CMFRI Proposes Central Legislation For Regulation Of Fishing Beyond Territorial Waters - Eastern Mirror
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CMFRI proposes central legislation for regulation of fishing beyond territorial waters

By IANS Updated: Jan 06, 2024 4:33 pm
Assam flood
Baksa: Villagers cast nets to fish at flood-affected Daranga river at Kumrikata in Baksa district, Friday, June 23, 2023. (PTI Photo) (PTI06_23_2023_000211B)

KOCHI: Seeking to harness the potential of India’s marine wealth, the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has proposed a set of comprehensive policy suggestions, including the introduction of central legislation (Marine Fishery Act).

According to CMFRI, the proposed Act is necessary for the regulation of fishing in areas beyond territorial waters to address policy and legislative vacuum, providing a much needed frame-work for sustainable practices.

The proposals were presented by CMFRI Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan during the discussion on certification and sustainability in the marine sector at the high-level national workshop organised by the NITI Aayog at CMFRI, here.

Another recommendation that was put up was the institutionalisation of regular stock assessments of marine fishery resources.

“The government has to institutionalise a regular mechanism for the stock assessment of these resources, as resource health status is going to be crucial in WTO subsidy negotiations and other national and international discourse,” said Gopalakrishnan.

Referring to the recent debate on certification of Indian marine fisheries, CMFRI suggested a national guideline on the eco-labeling of marine fishery resources.

“Private investments must be made competitive and subject to regulations to safeguard the livelihoods of small-scale fishers and entrepreneurs in the post-harvest sector,” said the CMFRI director.

Among the other proposals included streamlining of open sea mariculture, emphasising the need for sustainability and equality to receive adequate focus in determining different ownership and operatorship formats for scaling-up mariculture activities.

Implementation of AI-mediated automated mechanisms for landing estimation, tracking of fishing vessels through Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), and analytics of sub-stock-level information also found a place in the proposal.

“Greater attention needs to be given to island ecosystems and planned expansion of the fishery and value chain development, along with management of the live bait fishery of Lakshadweep,” added Gopalakrishnan.

Dr J K Jena, Deputy Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), said India needs to achieve sustainable production from coastal waters and enhanced production from offshore waters.

“One of the approaches to intensify capture fish production is the exploitation of oceanic and deep-sear resources, which are yet to be tapped fully,” said Jena.

By IANS Updated: Jan 06, 2024 4:33:41 pm
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