Agri Business

Whitepaper recommends greater adoption of digital technology in fisheries sector

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on June 01, 2021

Boats anchored at the Kasimedu fishing harbour in Chennai (file photo)   -  Businessline

‘IoT in the fisheries sector in India’ discusses on the importance of new technologies for India

The Centre for Strategy and Leadership (CSL), a leading Indian think-tank, has released a whitepaper calling for prioritising the adoption of modern digital technologies to spur growth in the fisheries sector and to address the challenges faced by it.

The CSL whitepaper – ‘IoT in the fisheries sector in India’ – discusses the importance of new technologies for India to realise optimal green growth in the fisheries sector. It focuses on how technologies like IoT optimise management of scarce resources and increase productivity of Indian fisheries industry as a whole.

The fisheries sector provides livelihood to approximately 160 lakh (1,60,00,000) people at the primary level and almost double that number along its entire value chain. India is the second largest fish producer in the world, contributing 5.43 per cent to world fish production.

Major challenges

Unfortunately, at this time, the fisheries sector faces three major challenges: ensuring fishermen safety while out at sea, maintaining national security by monitoring international borders, and prioritising fisheries as a robust economic activity. Unless digitisation and advanced technology are deployed consistently, these challenges will remain and continue to be barriers to productivity, growth and safety long term.

Speaking on the findings of the whitepaper, Vikas Sharma, Director and Chief Executive, Centre for Strategy & Leadership, said, “India, which has 65 per cent of its population under the age of 35 years makes it the world’s most enviable workforce pool. As per studies, the IoT sector will boom to grow to a more than $20-billion market by 2022. We believe India’s fisheries sector currently in the middle of a transformation would derive great benefits by the adoption of modern technologies such as IoT, paving the way for employment generation through an inclusive strategy of public and private partnerships.”

Also read: Indian seafood industry fears further setback on freight hike, US retaliatory tariff

The whitepaper also points out that disruptive technologies, such as those being provided by Skylo, an end-to-end solution connecting machine and sensor data via satellite, are critical to meet the demands of fishermen, boat owners, and regulators as industries innovate.

Parthsarathi Trivedi, co-founder and CEO of Skylo, said, “Digitisation and connectivity are key to achieving our Prime Minister’s goal of doubling fisheries production under the Blue Revolution. Technology will transform the fishery sector in three main ways: safety, productivity, and sustainability. At the heart of this transformation is access to data and cloud-based analytics for unconnected fishing vessels and aqua farms.”

Improvements in digital technologies now allow innovative monitoring tools to manage fish stocks better at every phase of the value chain. High cost and lack of trained hands have hampered the progress of technology adoption. These challenges in the fisheries sector can be overcome through a uniform use of technology, making it easy and affordable for fishermen to deploy solutions.

Also read: A holistic approach to conserving water

The paper suggests that all value-chain stakeholders need to be involved in the decision-making process, from fishermen to boat owners to government organisations. New technologies need to be applied in a progressive manner to better adapt to changes.

Published on May 31, 2021

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