Agri Business

Draft mariculture policy proposes special zones, offshore tech parks

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on October 04, 2018 Published on October 04, 2018

Also moots farming of GM species in closed systems

A draft national policy on mariculture has mooted mariculture zones by demarcating special areas in the sea for activities such as cage farming, bivalve farming, pen culture, seaweed culture, hatcheries and nurseries based on scientific criteria.

The draft policy was formulated by an expert committee formed by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) with A Gopalakrishnan, Director of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), as Chairman.

The policy has also suggested farming of genetically modified (GM) species in closed mariculture systems.

“...the policy allows farming exotic and genetically modified species in closed mariculture systems after stringent risk assessment and monitoring,” the CMFRI said.

The document is now publicly available for comments from all stakeholders and interested groups.

The policy aims to enhance mariculture production in the country and increase income and employment opportunities in a sustainable way, in addition to promoting entrepreneurship by facilitating technical and financial inputs.

According to the policy, satellite remote sensing data and GIS will be used to identify potential zones for mariculture on the basis of scientific evaluation of environmental parameters suitable for various types of farming avoiding conflict with other users and protecting the livelihoods of local fishing communities. Sea areas identified in this manner will be designated as mariculture technology parks by the respective States.

Marine protected areas, ecologically sensitive areas such as coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, and other coastal areas with strategic interest will not be considered for mariculture zones. In a bid to support fish breeding, culture, packaging and trade, the policy proposes encouraging the establishment of off-shore technology parks and coastal embankment systems.

The policy advises the government to formulate financial assistance programmes, including prioritised lending schemes, subsidised credit and investment subsidies, to promote mariculture.

The full version of the draft policy is available on the websites of CMFRI (www.cmfri.org.in) and NFDB (www.nfdb.gov.in ) till October 31.

The comments and remarks should be sent to info.nfdb.dpm@gmail.com in prescribed format before October 31.

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Published on October 04, 2018
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