Scientists, oceanographers and marine experts at the international conference on the Blue Economy has urged the Centre to form a separate Ministry for the Fisheries and Ocean sectors for the smooth implementation and management of all government policies related to the two sectors.

The three-day conference organised by the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), has called for bringing all agencies and institutions working in the field of ocean and fisheries research under one roof to create a healthy blue economy for the country.

The conference, during which 130 technical papers were presented, concluded on Saturday. It has drawn up a set of recommendations that will be submitted to the Centre.

It was proposed to set up incubation centres and start-ups in fisheries to tap the available underwater technology, including SONAR, to support blue economy initiatives. There is an urgent need to develop next generation environment-friendly green fishing vessels based on energy efficient design, it said.

The meeting also suggested establishing satellite-based remote sensing applications to implement blue economy initiatives. The meet called for certifying marine living resources and eco-labelling seafood.

There is a need for collaboration among R&D organisations and the stakeholders concerned in the promotion of ecosystem-based responsible aquaculture practices, the conference noted.