Secretary, Dept of Fisheries, Dr Abhilaksh Likhi, chaired the Industry Stakeholder Consultation meeting for Development of Ornamental Fisheries, yesterday. Dr Likhi advised to identify hot spots for knowledge centres, outreach to be taken up for creating awareness and disburse knowledge amongst stakeholders, engagement with Chambers of Commerce for market intelligence on industry perspectives, associations and centre of excellence in clusters to be looked into under PMMSY. He further advised on further deliberations in smaller groups on issues of quality products, brood banks, diseases, referral labs etc. The objective of the consultations was to get market insights from on-ground experiences, identify the sectoral gaps and challenges and discuss solutions for joint action by stakeholders. This deliberation also intended to reinitiate discussion on the anticipated role of Department of Fisheries towards promotion of the ornamental fisheries sector.
Shri Sagar Mehra, JS (Inland fisheries) informed about the progress of the ornamental sector under PMMSY and engagement with research institutes. As per the agenda of the meeting, representatives from various verticals of the sector were asked to speak about their challenges, issues and recommendations. The discussion started by representatives of ornamental fish producers, exporters, breeders and state officials who highlighted the issues on breeding technologies, training and disease diagnostics/referral labs, quarantine centres, brood banks and brood stock, power tariffs, use of solar energy etc. Policy interventions and financial assistance were requested from GoI in with respect to import duty as most of the raw material for ornamental accessories is imported, GST tariff for accessories, R &D, indigenisation of production of equipment etc.
The meeting was attended by more than sixty four delegates comprising of producers, retailers, manufacturers, exporters and business along with subject matter experts and senior officers from States/UTs. It was highlighted by CE, NFDB, GoI that states/UTs may come forward while new project that support the customised feed for colour enhancement have been approved for the state of Telangana.
India is bestowed with rich aquatic biodiversity suitable for a diverse range of ornamental fish species, various regions of the country are having unique species that are sought after in the international market. The ornamental fish trade has adequate potential to generate significant income and employment opportunities, especially for rural communities and small-scale entrepreneurs.
Considering the potential of ornamental fisheries, the Department of Fisheries has identified development of ornamental fisheries as a key activity under its schemes Blue Revolution and ongoing Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). A key initiative undertaken by the Department was to organise a Stakeholder’s meeting on 29th Feb 2016 and National Consultation meeting in April 2016. As outcomes of the stakeholder meetings, a compilation of issues, challenges and recommendations was prepared to chalk out the way forward for policy formulation and other decisions and actions. In addition to this, several initiatives have been undertaken by the private entrepreneurs such as exhibitions, webinar, book/research paper launches etc.