'Develop strategies to enhance fish production'
There is a need to enhance the production by tapping the water resources in the form of reservoirs and tanks.
Speaking at a two-day national seminar on ‘strategies for bridging the yield gap in fisheries and aquaculture’ organised jointly by the Professional Fisheries Graduates Forum, India, NFDB, Hyderabad, AFSIB and Fisheries College here on Monday, he said annually India is producing 9.06 million tonnes of fish where 5.63 million tonnes come from aquaculture and 3.43 million tonne of that from capture fisheries. Though India is in second position in terms of fish production, our contribution is meagre when looking at India’s vast aquatic resources.
“The production potential is much more than what we have,” he said. Carp’s annual average production in India is about 2.5 tonne by hectare as against 10 to 20 tonne per hectare in China. Vanammei (variety of prawn) is cultivated on large scale in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra.
Stressing the need to enhance the growth of fisheries and aquaculture, Dr Vasudevappa said that only about five per cent of the technology developed by the scientists have reached the farmers. The technology needs to reach at the grass roots level to improve the production through holistic approach. Integration of technology, marketing, value addition, and processing is essential to enhance the production in fisheries and aquaculture.
“Though Karwar coast is suitable for cage culture of fish, we need to have a coastal water use policy to promote cage culture to boost fish production,” Dr Vasudevappa added.
Tamil Nadu Fisheries University, Nagapattinam VC, Dr Baskaran Manimaran said as for the availability of fish for domestic consumption is concerned, there still exists a wide gap between the demand and supply. The supply is 40 per cent short of demand.
Marine capture fisheries is near stagnation, inshore water almost exploited to sustainable levels and our fishing fleets are under equipped for targeted fishing in deep sea. Under these circumstances, culture fisheries is the only option through which the demand could be met out, he added.
Dr Manimaran said the potential brackishwater area available for shrimp culture is estimated at 1.2 million to 1.4 million hectare, of which only 15 per cent is under farming sector.
Although more area could be brought under farming, lack of alternate species for coastal aquaculture is a big threat that puts the industry vulnerable. In future, there could be severe scarcity of water and acute competition for allocation for different purposes.
This will make the allocation for aquaculture more difficult. Hence the scientific community should realise the urgent need to evaluate the water requirement for different fish production procession such as broodstock management, breeding and hatchery rearing, culture and processing and value addition to convince the policy makers for water allocation for aquaculture. There is a need to promote vertical expansion of aquaculture to meet the increasing demand for fish.
NFDB former executive director Dr C K Murthy, College of Fisheries Dean Dr Shankar K M, organising secretary Dr Shivakumar Megada were present. “Meenu mathu naanu” authoured by Dr Shivakumar were released on the occasion.