THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the marine fisheries sector struggling with dwindling fishery stock, marine pollution and depletion of oceanic resources, Governor P Sathasivam called for stricter measures to protect marine biodiversity and to promote aquaculture as an alternative means of increasing fish production in the state.
He was speaking after inaugurating the National Fish Farmers’ Day celebrations organised by the Fisheries Department on Monday.
‘’Our dependence on the sea is no longer limited to food alone,” said the Governor. “It has widened to the search for medicines and industrial products. This has resulted in the acceleration of the rate of loss of biodiversity, which may lead to what scientists call a biodiversity crisis. This calls for stricter measures to protect marine biodiversity.”
In Kerala, the scope for further enhancement in fish production at present is limited to aquaculture. Therefore, it is imperative the state identifies and promotes aquaculture as an alternative means of increasing fish production. The second phase of ‘Janakeeya Malsya Krishi,’ launched on Monday, will succeed if it is undertaken on the lines of the campaign for promoting organic farming, he said.
‘’Kerala has around 210 species of fish and the state government intends to increase the present aquaculture production from 40,000 metric tonnes to 80,000 metric tonnes within the next three years, out of these, 53 species are specific to our region,” he said.Sathasivam said young people should be given training in running hatcheries and other aquaculture units.
Fish on show
Fish and fish-based products were the big attractions at an expo organised on the sidelines of the National Fish Farmers’ Day celebrations held at the Tagore Theatre campus on Monday. Pickles, cutlets and samosas with fish fillings, and fish oil-based products were on display and sale. Some of the more popular ornamental fishes were also on display. The guppy, named after naturalist Robert John Lechmere Guppy, the molly, native to central and south American rivers, and the gourami, native to Asia, were among the big attractions. The koi carp, gold fish, angel fish and an arowana, a freshwater bony fish, also were on display at the expo organised by various fisheries organisations, including the State Fisheries Management Society (FIRMA). Various other organisations including the Environment Department, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, National Institute of Fisheries Post-Harvest Technology and Training also had stalls at the expo.
Aquaculture farmers awarded
Sreenish V S, a young farmer from Thrissur, was presented the award for the best freshwater fish farmer in the state on Monday. Sudarsanan R of Munroe Thuruthu, Kollam and Devika Kaladharan of Karthikapally, Alappuzha, were adjudged the best shrimp farmer and the best pearl spot (karimeen) farmer respectively. Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma presented the awards at the National Fish Farmers’ Day celebrations organised by the Fisheries Department. Sreenish, 32, breeds fish in 48 ponds in Thrissur district. He learned aquaculture by attending training sessions and experimented in his farms before deciding to expand. Sudarsanan has been engaged in shrimp farming for over two decades. Devika selected karimeen because of the huge demand for it in Alappuzha and neighbouring districts. Her fish farm covers 2.60 acres. Senapathy grama panchayat in Idukki was selected as the local body with the best aquaculture programmes.
210 Species of fish in the state
53 Species specific to the region