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

The report was presented at a meeting convened by SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) with representatives of SAARC nations through video conference. The representatives in the fisheries sector of all SAARC nations except Sri Lanka attended the video conference.

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

A 3-member team headed by CMFRI Director A Gopalakrishnan represented India at the conference.

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

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

During the conference through Skype, the members representing fisheries and aquaculture sector of the SAARC member countries 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 SAARC level taskforce 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 as the major recommendations.