5th May 2015, Kochi
Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare called for utilizing Geographical Information System (GIS) technology in the fisheries sector to minimize fishing efforts and expense. He was speaking at an interactive meeting with fishermen and fish farmers in the presence of the scientists of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi today. The programme was part of ICAR-CMFRI’s ongoing platinum jubilee celebrations.
The Union Minister said the GIS technology would help identify potential fishing zones (PFZ), making fishing easier and less expensive. He also said climate change was one of the major obstacles to the growth of the fisheries sector in the country. Shri. Bhagat urged the scientific community to study the issue and provide alternate means to mitigate the phenomenon.
ICAR-CMFRI’s technology of cage fish farming would help the country increase marine fish production, he added. “Seed production technology of more fish species, which are commercially important, should be developed by the scientists to popularize the cage farming”, the minister said.
India’s first fisher couple felicitated
On the occasion, the minister felicitated India’s first fisher couple, Shri K V Karthikeyan and K C Rekha. Mrs. Rekha and Mr Karthikeyan have been venturing into the sea on outboard boat for around 15 years. Rekha is the first woman in the country who goes into sea for fishing on motorized boat. ICAR-CMFRI has been providing financial and technical support to the couple to launch the cage fish farming in sea waters. The minister handed over to the couple seeds of seabass, a high value fish, for starting the cage farming. The couple hails from Kundazhiyoor near Chettuva in Thrissur district. Although there are women fishermen engaged in fishing in backwaters, no record about woman’s presence in fishing along the Indian coasts is available so far.
During the interactive meeting with the minister, fish farmers said a National Mariculture Policy is the need of the hour to popularize the cage fish farming in coastal waters. Earlier, he visited the National Marine Biodiversity Museum at the ICAR-CMFRI.
(Source: ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi)