INDIA - The minister of agriculture, Radha Mohan Singh, has announced that the government is in the process of revising the National Policy on Marine Fisheries which includes aquaculture.
A Committee under the chairmanship of DG, ICAR is seeking inputs from stakeholders for revising the National Policy, reports the TimesOfIndia.
Mr Singh attended the inter-session meeting of the consultative committee on 'aquaculture development' held at the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research (IIVR).
Speaking on the occasion, he said that aquaculture development has assumed significance in the present context to enhance fish production for ushering the Blue Revolution in the country for the socio-economic development and nutritional security.
He said that aquaculture constitutes one of the main components of fisheries sector in India and it is the fastest growing food producing sector in the world with a great potential to meet the food, especially protein requirement of a large number of population.
Aquaculture production is playing an increasing role in meeting the demand for fish and fishery products.
With an annual growth rate of above 7 per cent, India is the second largest producer of fish from aquaculture in the world.
Freshwater aquaculture is a rural activity benefitting small and marginal farmers spread across the country and in view of the vast resources of the country, is also a major contributor in India's fish production.
The species diversification in recent years has led to development of technology of breeding and hatchery management of several important species for freshwater aquaculture.
Establishment of a 'Brood bank' for commercially important species at Bhubaneswar by the NFDB is expected to ensure production and supply of certified broods to hatcheries in the country.
The minister further said that cage culture in reservoirs has picked up very well in recent years. The feasibility of inland saline aquaculture in Haryana, Punjab and Utter Pradesh has opened up awareness for bringing the land unfit for agricultural activity under aquaculture.
The Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) has standardized pen and cage farming for some species which offer vast potential for inland aquaculture in the country.
It is expected that large scale adoption of the technologies of breeding and seed production by farmers across the country will lead to sustainable freshwater aquaculture as a vital component of 'Blue Revolution' in the country.
He said that India has 5.4 million ha of inland water bodies for fresh water fish culture, 1.2 million ha for brackish water fish culture and 8.5 million ha for sea farming and a rich biodiversity to harness aquaculture farming in fresh, brackish and marine water bodies.
Considering the vast potential, aquaculture needs to be developed further in a sustainable manner for economic prosperity, for empowerment of fishermen, to generate employment and for food and nutritional security, especially protein malnutrition, by introducing new technologies for responsible and sustainable utilization of resources in an eco friendly manner.
TheFishSite News Desk