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Bill on fisheries management for EEZs soon

14 Dec 2019

The Union government is expected to pass the National Marine Fisheries (Regulation and Management) Bill 2019 for regulation and management of fisheries and fishing related activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India and Indian fishing vessels in the high seas. 
Dr Pravin Puthran, assistant director general (marine fisheries), ICAR, New Delhi, told TOI on the sidelines of the stakeholders meeting organised at the ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMRFI), Mangaluru Research Centre on Friday said that has also made suggestions for the formation of the bill. 
The bill will be for responsible and long-term sustainable and optimal utilisation of marine fish resources; ensuring monitoring, control and surveillance; supporting safety and security of fishermen at sea; protecting livelihoods of traditional and small-scale fishermen; protection of biodiversity in the marine ecosystems; promotion of fishery conservation and management measures. “The bill will regulate fishery activities between 12 nautical miles and 200 nautical miles,” he said. 
CMFRI is one of the eight fisheries institutes under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and has played a key role in research and development activities in marine fisheries during the last seven decades. The research outcome of the institute has formed the basis of appropriate resource management policies and strategies to sustain marine fish production of the country. 
The institute has been responsible for developing time series database on marine fish production from the EEZ of the country. The biological information of commercially important species of finfish and shellfish, their distribution, abundance, potential yield and stock assessment are important inputs for formulating management measures for sustainable fish production. 
Dr Puthran stressed on the need for basic facilities in the bigger fishing boats that go on long voyages. Based on the International Labour Organisation guidelines, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, has developed boats that caters to the well-being of fishermen, he said. 
Decline in oil sardine landings 
There has been a decline in the Indian oil sardine landings from an average 5 lakh tonnes to 1.5 lakh tonnes. The CMFRI had predicted there could be a decline in the landings of Indian oil sardines from 2017 to 2019. Indian oil sardines form 17-20 % of the marine fish landings. Some of the factors responsible for this are El Nino, La Nina and Indian Ocean Dipole activity. During the El Nino peak period, there is an increase in the water surface temperature that affects reproduction of the species coupled with changed rainfall pattern and lack of plankton, said Dr A Gopalakrishnan, director, ICAR- CMFRI, Kochi.

Source: Times of India

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