Initiatives for development of fisheries sector in isles

Port Blair
14 Nov 2018

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands have vast potential for fisheries development in view of its Coastal length of about 1,962 Km and Continental shelf area of 35,000 Sq. Km. The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around these Islands is about 6,00,000 Sq Km with an estimated Fishery potential  of 1.48 lakh MT which is 3.8% of our country’s total Fishery potential. For augmentation of Fish production and to harvest the untapped fishery resources without affecting the fragile ecosystem, the Department of Fisheries, A&N Administration is implementing various schemes & programmes.

INITIATIVES:

Ice plant and cold storage at Campbell Bay has been made functional and another at Panighat is under construction which is due to become functional by May 2019. The work on Mayabunder plant is finished which shall start functioning after installation of machinery by March 2019. Under the aegis of Blue Revolution, Modern Fish Market at Junglighat has already been dedicated to the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and another one at Mohanpura will be operational by March 2019. These markets with modern amenities not only will ensure safe and hygienic environment for fish market but also enhance shelf life of fish which will increase economic potential of fisheries.

The Fisheries Department has operationalised 8 Fish Landing Centres, out of 19 planned Fish Landing Centres, while the others shall function by 2020. It has distributed 14.69 lakh fish seeds of Indian Major Carps and Silver Carps to 1007 fish farmers in this year. The Administration has already embarked on the direction of constructing High Density Polyethylene Jetty using latest technology at Radhanagar, Kishorinagar, Kalighat and Baludera at Mayabunder. Also, extension activities for fish land jetty at Junglighat, by 75 mtrs are under consideration for safe berthing of fishing vessels.

To provide assistance to fishermen, the Department has selected 10 beneficiaries under Blue Revolution for availing subsidy for construction of FRP boats. 20 beneficiaries have been given Rs 1.6 lakh subsidy each for motorization of crafts and more than 150 beneficiaries are to be taken under the scheme. Purchase of safety equipments like GPS, Fish Finder etc., acquisition of FRP boats, Deep Sea Fishing Vessels, insulated / refrigerated trucks, Auto Rickshaw with Ice box under various components of Centrally Sponsored Scheme – Blue Revolution are being done.

Further, the Administration has identified the need to have an integrated fishery sector with interventions at every level from input stage to establishing a cold chain process and improving retail opportunities with sustained capacity building. This has led to commencement of number of upcoming projects.

INPUT STAGE
For promotion of deep sea fishing, the Department has approached National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and with that plans to introduce 20 deep sea fishing vessels with a total project cost of Rs 25 Cr. which will enable the fisherman to harness the fishing potential.
National Fisheries Development

Board (NFDB) has been requested to provide for drawing, design and specification of deep sea fishing vessel under Blue Revolution. Detailed proposal has been submitted to the National Cooperative Dev. Corporation, New Delhi to provide financial support to the A&N Fisheries Coop. Federation for acquisition of Deep Sea Tuna Long Liners and creation of Cold chain facilities and Marketing Network in the Islands.

COLD CHAIN
For development of Cold Chain, the Administration in consultation with  NCDC has submitted projects to be taken up for developing off shore fishing and establishing cold chain facility for transportation, storage, processing and marketing of fish catch.          Cold chain is an essential element in increasing potential of fishing sector. It envisions building of 30 MT cold storage and blast freezer and 10 MT Ice plant. The Administration understands the role of technological intervention in upgrading and improving the mobility for fishery sector. In this regard, it has gone ahead to intake 200 mechanized fishing vessels, motorize 500 traditional crafts and 5 refrigerated trucks.

MARKETING
Qualitative retailing platform is the need of the hour and to provide the same, Administration aims to open 10 mobile/retail fish outlet and start 20 auto rickshaw with Ice Box to improve shelf life of fishes.

FUTURE AVENUES
Expression of interest has been invited for Black Lip Pearl Oyster for production of black pearl. Another Expression of Interest (EOI) to be floated by the end of this month for shrimp farming in sea water inundated paddy field of South Andaman. Further to conduct training and monitoring activity, acquisition of a fishing vessel is to be done in association with Central Institute Fisheries Technology (CIFT). 140 open sea cage culture units sea weed has been targeted to set up with close cooperation of National Fisheries Development Board. In this, it has also been imbedded to set up larval rearing centre to meet seed requirement for Cobia and Pompano species. Two potable Freshwater Fish Hatcheries have been procured from Central Institute of Fisheries Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar to meet the fish seed requirement. The Fisheries Department has also signed an MoU with State Fisheries Development Corporation (SFDC), West Bengal for the promotion of Inland Fisheries activity in the Islands.

For utilizing the potential of sea weed farming in the Islands, the Department has approached the National Institute of Ocean Technology, Port Blair, Central Marine Fisheries Institute, Kochi and Central Salt & Marine Chemical Research Institute, Bhav Nagar to undertake a demonstration – cum – pilot project for standardization of the technology ideal to the Islands conditions to promote commercial sea weed farming. An Expression of Interest to invite Aqua culturists and local Fish Farmers to carry out Shrimp and Fin Fish Culture in the paddy fields that are inundated with Sea water after Tsunami in South Andaman area is also under consideration by the Department. The initiatives taken by the Administration for overall development of Fisheries sector in the Islands i.e. expected to increase the fish production from the present level of 38,000 MT to 50,000.00 MT by the year 2022 thereby creating ample employment opportunities and doubling of the income of all stakeholders.