country.

Pointing out that water was an important natural resource, Mr Kasim, who is acts as consultant on fisheries management to State and central bodies, said that fresh water constituted only two per cent of the earth’s surface, with a major portion of it in the form of ice.

In India, fresh water was available through the monsoons, major river systems and reservoirs. States like Tamil Nadu, in particular, experienced scarcity in fresh water due to presence of only seasonal rivers and ponds. Hence, the meeting was aimed at exploring the kinds of fish that could be bred during the three months of rainy season in arid and semi-arid zones.

“The technical sessions will revolve around discussions on what kind of fish grow fast during that short period and attain a reasonable size, so that people will buy them for consumption,” Mr Kasim said.

“Since agricultural land is also now being used for industrial purposes and construction of houses, the production of food grains could decrease. The use of chemical fertilizers have also been curtailed due to greater awareness about their ill-effects. Hence, there is a real possibility of a decline in food production in the country.”

The conference will, therefore, focus on improving food security in the country by looking into ways of developing fisheries in water deficient regions.

Speakers, including B Manimaran, Tamil Nadu Fisheries University, Nagapattinam, who inaugurated the seminar, Madan Mohan, assistant director-general, Marine Fisheries, ICAR, New Delhi, A G Ponnaiah, director, CIBA, Chennai, and Y S Yadhava, BOBP, IGO, Chennai, stressed on the importance of improving fish production for achieving self-sufficiency.

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