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Expert favours responsible aquaculture

INDIA - There is need for a code of conduct for responsible aquaculture and the establishment of Aquaculture Certification Authority, said E.G. Silas, former Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Agricultural University, and founder-director of the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA).

The proposed body would certify hatcheries, aqua farms and processing plants, besides creating a system of traceability throughout the production chain. Now, institutions such as the Marine Products Export Development Authority were looking only at certain segments in the chain. But, certification at all links would be necessary. There should be a nodal body to which agencies or organisations could be accredited for carrying out the tasks in view of the vastness of the country and the diversity of operations.

Dr. Silas was inaugurating a two-day workshop on brackish water aquaculture production systems and environmental management organised by the CIBA and the Coastal Aquaculture Society of India.

Meeting safety requirements and standards at all the stages of production would help to turn out high-quality and safe aquaculture products in eco-friendly conditions. New and small-scale shrimp and fish farmers should be sensitised through extension programmes.

Referring to the growing interest in organic aquaculture, Dr. Silas, who also headed the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), said it had already been taken up in Vietnam, Israel, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and New Zealand for species such as mussel, tiger shrimp and white shrimp. Promoting this needed universal standards and certification.

Source: The Hindu