The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that . He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the 11th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum with the theme 'Fostering Innovations in Fisheries and Aquaculture', in Kochi, Kerala today. The Governor of Kerala, Shri P. Sathasivam, the Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering & Cashew Industry, Kerala, Smt. J. Mercykutty Amma, the Minister for Local Self-Governments, Welfare of Minorities, Wakf and Haj, Kerala, Dr. K.T. Jaleel and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.The Vice President said that the Society is helping our country to realize the goals of not only providing nutritional and food security, but also creating opportunities for entrepreneurship, income generation, self-employment, trade and commerce. He further said that India contributes to about 6.3 % of global fish production which is also 1.1% of the national GDP and 5.15 % of the agricultural GDP of the country. The total fish production during 2015-16 was 10.79 million metric tons (MMT) of which 7.21MMT comes from inland aquaculture and capture fisheries and 3.58 MMT from marine capture fisheries, he added. The Vice President said that our country is the 3rd largest fish producer and 2nd largest aquaculture producer in the world. The country has not only been able to meet the demand of the fish for the domestic need, it has also been able to add substantially to the foreign exchange earnings through export of fish and fisheries products, he added.
The Vice President said that our future outlook must focus not on increasing our fishing efforts in the seas where there is already over capacity, but on judicious use of the declining fishery resources. It is necessary that much of the economic benefits from both capture fisheries and aquaculture are reaching the primary producers, i.e. the fishers and fish farmers, he added.The Vice President said that we need to focus on areas which will improve the economic condition of farmers. A number of interventions are needed like reducing the role of middlemen, providing crop insurances, enhancing access to credit, developing cold chains and good upcountry market linkages, providing infrastructure for post-harvest storage, handling and value addition, he added.The Vice President said that scientific gatherings such as the present should focus not only on sharing information on science and technologies. There should be a conscious effort to convey this knowledge to the common people, fish farmers and primary producers, he added.