The All India Network Project on Mariculture (AINP-M) has formulated an action plan for developing and popularizing marine grow-out systems for commercially important fishes. With financial outlay of INR 42 crore ($ 6.31 million), the project includes establishment of a centre of excellence for mariculture research in the country.
On implementation of the new action plan, the mariculture sector will address the ever increasing demand for the quality seafood for human consumption. It would also bridge the gap between demand and supply in marine fish production as the amount of wild caught fish remaining stagnant, officials expect.
"At a time when capture fisheries production is undergoing through a stagnation period, the mariculture can be considered as the only option to meet the ever increasing demand for the marine food products", said CMFRI Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan.
In such a situation, open sea cage farming method developed by CMFRI is one of the best farming models that could be effectively popularized among the fishermen community in the country, he added.
Under the AINP, CMFRI aims to develop viable and farmer-friendly technologies for marine fish seed production and farming, especially cage farming.
The indigenous cage farming method developed by the CMFRI for the country is well received by the farmers of various coastal districts and economically feasible. National agencies on fisheries development is promoting this activities based on the inputs given by CMFRI through various incentives like subsidies and schemes.
Indian government sees mariculture as one of the best alternate livelihood options for the coastal fishermen community.