"National Policy on Marine Fisheries, 2017" to guide the development of marine fisheries sector for the next 10 years: Radha Mohan Singh Traditional fishermen, their associations and self-help groups being provided with central financial assistance of up to Rs 40 lakh for Deep-Sea Fishing VesselsThe Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has notified the "National Policy on Marine Fisheries, 2017", which will guide the development of marine fisheries sector for the next 10 years. Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said this at the inter-session meeting of the consultative committee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare on “Marine Fisheries-Mariculture in India” in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu today. The meeting was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare to discuss and deliberate various issues related to "Marine Fisheries - Mariculture in India".Shri Singh informed that the government has also included a sub-component namely, 'Assistance for Deep-Sea Fishing' under 'Blue-Revolution'. Under this scheme, traditional fishermen, their associations/organizations or self-help groups are provided with central financial assistance upto 50% of the cost of the vessels i.e. Rs 40 lakh for 'Deep-Sea Fishing Vessels'.
For implementation of this scheme, Rs 312 crore of central share has been released in the first year (2017-18) to benefit the traditional fishermen of the country.Agriculture Minister further said that fish production in India is estimated at 11.4 million tonnes, out of which 68% is registered from inland fisheries sector and the remaining 32% from marine sector. It is expected that the indigenous fish requirement by 2020 would be 15 million tonnes as against the production of 11.4 million tonnes.This gap of 3.62 million tonnes is expected to be made up by Inland Aquaculture and also through mariculture.Estimates by scientists that the fishery resources of near-shore waters within the 200 meters depth zone are either optimally utilized or sometimes over-exploited, which is a matter of serious concerns for the livelihood of traditional fishermen, he added. In this context, a meeting was held on May 17, 2018 with the Fisheries Ministers of all coastal States/ UTs to discuss the issues relating to "Marine Fisheries". In this meeting, all the coastal States have been called upon to adopt necessary reforms towards responsible and sustainable fisheries.Shri Singh said considering the negligible opportunities of additional fish production from the near shore area, the government has decided to promote 'marine culture fisheries' and included the sub-components of ‘Mariculture' under 'Blue Revolution' Scheme. Open sea cage farming is one of the eco-friendly farming activities under mariculture which is being practiced in open sea where wave action is less. The fishes that are being cultured in cages are high value fishes; hence there is a huge export demand for cage cultured fishes.He informed that the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad which functions under the Ministry has provided financial assistance of Rs 114.73 lakh to the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI)in 2011 for implementation of a technology upgradation project on demonstration of open sea cage farming in 14 locations along the coasts of almost all maritime states on pilot basis.
Based on the successful implementation and outcome of the pilot projects, it was recommended that open sea cage farming be established across the country.Agriculture Minister concluded by saying that the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DADF) has formulated a document on Mission Mariculture-2022 with the main objective of enhancing fish production from marine sector. It is proposed to promote maricultureincluding open sea cage culture activity in all maritime States and UTs on priority basis with the active participation of maritime States/UTs and fishers.Shri Singh said the Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare in line with Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 has launched the Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan from 1st June, 2018 till 31st July, 2018 so as to aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes. The Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 villages with more than 1000 population each in Aspirational District identified in consultation with Ministry of Rural Development as per the directions of NITI Ayog. In districts where number of villages (with more than 1000 population) is less than 25, all villages will be covered.The Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Smt. Krishna Raj, Shri Parshottam Rupala; Minister of State for Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal and Members of the Consultative Committee were present on the occasion.