The National Webinar on ‘Sustainability of Fish Meal Industry and the Livelihoods of Fishermen,’ was organized by the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, Government of India. As part of the ongoing celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, this event aims to shed light on the crucial role fish meal plays in aquaculture and its significance in supporting the livelihoods of fishermen. Join us on this journey to explore the challenges, opportunities, and alternatives in the fish meal industry, fostering sustainable practices for a better future.
Fish meal serves as a vital protein-rich feed supplement for fish and crustaceans in aquaculture. It is a concentrated source of essential nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that promote healthy growth in animals. The industry’s sustainability is of utmost importance to ensure the well-being of fish farmers, preserve marine ecosystems, and meet the growing demand for quality fish products. This webinar brought together experts, representatives, and stakeholders from the fisheries community to discuss various aspects of the fish meal industry and its impact on livelihoods and the environment.
- Importance of Fish Meal Industry: Mr. Nissar F. Mohammed, from CLFMA, emphasized the significance of fish meals in aquaculture. He highlighted how utilizing fish waste in fish meal production can reduce water pollution, boost animal immunity, and decrease mortality rates in young animals.
- Challenges in the Fish Meal Industry: Mr. Mohamed Dawood Sait, President of the Indian Marine Ingredients Association, addressed the issues and challenges faced by the industry. The association plays a pivotal role in promoting the welfare of the fisheries sector and fostering advancements.
- Fish Meal and Shrimp Feed Industry: Shri A. Indra Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director of Avanti Feed Pvt. Ltd, discussed the growing fish meal and shrimp feed industry, driven by the increasing export demands. He stressed the need for sustainable aquaculture practices to maintain customer trust.
- Alternatives to Fish Meal in Aqua Feed: Dr. Ashish Kumar Jha, Senior Scientist at Veraval ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, presented alternatives to fish meal, such as insects, leaves, fruits, and seeds. These alternatives address concerns related to overfishing, bycatch, and pollution.
- Efforts for Juvenile Fishery Mitigation: Dr. A.P. Dineshbabu, the esteemed Principal Scientist at ICAR-CMFRI, has shed light on significant initiatives to tackle juvenile fishery bycatch within Indian Marine Fisheries. He proposed a range of effective strategies, including Juvenile Bycatch Reduction Devices (JBRD), mesh size regulation, and the implementation of Minimum Legal Size (MLS) guidelines. These measures hold the key to safeguarding young fish and fostering sustainable fishing practices in our marine ecosystems.
- Minimizing Fish Waste: Shri Ramacharya, Director Fisheries, Government of Karnataka, urged support for the industry, emphasizing that around 12-18% of fish go to waste. He advocated for awareness and policy measures to curb unregulated fishing.
- Artificial Reefs for Fish Replenishment: Joint Secretary (MF) emphasized the importance of creating awareness and establishing artificial reefs to replenish fish populations, discouraging the capture of juvenile fishes.
- Interactive Session: The webinar provided a platform for fish farmers and industry representatives to raise queries and doubts, fostering fruitful discussions and clarifications.
The National Webinar on ‘Sustainability of Fish Meal Industry and the Livelihoods of Fishermen’ was a resounding success, with insightful discussions and actionable takeaways. The event brought together experts, stakeholders, and representatives from the fisheries community to address challenges and explore sustainable solutions for the fish meal industry. As we move forward, we commit to developing sectoral strategies and action plans that will safeguard the environment, support fishermen’s livelihoods, and ensure the prosperity of the fisheries sector. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all participants and speakers for their valuable contributions and to Dr. S. K. Dwivedi for proposing the vote of thanks, closing this enriching webinar. Together, we can build a brighter and more sustainable future for the fish meal industry and the communities it supports.