World Fisheries Day Today Marks the Blue Revolution

New Delhi: Remarkable changes are being brought in the field of sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture through the Blue Revolution in the country.

World Fisheries Day is celebrated on 21st November every year to demonstrate solidarity with all fisher folk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholders throughout the world. It started in 1997 when “The World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers” met in New Delhi leading to the formation of “World Fisheries Forum” with representatives from 18 countries and signed a declaration advocating for a global mandate of sustainable fishing practices and policies.

In July 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a ‘Blue Revolution’ paving the way for a paradigm shift in the fisheries’ policy perspective.

This resulted in the fisheries sector being acknowledged as one of the game changers of the Indian economy in terms of income and employment generation for millions of traditional fishers and fish farmers.

The sector envisioned increasing the farmers’ income through intensifying and expanding aquaculture, improving fisheries management, and innovating fisheries and aquaculture improving the quality and reduction of waste.

Foreseeing the potential of the sector, the  Prime Minister in May 2020 had launched the “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) with a budget of over Rs. 20,050 crores for a period of five years. PMMSY aims to achieve fish production of 22 MMT from the current 13.76 MMT by 2024-25 and to create an additional employment opportunity for about 55 lakh manpower through this sector and also the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) scheme which was started in 2018-19 with a budget of Rs. 7,522.48 crores.

FIDF will specifically cater to the creation of fisheries infrastructure facilities both in marine and inland fisheries sectors to augment the fish production to achieve the target. Projects under the FIDF are eligible for a loan up to 80% of the estimated/actual project cost with interest subvention up to 3% as financial assistance.

The event aims to draw attention to overfishing, habitat destruction, and other serious threats to the sustainability of our marine and freshwater resources. The celebrations serve to focus on changing the way the world manages global fisheries to ensure sustainable stocks and a healthy ecosystem.

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