Policymakers, diplomats, scientists, researchers, industrialists, and entrepreneurs will converge in Kochi for a 5-day international symposium on innovations in fishing technologies for sustainable and resilient fisheries, which begins on February 13.

They will explore solutions for the adoption of a set of sustainable fisheries measures, including the blue transformation of small-scale fisheries (SSF) and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in fishing. Renowned marine scientists and experts from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) among many others will take part in the discussions.

At a time when the marine fisheries sector is facing a range of issues, such as depleted fish stocks, habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change, the meet assumes significance in chalking out effective sustainable practices, including improved fishing and post-harvest techniques.

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The Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying is hosting the global meet in collaboration with the Bay of Bengal Programme Inter-Governmental Organisation (BOBP-IGO), the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research on the occasion of the 23rd annual meeting of the ICES-FAO Joint Working Group on Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour (ICES-FAO WGFTFB).

Union Fisheries Secretary Jatindra Nath Swain will inaugurate the symposium. India’s plans and perspectives on marine fisheries research and development will be presented by J K Jena, Deputy Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Dr J Balaji, Joint Secretary to the Department of Fisheries during the opening session of the symposium.

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The symposium hopes to provide a platform for structuring actionable agenda, identifying research, and capacity-building needs and forging partnerships between and among researchers, academia, industry, and policymakers for a sustainable fisheries future, Dr P Krishnan, Director of the BOBP-IGO said.

A dialogue on the development of a regional marine fisheries platform for the Bay of Bengal region, to be held on the side-line of the symposium, will be a major highlight of the event. It will discuss the formation of a regional network to address climate change, marine pollution, overfishing, and habitat degradation, and to strengthen the Blue Economy in the region. Senior policymakers, scientists, and academicians representing India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand will attend the dialogue.

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