‘Sustainability key to profitability of marine fisheries’

Expert stresses need for concerted efforts by stakeholders

Marine fisheries will be more profitable if ocean resources are made sustainable. “Even though it is not easy to maintain sustainability it is possible with united efforts and determination,” said Petri Suuronen, director, Blue Economy Natural Resources Institute, Finland.

He was speaking after inaugurating the third international symposium on marine ecosystem: challenges and opportunities (MECOS-3) at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute here on Tuesday.

A renowned researcher in marine fisheries, the scientist said policy makers, government agencies and other stakeholders in the sector should cooperate and work together to achieve sustainability.

The fisheries sector in Europe has done well in sustainability, achieved with hard work and mutual cooperation, he said pointing out that better fisheries management during the last two decades helped decrease fishing pressure and many fish stocks have been recovering. As a result fishing is significantly more profitable than 30 years ago, he said.

India too can emulate such models to address issues in the sector and to intensify attempts for achieving the target. Around 60% of fisheries resources are now sustainable in European countries and hopefully this progress will continue. “I believe many of the important fisheries are not sustainable in many Asian countries, including India,” Dr. Suuronen said.

Threats to ecosystems

A. Gopalakrishnan, director of CMFRI, said that essential fish habitats faced serious anthropogenic as well as natural pressures. Seventy per cent of the corals are degraded and sea grasses are losing 7% of their known area annually. Presence of invasive species, increase in number and extent of dead zones and rising pollution rates also contribute to the collapse of many ecosystems.

Organised by the Marine Biological Association of India, the four-day symposium will be a stage for discussions on a wide range of topics including impact of climate crisis in marine ecosystems and unusual warming of the Arabian Sea.

The third Dr. S. Jones Memorial Prize, instituted by MBAI for outstanding contributions in marine biology and fisheries, was presented to T. Balasubramanian, Vice-Chancellor of Chettinad University, Chennai, said a statement issued by CMFRI.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 8:10:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/sustainability-key-to-profitability-of-marine-fisheries/article30504437.ece

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