Union Minister, Shri Parshottam Rupala led the Phase – VIII of Sagar Parikrama

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

“Sagar Parikrama” is an evolutionary journey envisaged across the coastal belt demonstrating solidarity amongst all fisher folk, fish farmers and other stakeholders while also understand the on-ground challenges and problems of the fishers. The first part of Sagar Parikrama was launched on 5th March 2022 from Mandvi,Gujarat (Sagar Parikrama–Phase I) and completed on 12th June 2023 at Vizhinjam, Kerala (Sagar Parikrama–Phase VII)  covering key areas on the west coast of the country.

The second part of Sagar Parikrama aims to cover the East coast of the country, hence Phase – VIII of Sagar Parikrama led by Union Minister, Shri Parshottam Rupala resumed from Vizhinjam, Kerala on 31st August 2023 and will continue to cover the eastern coastal states of the country in subsequent phases.

In line with the above, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Shri Parshottam Rupala led the Sagar Parikrama – Phase VIII along with Minister of State, MoFAH&D, Dr. L. Murugan in the presence of Secretary, DoF, Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Joint Secretary (Marine Fisheries, DoF), Smt. Neetu Kumari Prasad and Chief Executive, National Fisheries Development Board, Dr. L.N. Murthy.

First day of Sagar Parikrama-Phase VIII started on 31st August 2023 and covered the coastal areas of Kannyakumari, Tamil Nadu comprising of interaction with beneficiaries at fishing harbours of Thoothoor, Colachel and Muttom and fishing villages of Thoothoor, Vallavilai, Kurumpanai and Vanayakudi. Day two of the programme entailed interaction with beneficiaries of fishing village of Uvari, Periathalai, Veerapandiyan Pattinam in districts of Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi along with Thoothukudi, Tharuvaikulam and Mookaiyur fishing harbours in districts of Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram.

The third day of Sagar Parikrama program commenced at Rameswaram fishing jetty of Ramanathapuram district with demonstration of fishing methods and fish handling by the fishermen along with interaction with the fishermen and general public. Union Minister reviewed the improvements and renovations to the boat jetty and discussed about research & preparations, field work, fish handling with fishermen and fish farmers. He highlighted that grass root level interactions are key to valuable insights about the practices and dynamics of the fishing industry. And that, the interactions serve to bridge the gap between policymakers and the people directly affected by the sectoral dynamics and policies.

As per the schedule, the dignitaries visited the Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI along with an exhibition. Important marine fish resources of Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar regions, seaweed farming, IMTA, hatchery produced Cobia, Silver Pompano and marine ornamental fishes were displayed in the exhibition. Joint Secretary (Marine Fisheries),DoF, Smt. Neetu Kumari Prasad discussed about the objectives of Sagar Parikrama Yatra and the Multipurpose Seaweed Park. She emphasised that the initiatives undertaken by the Government of India aim to resolve the issues of the fishermen, fish farmers and other stakeholders and improve their quality of life and economic well-being.

Union Minister led the interaction with the fisher women group engaged in seaweed cultivation who spoke about their way of living and livelihood; they shared their experiences, challenges, and aspirations particularly about seaweed cultivation. Fisher women thanked the Union Minister for providing support for the seaweed cultivation. He expressed his happiness to receive one representation from a fisher in Gujarati language.

The farmers requested that relevant initiatives be taken up for making seaweed seeds available in order to tap the market demand. A hatchery for seed production and relevant subsidies were also requested for to resolve ongoing challenges. The Union Minister assured to look into the matter and provide all possible assistance to resolve the problems of small fishermen who own motorized fishing boats by providing them fuel on credit basis.

MoS, Dr. L. Murugan shared that seaweed cultivation is recognized as an economically viable livelihood option and should be taken up especially by fisher women, and the flagship scheme of GoI, Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) aims to drive the same agenda. Hence to start with support is being provided for seaweed cultivation under the scheme.

Further, Shri Parshottam Rupala along with Dr. L. Murugan and with other dignitaries laid the foundation stone of Multipurpose Seaweed Park at Valamavur, Ramanathapuram district and attended the Bhumi Pooja of the Multipurpose Seaweed Park.

Speaking about the Multipurpose Seaweed Park to the audience and to the press, Shri Rupala expressed his happiness that the India’s first Multipurpose Seaweed Park is taking ground and appreciated the efforts taken up Dr. L. Murugan and the State Government of Tamil Nadu. He shared that the park has been approved with a total investment of Rs 127.7 crore and will aim to promote cultivation and conservation of seaweed benefitting 136 coastal villages of six districts of Tamil Nadu. The work of the park is estimated to be completed within 2 years. He further highlighted the achievements of the GoI in the development of sector with the launch of PMMSY and KCC in the fisheries sector.

Therefore, along with the Sagar Parikrama programme, the officials of the Department of Fisheries in association with the district authorities had made arrangements for distribution of 374 Kisan Credit Cards in Ramanathapuram district alone taking the national count to 4,47,14,565 KCC. Union Minister thanked the Banks for the timely cooperation in the endeavour.

Further, PMMSY success stories were shared by progressive fishermen. Shri Rupala shared that the investment in fisheries sector is being infused keeping in mind the sectoral ground realities and appreciated the contribution of the villagers while urging them to come forward and use the benefits of PMMSY and KCC for fisheries and allied activities. He also requested volunteers to help in creating awareness of the schemes such as PMMSY, KCC so that the beneficiaries can take benefit of the same.

To conclude, Minister of State highlighted that Tamil Nadu holds huge potential for growth of marine fisheries as well as for being a leader hence appropriate marine fishing regulations, maintenance of the hygiene and sanitation in the marine fish landings, adoption of necessary technology infusion and value chain efficiencies should be focussed upon. Further he thanked the fishermen, fish farmers, beneficiaries, coast guard officers for sharing their participation and suggestions for the development of the fisheries sector.

With these impactful and insightful interactions and discussions, and the hope for a better future, Sagar parikrama – Phase VIII programme culminated.



Source PIB