Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, organized a webinar on “Coldwater Fisheries: Untapped Resource” here today as a part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav” on the occasion of special week earmarked for the Department of Fisheries from 20 to 26 December 2021.The event was presided over by Shri Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, Department of Fisheries and well-attended by more than 100 participants including officials of Department of Fisheries (DoF) and fisheries officials of different States/UTs, faculties from State Agriculture, Veterinary and Fisheries universities, entrepreneurs, scientists, farmers, hatchery owners, students and stakeholders from aquaculture industry across the country.
The Webinar began with the welcome address by Shri I. A. Siddiqui, Fisheries Development Commissioner, DoF along with introduction of the theme of the Webinar and the distinguished panelists, Shri Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, Shri Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary (Inland Fisheries) and Dr. J. Balaji, Joint Secretary (Marine Fisheries) along with Dr. P. K. Pandey, Director, ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries (DCFR), Bhimtal and other participants.
In his inaugural address, Union Secretary Fisheries, Shri Swain highlighted the growth and development of fisheries sector over the recent years and added that there is ample scope and need to expand coldwater fisheries and aquaculture as an attractive and viable livelihood security option specially for the youths and women of the Himalayan and North eastern States and UTs of Indian subcontinent. Further, Mr. Swain advised to have a robust infrastructure, potential market and cost effective transport system to ensure good returns to the farmers and fishermen of remote coldwater regions. Mr. Swain also requested the scientists and entrepreneurs to motivate farmers and develop innovative ways for increasing profits, decreasing input cost, species diversification and increasing the production and productivity of coldwater species.
Shri Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary (Inland Fisheries), in his opening remarks, briefly highlighted the pivotal place occupied by coldwater fisheries by enhancing fish production in the Himalayan States/UTs in ensuring food security and employment generation and emphasized the availability of quality seed and feed for coldwater aquaculture even in distant regions along with creation of aN updated database on the status of coldwater fish biodiversity to ensure species diversification, development of ornamental fisheries and eco-tourism. Further, Shri Mehra added that Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme provides assistance to the beneficiaries of coldwater regions to meet short term credit requirements and apart from this, is promoting coldwater fisheries by scientific methods, innovations and infusion of modern technologies by providing financial assistance under various schemes which can benefit the natives of coldwater regions.
Dr. J. Balaji Joint Secretary (Marine Fisheries), setting the context for the webinar stated that the coldwater fisheries resources can bring surreal growth in the fisheries sector and the Department of Fisheries, has been keen to bring significant difference in the current production status of coldwater fisheries. Further, Schemes like Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) have separate operational and financial guidelines regarding coldwater sector and encouraged the States and Union Territories Fisheries Departments to take benefits of the scheme. Dr. Balaji also highlighted the need for developing post harvest, transport, promotion and branding facilities for species like Rainbow Trout in coldwater areas.
During the technical session, Dr. P. K. Pandey, Director, ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries, Bhimtal made a comprehensive presentation on “Coldwater Fisheries and Aquaculture: Resources, Research and Strategies” for focusing on the current production, productivity trends, innovative technologies like RAS, breeding practices, ornamental fisheries, GIS based site suitability maps preparation, ranching, disease surveillance and aquatic health management, genetics, biotechnology, nutrient profiling of fish species, capacity building of stakeholders, planning of infrastructure and demonstration of various techniques of coldwater fisheries and aquaculture. Dr. Pandey concluded the session while highlighting the need from promotion of coldwater fisheries for the nutritional and food security of the country and DCFR is ready to associate work in tandem with the States and UTs for various perspectives of coldwater fisheries.
After the presentation, an open discussion session was held with the fish farmers, entrepreneurs, hatchery owners, students, scientists and faculty of the universities. After discussion, the webinar concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by Dr. S. K. Dwivedi, Assistant Commissioner, DoF.