The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology based in Kochi is now tasked to revive the fisheries harvest and post-harvest sectors in of Maharashtra. Shri Deepak Kesarkar, Hon’ble Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Home (Rural), Government of Maharashtra visited the ICAR-CIFT on 20th April and 2nd May 2018 and discussed with the scientists about the potential areas where CIFT can intervene.
The minister and the officials explored various technologies developed by CIFT and sought support of CIFT in establishment of model fishing village in Sindhudurg with the facilities for gear fabrication, fishing vessel maintenance, engine repair, fish processing and marketing. A team of scientists from ICAR-CIFT were invited by hon’ble minister to visit Sindhudurg District of Maharashtra for a field level assessment of the CIFT interventions.
Acceding to his proposal Dr. Ravishankar C.N., Director, ICAR- CIFT promised to provide the design for deep sea fishing vessels for artisanal fishermen groups for empowering them. Experts from CIFT will evaluate the existing outboard motors used in the traditional fishing vessel and will suggest possible replacements for better performance. With the alarming level of resource depletion and consequent reduction in catch; resource conservation technologies developed by CIFT will be promoted among the fishermen of Maharashtra. While discussion, it was also reported that as a part of responsible fishing CIFT has introduced the Square mesh codend to address the problem of high bycatch incidence in trawlers in the region, under the UNDP funded project, which was implemented by Mangrove Cell of Forest Department, Maharashtra. The technology was widely adopted by the fishermen of Sindudurg district that significantly reduce the bycatch often comprising of juveniles of commercially important species. Besides, it was also decided that CIFT will lend assistance for optimisation of gillnets for reservoirs as well as craft and gear for sport fishing.
Hon’ble Minister Shri Deepak Kesarkar also appreciated the facilities like pilot processing plant and incubation centre which are meant to handhold the potential entrepreneurs. He has expressed keen interest in the solar dryers developed by CIFT as it can promote small scale processing of fish in hygienic and eco-friendly manner. It was decided to establish 34 solar dryers in the area to support the livelihood security of fisherwomen in the area. Other areas in post-harvest sector where CIFTintervention is sought include establishment of incubation centres, mini processing plants and provision of technical guidance for packaging, branding and marketing that will lead the growth of fisheries sector altogether.Lauding the accomplishments of ICAR-CIFT, the minister observed that the potential technologies in harvest and post-harvest sector in fisheries developed by CIFT can improve the income and livelihood pattern of the fishers in Maharashtra. He also added that value addition also helps in development of small scale entrepreneurship in the locality due to abundant fish availability and demand in domestic market in Maharashtra.