Fisheries experts from eight countries will meet in Kochi on Tuesday for a harmonisation training workshop on Indian mackerel genetics.

The eight-day event is jointly organised by the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), Lucknow, and the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) project, at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute.

Experts from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand will participate in the event, according to a communication from the organisers.

The BOBLME is an international collaborative project led by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, which envisions a coordinated programme of action to improve the lives of coastal populations through regional management of the environment in the Bay of Bengal and its fisheries. The NBFGR is mandated with identifying and cataloguing the fish genetic resources of the country, the communication said.

The Indian mackerel is a commercially important species in the Bay of Bengal region. The uncertain stock status of various populations of the Indian mackerel makes it difficult to accurately identify levels of sustainable harvest and formulate management plans. Standardised procedures to investigate the stock structure of the mackerel were finalised and the need for training programmes for capacity building was recognized at the Indian Mackerel Working Group meeting held in Colombo last year.

Rudolf Hermes, chief technical officer BOBLME; E.G. Silas, former director CMFRI; J.K. Jena, director NBFGR; A. Gopalakrishnan, director CMFRI; and Dr. John Candy, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada; will speak at the inaugural session which will begin at 10.30 a.m.

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