Conservation of biodiversity and its applications are essential for growth and sustainability of aquaculture in the coastal region, said Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General and Secretary to Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) S. Ayyappan.
Note of caution
Delivering the inaugural address at the three-day National Seminar on Aquatic Toxicology, Biodiversity and Aquaculture that began here on Friday, he pointed out that both Krishna and Guntur districts were ideal for fresh and brackish water aquaculture. At the same time, he cautioned that biodiversity had to be utilised for enhancing the production, especially at a time when the entire globe was facing the threat of global warming.
The seminar has been organised by the Department of Zoology and Aquaculture, Acharya Nagarjuna University. Talking about toxicology and pollution, Dr. Ayyappan said that it was a difficult subject but he urged the professors, research scholars and aqua farmers to implement early diagnostic tools to overcome the problem. There are a number of bio-sensors available, students should take their help, he said.
Dr. Ayyappan said that the fishing industry had grown to the level of nine million tonnes a year of which the contribution of aquaculture stands at five million tonnes.
On focus areas, he said, “We need to focus on sustainability, secondary business and diversified culture.” He said “keeping in mind that our supply chain and cold storage chain are weak and post-harvest loss is huge, we need to think of secondary business such as establishing such chains. And at the same time we also need to add to the number of species being harvested.”
Earlier, addressing the gathering, the Vice-Chancellor of ANU K. Viyanna Rao pointed out that ICAR should think of establishing an aqua research centre in the Krishna-Guntur region as it was the hub of aqua culture in coastal AP.
The Head of the Department, Prof. K. Veeraiah, in his address said that the seminar was organised as the aquaculture sector was facing a crisis, especially with regard to pollution.