Agri Business

Sustainability crucial to make marine fisheries profitable: Expert

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 07, 2020 Published on January 07, 2020

Marine fisheries will become more profitable and the people involved in the sector will have a better socio-economic status if ocean resources are made sustainable, according to a global fisheries expert.

“Even though it is not easy to maintain sustainability, it is possible with united efforts and determination,” said Petri Suuronen, Director, Blue Economy Natural Resources Institute, Finland.

He was speaking after inaugurating the third international symposium on Marine Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities (MECOS-3) at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) on Tuesday. A renowned researcher in marine fisheries, Suuronen said that policy-makers, government agencies and the people working in the sector should cooperate and work together to achieve sustainability in marine fisheries of the country.

“For the last few years, the fisheries sector in Europe has been doing much better in terms of sustainability. This was achieved with hard work and mutual cooperation. Good fisheries management during the last two decades has helped decrease the pressure on fishing, and many fish stocks have recovered. This has made fishing significantly more profitable than 30 years ago. Stocks will recover when fishing is managed well,” he said.

“India too can emulate such models to solve issues in the sector and to intensify attempts for achieving the target. Around 60 per cent of fisheries’ resources are now sustainable in European countries and hopefully this progress will continue. I believe many of the important fisheries are not sustainable in many Asian countries, including India,” Suuronen said.

Referring to the major threats being faced by the marine fisheries sector, Suuronen said that climate change will take a heavy toll on marine ecosystems and fisheries resources. Some stocks may replace others owing to various climatic phenomena, but it appears highly likely that the overall production will fall due to climate change, he said, adding that new energy sources are to be identified and strict control on carbon emission should be implemented to mitigate the impact of climate crisis. Blue carbon solutions will have a very important role in the future.

A Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI, said that essential fish habitats are facing serious challenges because of anthropogenic as well as natural pressures. According to him, 70 per cent of the corals are degraded during bleaching, and sea grasses are losing 7 per cent of their known area per year. Presence of invasive species, increase in number and extent of dead zones and rising pollution rates also contribute to the collapse of many ecosystems.

Organised by the Marine Biological Association of India (MBAI), the four-day symposium will set a platform for discussions on a wide range of topics, including impact of climate crisis on marine ecosystems and unusual warming of the Arabian Sea.

Published on January 07, 2020
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