The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has submitted the Country Status Report (CSR) on the impact of climate change on the coastal fisheries and aquaculture sectors in India.

The report was presented during a video conference convened by the SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) with representatives from SAARC nations.

The video conference was part of the Dhaka headquartered SAC’s initiative to assess the impact of climate change on the agriculture sectors of the SAARC member countries and come up with resilient strategies.

A three-member team headed by CMFRI Director A Gopalakrishnan represented India in the conference.

The team presented the report, which included details of issues and challenges developing owing to climate change in the coastal fisheries and aquaculture sectors in India.

PU Zacharia, Project Coordinator of National Innovations on Climate Resilient Aquaculture (NICRA), and Grinson George, Senior Scientist, CMFRI, were the other members of the CMFRI team who prepared the CSR which exposed disruptions occurring due to climate change in areas such as marine ecosystem, fish stock, harvesting sector, aquaculture, market and trade. The present condition of fishing communities was also included in the report.

Remedial steps

During the conference, the SAARC representatives reviewed the remedial steps to be taken to mitigate the impact of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture, and finalised a set of recommendations to be followed by the member countries in future.

The meeting prioritised, in the recommendations, developing collaborative and comprehensive efforts to address climate vulnerabilities and commissioning of a SAARC-level task force to formulate strategies to mitigate climate change impact.

Conduct of awareness programmes on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and expansion of open-sea cage farming and pen culture in coastal water bodies were also listed among the major recommendations.

Representatives of the fisheries sectors of all SAARC nations, except Sri Lanka, attended the meeting.