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Applications are invited for DBT sponsored 3 months national training in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology for fisheries professionals

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ICAR-CMFRI takes art route to create awareness on marine pollution, sets up symbolic cemetery of fishes

ICAR-CMFRI takes art route to create awareness on marine pollution, sets up symbolic cemetery of fishes

 As part of its Swachh Bharat Abhiyan initiatives, ICAR- the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has now taken an artistic route to illustrate the dangers of marine pollution by setting up a huge art installation named ‘Fish Cemetery. The art work was meant to create public awareness against dumping of plastic wastes into sea and on public places as well.

The installation covering an area of more than 2500 sq.ft. and having height of 13 feet has been set up on Fort Kochi beach in Kochi to attract the public attention to the grave issue of coastal pollution and its impact on marine ecosystem and human health.

Set up with the support of Cochin Shipyard Limited, the art work, which consists of giant fish like structures, was inaugurated by Kochi Corporation Mayor Soumini Jain on January 21 2017.

The ICAR-CMFRI launched the two-month long awareness campaign using this artistic concept against the backdrop of excessive accumulation of plastic wastes causing danger to the marine ecosystem and to the human health too.

The ‘Fish Cemetery’ is a symbolic expression of dead fishes as a drastic impact of the excessive presence of plastic wastes in the sea.

According to Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI, the art work named ‘Fish Cemetery’ is aimed at creating awareness on the dangers of plastic dumping. “The ICAR-CMFRI took the art route to get the public attention into the grave issue which many a time goes unnoticed”, he said.

The dumping of plastic wastes would lead into the degeneration of marine ecosystem resulting in the depletion of commercially important fish stocks.  “It is alarming to find out the presence of micro plastics inside the fishes causing danger to the human beings”, he said adding that participatory waste management was the need of the hour to sustain life on earth.

Dr Sunil Muhammed, Principal Scientist, CMFRI said an average of one kg plastic materials were being collected inside the net even during a one-hour fishing. “Existing waste management practices should be replaced with integrated approach using modern technologies”, he said.

Dr V Kripa, Principal Scientist and Head of Fishery Environmental and Management Division, ICAR-CMFRI said plastics had become one of the biggest pollutants threatening the aquatic ecosystem and its resources. “It is estimated that about 7 billlion tonnes plastics enter the ocean every year. Studies conducted by the ICAR-CMFRI have indicated that plastics from land enter the aquatic systems and have severely damaged near shore habitats which are the breeding and feeding grounds of several commercially important fishes”, Dr Kripa said adding that the accumulation of plastics in some areas for several years would lead to the creation of ‘dead zones’.

The art installation includes huge structures fishes made up of sacks and iron steels.

Inaugurating the art work, Kochi Corporation Mayor Soumini Jain urged the public to join hands for eliminating plastic menace, adding that the Corporation would support the proposals of scientific waste management practice.

Dr Shyam S Saleem, Principal Scientist and Nodal Officer of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at ICAR-CMFRI, said the institute would adopt coastal villages as part of the awareness campaign for maintaining plastic free coastal habitats. “ICAR-CMFRI will seek the support of the government to give incentives to the fisher folk for engaging in anti-plastic campaigns”, he said. 

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Kochi Corporation Mayor Soumini Jain inaugurating the art installation named ‘Fish Cemetery’ set up by the ICAR-CMFRI on Fort Kochi beach to create public awareness on marine pollution

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 View of the Fish Cemetery, a symbolic art installation, set up by the ICAR-CMFRI



Finance Minister, Kerala Dr. Thomas Issac visits CMFRI

Finance Minister, Kerala Dr. Thomas Issac visits CMFRI

Dr. T. M. Thomas Issac, Hon’ble Minister for Finance, Govt. of Kerala visited the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Kochi and held talk with the Director and Heads of the Divisions. During the meeting, the Minister said the State government is keen to consider the inputs from the scientific community to implement the Aquarian Reforms Policy. “The State government will consider the proposals being submitted by the CMFRI on adequate technologies, fishing methods, regulations and ownership rights of fisher folks in order to bring in the Aquarian Reforms in Kerala”, he said.

Sustainable management practices are required to save the fisheries sector against the back, he said adding that the government is hopeful to implement the reform policy in Kerala.  “The government wants to formulate the policy by laying emphasis on the practical aspects to implement it effectively”, he said.

Dr Issac lauded the CMFRI for its efforts to prepare the draft mariculuture policy in the country. He also said that scientists should focus on value added productions from the aquatic species. “Emulating the success model of clam fishery in Ashtamudi lake which got Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, similar initiative should be taken by the CMFRI in the case of clam fishery in Vembanadu lake”, the minister said. The government would extend full support for research works meant for upgrading the socio-economic status of fisher folks in the State, he added.

CMFRI Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan apprised the minister of various research activities of the institute. Dr R Narayanakumar, Dr P Vijayagopal, Dr T V Satyanandan, Dr K K Joshi, Dr P U Zacharia, Dr V Kripa, Dr Imelda Joseph and Dr Boby Ignatius attended the meeting.


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Finance Minister Dr Thomas Issac speaking at a meeting with CMFRI Director and Heads of Divsions in Kochi

Foundation day celebration at Tuticorin Research Centre of CMFRI

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mKRISHI Fisheries selected as one of the top 20 winners at National level contest on Social Innovation

mKRISHI® Fisheries is a mobile app developed in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Innovation Lab – Mumbai, ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) Hyderabad.  This app is a result of multi-dimensional research and field work involving the best of the expertise of all the partner organizations.    INCOIS  generates  Potential  Fishing  Zone  (PFZ),  a fish shoals prediction information based on the remote sensing data received from NOAA satellites, sea surface temperature  and  the  presence  of  phytoplankton which form the food of several fish species.  mKRISHI® Fisheries  app consolidates  these information and presents advisories in local language, with easy to use icons on Java and Android mobile phones.

Mumbai Research Centre of ICAR- CMFRI piloted this service in 56 fishermen societies in Raigad, Maharashtra. Fishermen used this service to plan their fishing trip and ventured into sea, only if PFZ was in their vicinity which helped to reduce unnecessary trips and the associated cost of diesel, ice  and labour. From a study conducted in 13 fishermen societies, ICAR- CMFRI estimated that it resulted in the saving of upto 30% in diesel costs which has huge benefits in terms of environmental impact where an estimated1.2% of global oil production is consumed in fisheries.

Apart from this, the prior information of Wind speed and direction, Wave Heights in a colour coded band, helped fishermen to identify the unsafe regions in sea. Fishermen are advised to go only when the information map is blue in colour. This five days upfront forecast helps even trawlers who go for multi-day fishing trips. Hence, this collaborative innovation aims at vulnerable fishermen population, majority of whom are below poverty line. It not only positively impacts their livelihood with improved catch, reduced cost; but also helps to prevent loss of lives, boat and fishing gears. Reduction in diesel consumption also leads to a less polluted environment. Lack of data signal availability in deep sea, posed another challenge for the fishermen. TCS and partners did a pilot to extend the mobile signal upto 30 km in the deep sea. This enable the price negotiation for the fishermen while they were in the sea itself and the fresh catch could be directed to desired port, optimizing the overall transportation.  

Dr. V.V.Singh, Scientist-in-charge, Mumbai Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI received the award on 9 January  2017 at  the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2017, Bengaluru

Download the App from http://www.tcsmkrishi.com/app/mfish/

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Theeranaipunya programme concludes

Theeranaipunya programme concludes

‘Theernaipunya’, a fisherwomen empowerment programme launched by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) concluded on a successful note. The two-month training programme for skill enhancement and capacity development of fisher youth was conducted with the support of the Society for Assistance to the Fisherwomen (SAF), functioning under the Fisheries Department.

The training programme focused on skill development and imparting on-job training to the girls from fishing community. During the first month, training was given on higher education, job skills, personality development, leadership, entrepreneurship, communication skills, capacity development in competitive examinations etc to the participants. Field training was provided to the participants in educational or technical institutions, companies, business firms and other work places opted by the participants according to their aptitude.

Director Dr A Gopalakrshnan said the programme was part of CMFRI’s involvement in various activities of social responsibility.

Around 70 faculty members within and outside the institute took classes on various topics, said Dr Shyam S Salim, the Principal Scientist and Course Director of ‘Theeranaipunya’. Yoga practices and cultural programmes are also scheduled as part of the programme, he said.

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Bulk sale of marine ornamental fish from Mandapam RC of CMFRI

Bulk sale of marine ornamental fish from Mandapam RC of CMFRI

The Mandapam Regional centre of CMFRI has been consistently successful in the breeding and seed production of marine ornamental fishes for more than a decade. Recently the centre has successfully bred hybrid clown fishes or designer clowns and the protocols for larval rearing & fingerling production have been standardised. The designer clowns such as Picasso, platinum, snowflake, etc are highly sought-after varieties in the domestic as well as international markets.

As a means of revenue generation for the office, the ornamental fishes produced at the centre is being sold to hobbyists or traders at nominal rates fixed by the institute. A remarkable achievement in this aspect was the recent bulk sale of marine ornamental fishes to a trader in Chennai, wherein the revenue generated through this single sale was Rs 1,62,500/- through the sale of percula clown, tomato clown, maroon clown and designer clowns. This is the first time that such a bulk sale of marine ornamental fishes is reported from any R&D institute in India. The fishes were purchased by M/s Umino Aquarium, East Coast road, Injambakkam, Chennai.

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Climate Change: CMFRI submits Country Status Report on Indian Fisheries to SAARC

Climate Change: CMFRI submits Country Status Report on Indian Fisheries to SAARC  
Representatives from SAARC nations finalise a set of recommendations to be followed in member countries in future

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), the largest fisheries research body in the country functioning under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), has submitted the Country Status Report (CSR) about the impact of climate change on coastal fisheries and aquaculture sector in India.

The report was presented in a meeting between SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) and representatives from SAARC nations during a video conference convened by the SAC. The representatives in the fisheries sector of all SAARC nations except Sri Lanka attended the video conference.

The video conference was part of the Dhaka headquartered SAC’s initiative to assess the impacts of climate change in agricultural sectors of the SAARC member countries and come with resilient strategies.

A 3-member team headed by CMFRI Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan represented India in the conference. The team India presented the report which included the details of issues and challenges being developed owing to the climate change in the coastal fisheries and aquaculture sector in India. Dr P U Zacharia, Project Coordinator of National Innovations on Climate Resilient Aquaculture (NICRA) and Dr Grinson George, Senior Scientist were the other members of the CMFRI team who prepared the CSR which exposed disruptions being occurred due to the climate change in areas such as marine ecosystem, fish stock, harvesting sector, aquaculture, market and trade etc. The present condition of fishing communities was also included in the report. 

Recommendations

During the conference through skype, the members representing fisheries and aquaculture sector of the SAARC member countries reviewed the remedial steps to be taken to mitigate the impact of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture, and finalised a set of recommendations to be followed by the member countries in future. The meeting prioritised, in the recommendations, developing collaborative and comprehensive efforts to address climate vulnerabilities and commissioning of SAARC level task-force to formulate strategies to mitigate climate change impacts.

Conduct of awareness programmes on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and expansion of open sea cage farming and pen culture in coastal water bodies were also listed as the major recommendations.

Other noteworthy recommendations, finalised during the meeting, include introduction of saline temperature tolerant and fast-growing fish species for coastal aquaculture; establishment of fish sanctuary for improvement of natural stocks; setting up common gene bank for vulnerable species; development of alternate energy and fuel sources for inland and marine capture fisheries; utilisation of e-commerce ventures and information communication technology (ICT) for social and livelihood security of fishers and fish farmers;  framing of wetland conservation policies to manage coastal ecosystem; community based coastal fisheries and aquaculture management; upgrading and modernizing the fishing industry related infrastructure and setting standards for fishing practices; human resource development through education, training and  exchange programmes supporting member countries including visits, project support and resource sharing; development of ecologically sensitive habitats, mangroves, corals and wetlands; farming of potential carbon sequestering species such as seaweeds and integrating with multi trophic aquaculture (IMTA); and development of low cost fish farming technologies in tune with climate variability.

Dr Mohammed Anwar Sadaf from Afghanistan, Sayed Mehdi Hassan from Bangladesh, Namgay Dorji from Bhutan, Shafiya Naeem from Maldives, Suresh Kumar Wagle from Nepal and Dr Rehana Kausar from Pakistan also presented their country status reports and joined the discussion at the conference.

Dr S M Bokhtiar, Director of SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) and Dr S S Giri, Senior Programme Specialist (Fisheries), SAC coordinated the conference. 

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CMFRI helps Island village to usher in revolution in fish farming

CMFRI helps Island village to usher in revolution in fish farming
CMFRI’s cage farming initiative turns huge hit at Pizhala

At a time when the capture fisheries is reeling under pressure, Pizhala, the island village in Kochi is in limelight for ushering in revolution in fish farming. The farmers, including the women groups in the island, yielded a mega harvest of pearl spot, seabass and tilapia in cage culture.  Around 100 farmers took part in as many as 60 60 cage farming enterprises under the guidance of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Pizhala Island in Kadamakkudi Panchayat.

The farming was started seven months ago by stocking the fish seeds in cages made of GI pipes with the size of four metre each width and length and six metre depth. During the harvest done prior to the Christmas, the farmers got the seabass with an average weight of 3.5 kg and pearl spot with 250 g.

The Mariculture Division of the CMFRI provided training and other technical guidance to the farmers in various stages of the farming from the stocking period to the harvest to make the farming enterprise a grand success. Dr Imelda Joseph, Head of the Mariculture Division coordinated the cage fish farming in the area.

The cage farming has been proved less expensive and economically viable, said Dr A Gopalakrishan, Director of CMFRI. “An amount of Rs. 100 only is required to produce a kilo gram of pear spot by using cage farming method. But the farmer will get Rs. 500 to 600 for a kg of live pear spot farmed in cages”, he said.

“The fish farming revolution in Pizhala Island is a good sign that CMFRI’s research output is reaching to the common public”, Dr Gopalakrishnan said, adding that the cage farming method developed by the institute was being widely adopted by the fish farmers across the country.

He also said that CMFRI would provide all technical guidance to the farmers for popularising the novel farming initiative among them. “CMFRI will focus on boosting the eco-friendly farming models by directing the farmers to undertake the cage farming not to disrupt the ecology of the water bodies”, Dr Gopalakrishnan said.

Inaugurating the harvest, S Sarma MLA said the boosting of the cage farming would help alleviate poverty in Kadamakkudi Panchayat. “The locality is surrounded by water bodies ideally suitable for cage farming. More people should come forward to take part in the fish farming to utilise the prospects of the water resources in the area”, he said.

“CMFRI’s efforts have helped to bring in changes in the Island. Its initiative to start cage farming in the area has attracted more people into the fish farming venture”, Sarma said.

S Sarma also pointed out that a proposal would be prepared to explore the prospects of aqua-tourism in Kadamakkudi panchayat.

According to Dr Imelda Joseph, CMFRI laid emphasis for women empowerment by attracting women groups into the cage farming.

Salini Babu, President of Kadamakkudi Panchayat, Seena Francis, Member of Block Panchayat, Prakashan, Ward Member, Manikandan, Fisheries Coordinator and Ajitha, fish farmer spoke on the occasion.

 Harvest

Bumper Harvest of Pearl Spot

Bumper Harvest of Pearl Spot

The tribal community in Thandassery Colony in Maradu Municipality is ecstatic as they got a bumper harvest of pearl spot (Karimeen) in the cage culture project of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

The cage culture of pearl spot was started by the CMFRI eight months ago under the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) of the Government of India.

During the harvest, the farmers got pearl spot with an average weight of 200 to 300 g from two cages made of GI pipes with four-metre each width and length. A number of 750 fingerlings of pearl spot was stocked in two cages at a density of 20 numbers per square metre. Pearl Plus, the feed developed by the CMFRI for the pearl spot farming was used in the cage culture which was carried out by the institute with the participation of five families in the tribal community in Thandassery.

The CMFRI team under the leadership of Dr Boby Ignatius, Principal Scientist trained the tribes in the farming activities and empowered them to become entrepreneurs in cage culture enterprise, a less expensive farming method.

According to CMFRI Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan, the institute utilised the Tribal Sub Plan to make the tribes self-reliant by empowering them to use cage farming venture. “The CMFRI has already developed economically viable cage farming models. We believe that the farming model is very much feasible among the tribal community to uplift their living standard”, he said.

He also said that more people including women groups from Maradu Municipality have approached us expressing their willingness to participate in the cage farming enterprise in future. “CMFRI has been carrying out the novel farming model among the tribes in all the maritime States in the country under the TSP”, Dr Gopalakrishnan said, adding that the institute would popularise the technology by conducting training programmes.

“Under the TSP, the institute has envisaged the idea of popularising cage farming method for the economic upliftment of the tribes and a livelihood option for the community”, said Dr Imelda Joseph, Chairman of the TSP in CMFRI. Cage culture initiative would provide them an additional income to the community, she said.

Divya Anilkumar, Chairperson of Maradu Municipality inaugurated the harvest. Vinu Joseph, Councillor, Rajendran, Leader of the tribe group in the area and Prakashan, leader of the farming group were present on the occasion. 

A view of the harvest of Pear Spot in cage culture in Thandassery in Maradu Municipality 

The honourable Secretary DARE and DG, ICAR Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra visits ICAR-CMFRI Mangalore Research Centre

The Honourable Secretary DARE and Director General ICAR, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra made a brief visit to the Mangalore Research Centre of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute on 11 December 2016 at 11:15h. He was accompanied by Dr. M.G.Nayak, Director NRC for cashew, Puttur.

The Scientist-in-Charge, Dr. Prathibha Rohit and the staff of the Research Centre extended a warm welcome to the honourable DG and briefed him about the major activities and achievements of the Research Centre. The vital role played by the Research Centre in the field of marine capture and culture fisheries was explained in brief.

The honourable DG addressed the staff and enquired if anyone had any issues that need to be addressed immediately. The staff did not have any issue to be unhappy or to address. The DG expressed his happiness on the good work done at the Research Centre and asked us to make an impact analysis of the small scale cage culture work demonstrated and practiced by the coastal fishers of the region.

Following the meeting the DG briefly went around the office cum laboratory complex and complimented the Research Centre on the well-equipped environment laboratory.

The DG then wished the Research Centre and the staff the very best and departed for Mangalore Airport at 11:30 h.

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