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Andhra Pradesh, India to Improve Tech and Infrastructure for Fisheries

Andhra Pradesh Fisheries Technology and Infrastructure

To boost production, the Andhra Pradesh government is planning to boost the fisheries sector by improving infrastructure and technology for inland and marine fisheries and aquaculture.

The state government will announce its plans on World Fisheries Day later this week.

The government proposes to develop fishing harbours and jetties for the hygienic landing of marine catch. It also plans to tap deep-sea fishery resources, dredge river mouths for easier passage of vessels, and promote marine cage farming.

Several fishermen welfare schemes will also be implemented. 252,178 fisheries have been organised into 2,275 fishermen cooperative societies. The government is creating several incentives and providing infrastructure facilities for their socio-economic empowerment.

Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of fish and prawns in India and accounts for 40% of the country’s total marine export value.

Fisheries contribute 6.04% to the gross state domestic product (GSDP) and have provided direct and indirect employment opportunities to 1.45 million people, according to the Department of Fisheries.

Media reports have noted that the state’s current government believes that over the past few years, marine and inland fisheries in Andhra Pradesh have suffered due to a lack of sustained attention by the earlier governments. Other contributing factors are no value addition and processing, increased pollution and climate change, and a lack of diversification of species and diseases.

The Fisheries Minister, Mopidevi Venkatramana Rao, said that the previous government had allowed pharma companies to be set up in hatchery zones in the East Godavari District, which pollute the sea.

Under the new action plan, once an area is declared as a hatchery zone, no other industries will be permitted to use that area.

The government has allocated IN ₹100 crores (about US $13.92 million) to develop three new fishing harbours at Vodarevu (Prakasam district), Uppada (East Godavari), and Juvvaladinne (Nellore).

It will strengthen the existing harbours in Nizampatnam (Guntur) and Machilipatnam (Krishna). Fish landing centres will be established at Manchinillapeta, Rallapeta (Srikakulam), Biyyaputippa (West Godavari), and a mini jetty at Chintapalli (Vijayanagaram).

The government increased the budget for the Fisheries Department from IN ₹386 crores (about US $53.7 million) during 2018-19 to IN ₹551 crores (about US $76.7 million) during 2019-20.

It also proposes to spend IN ₹56.53 crores (about US $7.8 million) to set up 46 integrated aqua labs.

The government has provided IN ₹78.24 crores (about US $10.8 million) as compensation to 16,559 fishermen that were affected by the dispute with the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), reduced power tariff, and increased diesel subsidies.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Institute of Fisheries Technologies (CIFT) has developed several fishery products over the past few years.

Multipurpose Fishing Vessel, FV SagarHarita
Multipurpose fishing vessel, FV SagarHarita. Image credit: CIFT

For instance, CIFT’s Fishing Technology Division recently designed a 19.75m long fuel-efficient multipurpose fishing vessel.

It is fitted with the latest technology solar panels, which cater to the energy requirement for navigational and cabin lights, making it energy efficient and operationally cost efficient.

The ship’s superstructure above deck level has been made using the latest resin infusion technology, significantly enhancing the sea-keeping performance and reducing cost of running.

Solar Fish Dryer
Solar fish dryer. Image credit: CIFT

CIFT has also developed several solar fish dryers. The hybrid model solar dryers use LPG, biogas, biomass or electricity as alternate back-up heating sources for the continuous hygienic drying of fish.

This allows it to function in all weather conditions.

Other products include a fish de-scaling machine and a fish meat bone separator.

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