Manash Choudhury, Deputy Advisor (Fisheries), NITI Aayog, has requested the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute to take up a slew of programmes for the development of marine fisheries.

During an interaction with A Gopalakrishnan, CMFRI Director, he urged the institute to make a National Marine Fisheries Index (NMFI) in order to derive a comparative picture of marine fisheries development across the maritime states, including the Andamans and Lakshadweep islands.

Choudhury called upon CMFRI to formulate a National Marine Fisheries Action Plan (NMFAP) covering all the maritime states and the islands following an alignment with the ‘Sagarmala’, a programme introduced by the Centre to boost the blue economic growth, centring the improvement in coastal logistics, skill development etc.

The action plan need to be prepared based on the prospects and limitations of marine living resources and environmental factors prevailing in coastal states, he said, adding that CMFRI could identify the reasons for under-utilisation of the potential of promising areas in the sector in each state and in the islands. Large-scale investments are required to fully exploit the potential of marine fisheries resources available in the sector, giving due weightage to sustainable growth. CMFRI may find ways and means to overcome the impediments, which limit the private investments in mariculture and similar activities, Choudhury said.

The Institute may take steps to estimate the farm-level economics of cage fish farming. By 2022, it is expected to produce four lakh tonnes of fish through cage fish farming, subject to the translation and adoption of technology to its potential.

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