SRINAGAR Advisor to Governor, K Skandan, Thursday said that a massive fisheries and aquaculture programme has been undertaken by the government to boost the fishing industry in the State.
The Advisor stated this while speaking at a two-day National Conference on Fisheries and Climate Change at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Kashmir (SKUAST-K) here.
Advisor Skandan delved into detail as to how climate change has affected food systems. He said that the fisheries and aquaculture sector is a crucial resource in terms of ensuring food and nutrition security. He called for collective efforts to create a balance between developmental needs and environmental sustainability. He said universities, scientists and people together can make strategies to tackle the important issue of climate change which is affecting ecosystem, adding if things go unchecked oceans will also undergo multiple woes.
Terming Trout as the pride of Jammu and Kashmir, he said there is a need to protect the fish variety and their ecosystem, adding various measures are being taken for welfare of people associated with the fishing industry.
The Advisor announced that an Aquaculture Park shall be set up in Srinagar for which various locations are being explored. He said that there is a need to have a big aquaculture park where students and the general population can get acquainted with aquaculture practices.
The two-day conference titled Fisheries and Climate: Strategies, Challenges and Sustainable Management is being organized by Division of Fishery Engineering, Faculty of Fisheries SKUAST-K in collaboration with Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.
Prof Nazeer Ahmed, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Dr Debajit Sarma, Director ICAR-DCFR, Bhimtal, Prof MH Balki, Dean faculty of Fisheries, Dr Gohar Bilal Wani, Organizing Secretary and Dr A S Ninawe, former Vice-Chancellor MAFSU also spoke on the occasion.
The conference was told that J&K produces 20,000 tons of fish annually with huge gap between demand and supply while only 50 percent population of the State consumes fish.
Addressing the conference, VC SKUAST-K said the fishing industry is an important not only in nutrition but also in providing employment in southern states of India, adding it contributes one per cent of National GDP and five per cent in Agriculture GDP and employing around 14 million people in India.
He said J&K State has around 93,000 people dependent on the fisheries sector, while the requirement of fish is 1.5 lakh tons, however, the state produces only 20,000 tons of fish.
J&K has tremendous potential in the fisheries sector and it can become modern world-class industry as we have 50,000 hectares of water area in the state, he added.
Later, the Advisor also released a compendium of Abstracts compiled by the University students.
The Advisor also facilitated SKUAST-K for attaining 13th rank specified by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi.
He also facilitated Ambreen Hamdani, an M Sc student of SKUAST-K for winning DST-Lockheed Martin-Tata Trusts IIGP 2.0-University Challenge 20-19 for her innovation.