'Marine fisheries resource management is need of hour'

'Marine fisheries resource management is need of hour'

Dr Praveen Puthran, Assistant Director General (Marine Fisheries), ICAR, New Delhi, CMFRI, Kochi Director Dr Gopalakrishnan and others release a handbook on the activities of CMFRI, Mangaluru on Friday. DH Photo

The Central government is in the process of finalising National Marine Fisheries (Regulation and Management) Bill 2019 to provide for regulation and management of fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone of India and Indian fishing vessels in the high seas, said Dr Praveen Puthran, assistant director general (Marine Fisheries), ICAR, New Delhi.

He was speaking at an interactive meeting of the stakeholders on marine fisheries organised by Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) at Hoige Bazar in Mangaluru on Friday.

He said, “The Marine Fisheries regulation and Management Bill 2019 likely to be tabled in the Parliament soon. The ICAR has given scientific inputs for the draft of the Bill. There was no set of policies for the fishing activities in EEZ in the high sea. The Bill aims at optimal utilization of marine fish resources, ensuring monitoring, control and surveillance and promotion of fishery conservation and management measures and so on.”

The deep-sea fishing scheme has already been launched in Tamil Nadu that aimed at the conversion of bottom trawling boats into deep sea liners. Marine fisheries resource management is the need of the hour. There is a need for restoration of marine habitats through the artificial reef, Dr Puthran said.

Stating that it is difficult to regulate fishing activities in deep seas, he said fishermen should accept the rules and regulations and consider it is for their benefit for the future.

Dr Puthran said Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) has set a basic standard for fishing boats. “There was no specific standard for building fishing boats India so far. They are built at traditional boatyards in an almost amateur fashion. Even basic minimum facilities for fishermen were no provided in the fishing boats that go for deep sea fishing. Keeping the safety of the fishermen in mind, the basic standard for boats have been designed.”

He said fisheries play a major role when it comes to doubling farmers income.

Sardine on decline

CMFRI, Kochi Director Dr Gopalakrishnan said climate change, especially El Nino-La Nina episodes, has a significant impact on the Indian Oil Sardine.
The Indian oil sardine stock along the Kerala coast is likely to suffer a setback this year as well. From an average of 5 lakh tonne per annum, the catch of Indian Oil Sardine has come down to 1.54 lakh tonne in the country.

“With the reduced intensity of El Nino, the sardine catch registered an increase in 2017. The shift in rainfall patterns also affects Sardine production. When the El Nino is at its peak period, the sea surface temperature fluctuates by two to three degree celsius, which in turn affects the reproduction of the Indian Oil Sardine,” He said.

A handbook on the activities of CMFRI, Mangaluru, handbook on customised indigenous finfish cages developed for fish farmers of Coastal Karnataka, and a handbook on Jellyfishes of Karnataka was released on the occasion.

CMFRI, Mangaluru Head Dr Prathibha Rohith was present.

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