The Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) is asking the government for a more comprehensive national policy for streamlined growth in the coastal aquaculture and mariculture sectors.
The current government policies for this sector are grossly lacking in accommodating growth and current needs of the sector. The government policies have remained unchanged for nearly two and half decades.
Over the years, aquaculture has changed vastly in terms of development that far exceeds that of capture fisheries. Aquaculture will need policies that are different for fisheries and aquaculture for sustained development of the coastal economy.
A policy needs to be created that covers the entire expanse from traditional to riparian rights of the workers in coastal areas as well as ensuring sustainable development and environmental safeguards.
The founder and former director of CIBA, EG Silas has said that CIBA has made a model bill for fisheries and aquaculture. The fate of the bill is not yet clear.
He added that even though CIBA comes under the umbrella of the Indian Council for Agricultural research, there are vast differences between land agriculture and animal husbandry and aquaculture and fisheries.
Silas also said that CIBA is currently restricted to a narrow range of aquaculture, they should be given the right to broaden their horizons. He recommended making CIBA the designated Central Institute of Coastal Aquaculture.
The chairman of the Swaminathan Research Foundation, MS Swaminathan supported Silas and added that fisheries and aquaculture should be given more importance under the proposed National Food Security Law.
The law has a provision for quality and quantity of nutrition; this provision should be extended to include seafood.
In order to address the seeds, feed, health and processing of aquaculture output, an integrated aquaculture development service needs to be allocated by the government, reported the Hindu Business Line.