Agri Business

Kerala has halted decline in fish landings: Minister

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on November 28, 2019 Published on November 28, 2019

Kerala Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma with Nomvuyo Nokwe, Secretary General of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), at a conference on Blue Economy in Kochi on Thursday   -  The Hindu

Kerala could halt the decline in marine fish landings because of the measures adopted for the conservation and sustainable development of fish resources, Fisheries Minister J Mercikutty Amma has said.

The marine fish landings, which was 4.84 lakh tonnes in 2016-17, have shown a perceptible improvement to reach a figure of 6.09 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 following the initiatives taken in consultation with scientific communities.

Global meet

The growth assumes significance at a time when marine catches globally are decreasing, the Minister said and attributed the increase of marine fishery wealth to tight implementation of trawling ban, registration and licensing of fishing vessels, ban on juvenile fishing, regulation of mesh size fishing gears etc.

The Minister was speaking at the inaugural function of the international conference on blue economy – Aquabe 2019 – organised by Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies here.

At a different function, the Minister pointed out that the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member countries can emulate the initiatives of the Kerala government to sustain the marine fishery resources in their countries. She was inaugurating the second Somalia and Yemen Development Programme (SDPY2) organised by IORA, the Union government and Ficci in the same venue.

Later on the sidelines, the Minister said the Kerala government has taken up with the Union Commerce Ministry the US decision to continue with the ban on wild caught shrimps because of non fixation of Turtle Exclusive Devices.

There is no point in continuing with the ban on our coast, as Kerala is one of the three coastal States that have already implemented the legislation to install TED on fishing trawlers, she said in reply to a query.

The Minister also urged planning experts and scientists to consider small and marginal fishermen, fish farmers and women fish workers while planning and implementing blue economy projects in the country. This marginalised section of the fisheries sector would be the centre of blue economy projects.

The sustainable development goals of blue economy should keep the aim of ending poverty in all forms and at everywhere and food and nutritional security to the masses by aqua sources would be the preference.

In the keynote address, Nomvuyo Nokwe, Secretary General of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), said that the concept of blue economy has been proposed to initiate appropriate programmes for the sustainable harnessing of ocean resources for the development of a country along with world economic system. Covering 75 per cent of the global surface and 80 per cent of global trade, marine ecosystems constitute a key resource for economic development.

A Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Kufos, said that the objective of the India's first blue economy is to draw a suitable roadmap for the country to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and generate employment opportunities by utilisation of marine and inland aqua resources in a green and healthy manner.

Around 400 stakeholders representing 28 countries including researches and policy makers are attending the three-day conference.

Published on November 28, 2019
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