India: The government is planning to develop a policy for aquaculture growth in the country. Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh announced this while inaugurating the 33rd session of Asia Pacific Fisheries Commission in Hyderabad today.
Elaborating on this, Singh said, 'Blue growth' is another important area for sustainable food security. The oceans and the inland waters of our countries offer excellent scope for blue growth."
"The under exploited potential resources of the country can usher in a 'blue revolution' or 'aquaplosion' by utilising the same. The resources are to be judiciously and rationally utilised for Aquaculture. We are also planning to develop a policy for aquaculture growth in the country, considering its vast potentials," he added.
Highlighting the importance of the fisheries sector in providing livelihood to a large section of the population and also vast potential of fisheries in the country, Singh strongly advocated sustainability and fishermen's welfare.
He said, 'Sustainable growth of fisheries and aquaculture is possible only if the sector's socio-economic benefits accrue to a large social spectrum."
"The maxim for policy makers should aim at ensuring the desired growth duly preserving the natural resource base and millions of livelihood; since fisheries and aquaculture are predominantly livelihood activities. Therefore, we should not forget the marine fishers, fish farmers and their welfare in our obsession for increasing fish production and productivity," he added.
"This sector is confronted with serious inadequacies of planning, funding and management despite being one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the global agricultural economy and despite being the only solution to the global availability of food fish," he said.
"There are innumerable challenges to the growth of aquaculture species, ranging from availability of seeds and feed, environmental threats, disease risks, trade barriers to name a few; these threaten both economic and socio-economic development in many developing countries of the world," he added.
Singh offered India's cooperation in aquaculture and fisheries to other countries, both for their sustainable development and management.
The minister informed that India currently is ranked second in global fish production, inland capture and aquaculture, and seventh in marine capture production/fisheries.
Total production was an estimated 9.51 million metric tonnes. The share of India's production from aquaculture is 6.3% of the world.