Kerala must use its sprawling ‘Kole’ fields as prawn farms, considering that these wetlands lie submerged under water for about half a year, the Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) suggested on Monday. Such an initiative will work effectively in the coastal state that is endowed with water bodies and enjoys high domestic demand for prawns, MPEDA chairman KS Srinivas noted here at ASCEND Kerala 2019 meet, which aims to showcase Kerala as a top-notch investment destination.
Fisheries and aquaculture remain important sources of food, nutrition, income and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Overfishing in India has pushed a number of popular target species to the brink of collapse in recent decades. The state also has a strong segment of laborers with high technical expertise in prawn cultivation, he pointed out at a session titled ‘Opportunities in the MSME and Food Processing Sectors’ of the day-long event organised by the Kerala government’s Department of Industries and Commerce, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, Kerala Bureau of Industrial Promotion and Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation.
For better pisciculture, Kerala must emulate Andhra Pradesh by implementing a law that forbids the use of antibiotics, the MPEDA chief said. Kerala’s fishing harbors warrant better infrastructure and such developmental projects can be carried out on PPP or BOT basis, he added. Indian fish landing touched an all-time high of 3.94 million tonnes in 2012 approaching the recommended potential of 4.4 million tonnes from the Indian EEZ, officials said.
India stands seventh with regard to marine capture fish production in the world and the sector supports four million fishermen population.