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ICAR- CIBA Celebrated World Fisheries Day Celebrations at Koovathur Village, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu

The World Fisheries Day was established to draw attention to the importance of fisheries and fish farming and to focus to the issues such as, overfishing, habitat destruction and other serious threats to the sustainability of global marine and freshwater resources. CIBA celebrated this day on 21st November 2017 at Keelarkollai village in Koovathur Panchayat of Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu in convergence with about 120 villagers including fishers, tribals, rural youth and local leaders. Koovathur is a diversified village with crop husbandry, animal husbandry and fisheries as major occupation. The CIBA team is working with the villagers disseminated the aquaculture technologies, which can provide alternate livelihood opportunities, to increase their income. The hapa based seabass nursery rearing has already initiated in the village.

The programme commenced with a welcome address and a brief note on the importance of World Fisheries Day by Dr. V. S. Chandrasekaran, Scientist in Charge, Social Science Division, CIBA, Chennai. He explained on the changing scenario from capture fisheries to culture fisheries and stressed the importance of brackishwater aquaculture as an economic activity where healthy fish, employment and profit can be realised, particularly for the rural poor and marginal farmers. This was followed by experience sharing by CIBA scientists on profitable technologies in shrimps, seabass, milkfish and pearl spot in Kancheepuram (Vennangupattu, Kovalam, Thiruvidandhai) and Chennai (Srinivasapuram) districts. Income interface and fish culture activities proposed to be undertaken in Koovathur viilage was also briefly highlighted by CIBA scientists.

Farmers in their feedback appreciated the efforts of CIBA Chennai in promoting seed production of seabass in Koovathur village. The village officials also acknowledged the role of CIBA in promoting scientific production of seabass seeds. Dr.G.Gopikrishna, Principal Scientist and Director-in-charge, CIBA, Chennai advised the villagers to come together for sustainable brackishhwater aquaculture.

Dr. V. Selvam, Executive Director, MSSRF, Chennai in his Presidential address focused that fishers income need to be doubled and for that cost effective and profitable technologies need to be widely disseminated. He also elaborated how the coastal aquaculture technologies can be used for supplementary income generation by fishers as well as non-fisher groups. Later he initiated the pen-culture of milk fish (Chanos chanos) by handing over the hatchery produced fish seeds from CIBA finfish hatchery, to the farmers of Koovathur village, which were released for pen culture operation. The meeting concluded with vote of thanks to the President and to all participants.

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