Dr. K. Gopakumar delivering the inaugural address. On the dais are Dr. K. Ashok Kumar, Dr. A.K. Siddhanta, Dr. T.K. Srinvasa Gopal, Dr. C.N. Ravishankar and Dr. Suseela Mathew
Society of Fisheries Technologists (India), Cochin and ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Cochin jointly organized a one-day National seminar on "Seaweeds: A Source of Nutraceuticals, Healthcare Products and New Materials-Future Perspectives" at ICAR-CIFT, Kochi on 9th February 2017.
The southern coast of India bears luxuriant growth of seaweeds representing a wide diversity of more than 200 species. Seaweeds have many unique properties with innumerable applications in large number of industries. They are the treasure trove of various compounds such as carotenoids, terpenoids, xanthophylls, chlorophyll, vitamins, saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants like polyphenols, alkaloids, halogenated compounds and polysaccharides like agar, carrageenan, alginate, laminaran, rhamnan sulfate, galactosyl glycerol and fucoidan. Such valuable bioactive compounds present in seaweeds await a major breakthrough for a variety of applications in medical field.
The national seminar on 'Seaweeds' gave an opportunity to discuss about the untapped natural resources available in Indian southern coast in the form of guest lectures and poster presentations on topics ranging from seaweed-based biofunctional compounds, seaweed cultivation, biodiversity of marine algae and biofuels. The Seminar was formally inaugurated by Dr. K. Gopakumar, former DDG (Fisheries), ICAR, New Delhi and currently Director, School of Aquatic Food Products and Technology, KUFOS, Cochin. The guest speakers included Dr. A.K. Siddhanta, CSIR-CSMCRI, Bhavnagar who delivered lecture on ‘Marine derived healthcare products and new materials’ while Prof. K. Padmakumar, KUFOS, Cochin detailed about the production of bioactive natural products from marine algae. Dr. C. Periasamy, AFI, Madurai highlighted about the prospects of seaweed cultivation. Dr. P. Kaladharan, ICAR-CMFRI, Cochin in his talk gave an exhaustive account of the large scale mariculture of seaweeds and Dr. Valsamma Joseph, CUSAT Cochin enlightened upon production of biofuels from seaweed. Dr. Suseela Mathew, Head, Division of Biochemistry & Nutrition, ICAR-CIFT, Cochin and Convener of the seminar in her talk detailed on the importance of tapping seaweeds for biomolecules and narrated the extensive work carried out at ICAR-CIFT, Cochin. Dr. Bhaskar Narayanan, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore emphasized on the scopes and perspectives of seaweeds in the field of nutraceuticals and healthcare. At the outset, Dr. C.N. Ravishankar, Director, ICAR-CIFT, Cochin gave a brief remarks about the importance of the seminar to strengthen the blue economy of the country as envisaged by Govt. of India. Dr. T.K. Srinivasa Gopal, Former Director, ICAR-CIFT, Cochin chaired the sessions in the seminar.
Release of the publication on seaweeds