The Government proposes to merge all existing schemes in the fisheries sector with an outlay of Rs 3,000 crore, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh announced here on Saturday.
Inaugurating the “World fisheries Day-2015”, Singh said the umbrella scheme, ‘Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries’, will cover inland fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries, including deep sea fishing, mari-culture and all activities undertaken by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) .
He said after Independence, fish production in the country had increased from 7.5 lakh tonnes in 1950-51 to 100.70 lakh tonnes during 2014-15, while the export earnings of Rs 33,441 crore in 2014-15 ($5.51 billion), equalled about 18 per cent of total export earnings from the agriculture sector.
“Our overall fish production has crossed 10 million tonnes with a growth rate of over 5 per cent and today we are ahead of all countries, except China,” the Minister added.
He said keeping the recent developments and trends in fish production in view, and the previous Plan periods, a growth rate of about 8 per cent can be achieved in the inland sector, adding that the future demand for fish and fishery products has to be mostly sourced from aquaculture and culture-based capture fisheries in reservoirs.
So far, our country could not utilize the existing aquatic resources; however, the annual growth rate of above 5% in fisheries is indicative of the immense potential of the sector in the coming years. It is against this backdrop that we want to harness all possibilities for intensive and integrated development of fishery sector. Providing nutritious food and gainful employment are the foremost challenges in the country today. Through fisheries, these two requirements can be fulfilled.
The Minister urged fisheries scientists to promote activities for capacity building and training of the fishermen and encourage use of new technologies enthusiastically on the ground.
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