India mulls new national fisheries policy

India's government is preparing a new national fisheries policy, The Hindu BusinessLine reported on 13 March.

The existing national policy on marine fisheries was issued in 2017, but the new policy will aim to integrate aquaculture and mariculture, and to increase growth to a higher level than the current 8 percent annually.

“Given the cross-cutting nature of various fisheries sub-sectors, it is considered that an integrated national fisheries policy would better serve the public interest rather than individual sub-sector wise policies,” Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries Giriraj Singh told lawmakers.

Singh said the new policy will incorporate certain provisions of the 2017 policy and will support the development of sub-sectors of the fisheries sector, including inland fisheries, aquaculture, and mariculture.

Funds for development of the sector will be allocated based on particular needs and priorities, and that the government will take into account interests of local fishermen while drafting the new policy, Singh said. Additionally, new technologies have been encouraged for incorporation in the draft and solutions to deal with natural disasters, such as cyclones, will also be included in the new policy.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for “Blue revolution” in the fisheries sector. The initiative aims to increase fisheries production and productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources. The government has allocated INR 5.6 billion (USD 75.6 million, EUR 68 million) to the Blue Revolution scheme in fiscal year 2020-2021, Singh said.

The government of India also established the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund in fiscal year 2018-2019, with the goal of allocating INR 75 billion (USD 1 billion, EUR 914 million) to develop fisheries infrastructure projects over a five-year period.

In the federal budget in fiscal year 2019-2020, the government introduced a new scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, which will see allocation of INR 200.5 billion (USD 2.71 billion, EUR 2.44 billion) to develop the sector over five years starting 2020-2021, the newspaper said.

Photo courtesy of oneSHUTTER oneMEMORY/Shutterstock


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