Draft Marine Fisheries Policy for giving push to Blue Revolution

February 15, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:46 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM:

The draft on the National Policy on Marine Fisheries lays emphasis on bringing in Blue Revolution by sustainable utilisation of the fisheries wealth from the marine and other aquatic resources.

The Blue Revolution reinforces the Blue Growth Initiative (BGI) as amplified at the Rio+20 Conclave held at Rio de Janeiro in 2012.

The draft policy, which was released recently at a regional stakeholders’ meet organised by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) here with participation of fishers and their representatives from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal, states that the government’s focus is on maximising fleet-size, mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in production processes, species-specific and area-specific management plans and spatial and temporal conservation measures.

Fisheries sector contributed Rs.96,824 crore to the GDP (at current prices) during 2013-14, which is 0.92 per cent of the total GDP and 5.15 per cent of GDP from agriculture, forestry and fishing at current prices.

“The policy is aimed at improving the livelihood of fishers by encouraging integrated approach on fisheries management, blending of traditional knowledge and science with business principles and effective engagement of industry and other stakeholders to make fishing economically and ecologically viable,” a member of 8-men committee set up by the government to finalise the policy said. It also moots amendments to Marine Fisheries Regulation Act.

Consultation flawed

Several representatives while opposing the way the policy is being formulated made a strong pitch for nominating the representatives of the industry in the committee.

None responded from AP to the questionnaires circulated among fishers and others by the CMFRI before unveiling the draft policy. Seeking broad-based consultation to hear the voice of the stakeholders in various regions, Federation of Indian Fishery Industry Y.G.K. Murti sought ST status, formation of separate ministry for fisheries, total ban on foreign trawlers and comprehensive social security for poor fishermen.

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