Kochi, Nov 20 (UNI) The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is setting up research centres for cold water fisheries, ICAR Director General and Secretary, Union Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Mangala Rai said today.
Inaugurating the 8th Asian Fisheries Forum (AFF) here this evening, Dr Rai said the research centres would be set up at Srinagar and in the north-eastern states.
''These centres will take up specific research into cold water fisheries. The initial proposal was to set up a national development centre for cold water fisheries, but later we converted it into regional centres,'' Dr Rai said.
Stressing the need for linking up research institutes and their outreach programmes, Dr Rai said there would be emphasis on this in the 11th five year plan.
He also highlighted the need for scientific methods for producing more fish based on modern food safety concepts to address the problems of nutritive food security, employment and export earnings.
To achieve these objectives, he called for co-operation and partnership among all the Asian countries.
He also urged the researchers in the field of fisheries and aquaculture to address problems like global warming, disease control, sustainability, food safety and quality.
With the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimating that about half of the world's marine fish stock had been fully exploited and a quarter was either over-exploited or depleted, aquaculture assumed special significance, he said.
Aligarh Muslim University Vice-Chancellor P K Abdul Aziz stressed the need for more meaningful co-operation between Asian countries in the era of globalisation.
In this respect, the Asian Fisheries Forum and the deliberations in the coming three days have a major role to play in the development of fisheries sector in Asia, he said.
Presiding over the function, Dr Chan Lui-Lee, President, Asian Fisheries Society, spoke of the new emphasis being laid by importers in the US and the EU on proper health certification alongwith better fish quality.
''This has emerged as a contentious trade issue, which may pose a threat to our exports in the coming years,'' he said.
Mr Ajay Bhattacharya, Joint Secretary (Fisheries), Union Agricultural Ministry, Mr G Mohan Kumar, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority, Dr. K Devadasan, Director, CIFT, Dr.
Meryl J. Williams, former Director General, World Fish, Dr M V Gupta, World Food Prize Laureate, Dr. Stephen J. Hall, Director General, World Fish Center and Dr. Sena De Silva, Director General, NACA (an inter-governmental agency), also spoke on the occasion.
The four-day meet, focusing on the theme 'Fisheries and Aquaculture: Strategic outlook for Asia", is being attended by 700 delegates from 35 Asian countries.
In the coming three days, the Forum will deliberate on about 800 scientific papers on fisheries and aquaculture and also discuss the draft Kochi Resolution for evolving sustained eco-friendly fisheries for Asia and Pacific.