KOCHI: To give a fillip to fish production in the country, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) will now focus on popularizing mariculture activities in all the maritime states. The annual review meeting of All India Network Project on Mariculture (AINP-M), co-ordinated by the CMFRI held here on Saturday, formulated an action plan for developing and popularizing marine grow-out systems and farmer-friendly hatchery technologies for commercially important fishes and establishing a centre of excellence in mariculture research in the country.
AINP-M is a major research programme with a financial outlay of Rs 42 crore undertaken by CMFRI with the centres from all the maritime states to strengthen the mariculture initiatives in the country. CMFRI director Dr A. Gopalakrishnan, who inaugurated the meeting, said due importance would be given to popularize the farming technologies developed by conducting demonstrations in the farmers’ fields.
“At a time when capture fisheries production is undergoing through a stagnation period, the mariculture can be considered as the only option to meet the ever increasing demand for the marine food products”, he said adding that open sea cage farming method developed by CMFRI is one of the best farming models which could be effectively popularized among the fishermen community in the country. Dr Gopalakrishnan stressed the need for formulating a suitable mariculture policy in the country since the lack of which is a major hindrance to the commercialization of the mariculture practices in India, adding that CMFRI will take steps to frame the policy.