Department of Fisheries,Ministry of Fisheries,Animal Husbandry and Dairying,Government of India (GoI) organized a webinar on “Fish for Health and Fish for Wealth” asapart of“AzadikaAmritMahotsav”. The eventwas organized under the chairmanship of Shri Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, Department of Fisheries (DoF), GoI.More than100participants attended the event that included DoF officialsof GoI and States/UTs,facultyfromstateagriculture, animalhusbandry andfisheriesuniversities, entrepreneurs, farmers, hatchery owners, representative from aquaculture industry etc.
The event started with the Welcome address by ShriI.A.Siddiqui,FisheriesDevelopmentCommissioner(FDC),DoF.A brief outline of the webinar was shared withthe distinguishedpanelists ShriJatindraNathSwain,Secretary,DoF,Shri Sagar Mehra, JointSecretary(Inland Fisheries), DoF, Dr. B.K. Das, Director, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) and other participants.
Inhisinauguraladdress, Secretary,DoF made participants aware about the evolution of the fisheries sector in Indian anddevelopmentonits extensionactivities. Different aspects affecting fish consumption such as income status, easy availability of fishin coastal areas as compared to the northern part of India, taste preferences as per location etc were briefly explained.Secretary,DoF further highlighted that components supportedunderPradhan Mantri MatsyaSampada Yojana (PMMSY) promote ‘fishforincreasing both nutritional benefits and wealth’ particularly through the freshwater aquaculture species and practice. The participants were also made aware of the steps taken by DoF and NFDB for promotion of the PMMSY scheme and generate awareness on nutritional value of fish.
JointSecretary(IF, DoF) in his address highlightedtheimportanceoffisheries,livelihoodopportunities provided through fisheries activities across the sector, relatedsocio-economic developments, and importance of biodiversity of flora and fauna. He also elaborated upon importance of diversifying fish species and consumption of fish because of its healthbenefitsforchildren,womenandfisher communities.Theparticipants were made aware of the numerous health benefits provided through fish consumption due to micronutrients, minerals and animal proteins present including Omega 3 and Fatty acids that are very useful for our health. Therefore, with the aim to increase fish consumption, DoF will be taking up surveys to understand consumer preferences and focus onvalue chain improvements through implementationand benefits offered by PMMSY scheme in all States/UTs. These activities includeestablishing and improving infrastructure such as cold storage, auction markets, disbursement of information on various kinds of aquaculture, aquatic health management, entrepreneurs etc. It was highlighted that fisheries’ taken up by youth and women shall significantly boost employment and incomes of all stakeholders.
During the technical session, Dr. B.K. Das, Director, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI, WestBengal) was invited to address the participants. The discussion was focused on ‘Fish for Health’ and ‘Emergence of fish and shellfishdiseases in India: Prevention and Mitigation’. Director, CIFRI emphasized on importance ofconsumption of fish for health benefits such as overcoming micronutrient deficiencies, increased immunity against diseases, a toolfor fighting malnutrition and increasing nutritional securityacross the nation.
Director, CIFRI further explained about the emerging fish and shellfish diseases in India and methods to prevent the same. He made the participants aware of capture, culture and cage culture wastes, kind of diseases that occur in inland open waters, bacterial, viral and fungal diseases in cage culture, fish mortality in cage cultureetc.Diagnostic, mitigation and preventive methods were also discussed during the session.
After the technical session,an open discussion was held with thefishfarmers,entrepreneurs,hatcheryowners, scientists, and faculty of universities. The discussion was led by Shri I.A. Siddiqui, FDC – DoF. Post the interaction, thewebinarconcludedwithavoteofthanksproposedbyDr.S. K.Dwivedi,AssistantCommissioner, DoF.