Conference Inaugurated In Presence Of Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy, Shri Parshottam Rupala at Science City
The two-day conference will be attended by more than 5,000 participants related to fisheries from across the globe
Ministers of State for Fisheries, Dr. Sanjeev Balyan, and Dr. L. Murugan, along with Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Cow Breeding, and Fisheries, Shri Raghavjibhai Patel, grace the occasion with their encouraging presence
The Gujarat government, under the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti Scheme, launched the Inland Reservoir Lease Portal and declared the Ghol fish as the ‘State Fish’ for inland fisheries
At the conference, various attractions such as roundtable meetings, technical sessions, industry connect sessions, G2G/G2B and B2B bilateral talks, exhibition stalls, and food fairs have been featured
Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel:-
At Gujarat Science City, Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel along with Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy, Shri Parshottam Rupala inaugurated the two-day ‘Global Fisheries Conference India 2023’ on ‘World Fisheries Day.’
The event was graced by the presence of Central Ministers of State for Fisheries, Dr. Sanjeev Balyan, Dr. L. Murugan, and State Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Shri Raghavjibhai Patel. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the inauguration marked the establishment of a separate Fisheries Department in Gujarat for the first time, recognizing the state’s potential as a global hub for fisheries development. Currently, our country ranks third globally in fish production, a significant achievement.
Addressing the conference, Union Fisheries Minister Shri Parshottam Rupala expressed that it is our good fortune that such a global conference is being organized for the first time in Gujarat, a state with the longest coastline and the highest development potential in the fisheries sector. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi initiated the establishment of a separate Fisheries Department for the first time to accelerate the development of the fisheries sector in the country. Today, our country ranks third in fish production worldwide, he added.
Speaking about various projects of the Global Fisheries Conference India 2023, the Union Minister mentioned that this forthcoming conference will serve as a comprehensive platform, bringing together professionals from the industry – entrepreneurs, fishermen, exporters, processors, policymakers, and those in the logistics sector. All these diverse stakeholders will convene on a single platform and share their insights during the two-day Global Conference, which will include participation from international delegates, diverse stakeholders, and numerous holders of various stakes in the fisheries sector. They will engage in seminars, discussions, conferences, and deliberations, discussing groundbreaking approaches and strategies concerning global fisheries awards and participating in critical discussions about global accolades in the fisheries industry.
From this historic conference, participants will gain diverse perspectives, techniques, and insights about the adoption of various technologies, methods, and policies for excellent guidance. The conference will prove significant in policy-making for the fisheries sector, including various international business aspects. The event will connect stakeholders with various accolades and possibilities, showcasing the importance of this conference for the future of the fisheries sector. The deliberations and recommendations of this conference will play a crucial role in formulating policies for the sector in the coming times. This symposium will be a turning point for the fisheries sector in the country, showcasing forward-thinking initiatives for the fisheries sector.
Speaking further, the Union Minister mentioned that today Gujarat has declared ‘Ghol fish’ as its state fish. Across the country, various states have consistently made their state fish declarations in close association with the fisheries industry, indicating the increasing interest in this sector nationwide. In the past nine years, there has been a threefold increase in the inland fisheries sector in the country. Efforts are continuously made to provide fishermen with appropriate platforms, including initiatives such as gas cylinders with petrol-diesel subsidies for boats, Kisan Credit Cards, and transponders, in collaboration with both the central and state governments, to empower people associated with the fisheries industry.
The transponders developed by ISRO will prove instrumental in locating positions in the ocean for fishermen and identifying areas with abundant fish, demonstrating their significant time-saving importance. Furthermore, with the assistance of these transponders, they will be able to stay in contact with their families, the Coast Guard, and various authorities, enhancing their connectivity, he emphasized.
Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel :-
Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel stated during the inauguration of the Global Fisheries Conference India that Gujarat boasts the country’s longest coastline, stretching over 1600 km. He highlighted that Gujarat leads in marine fish production, exporting fish products valued at over ₹5000 crore and contributing 17% to the nation’s fish exports. This, he emphasized, makes Gujarat the ideal host for the global conference.
Addressing the fisheries department’s role in the national economy, the Chief Minister credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, noting India’s current position as the world’s fifth-largest economic power. Over the past 9 years, the ‘blue economy’ has significantly contributed to international trade and the economy.
Furthermore, the Chief Minister acknowledged a Blue Revolution in the fisheries and aquaculture sector since 2014, attributing it to the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He highlighted the establishment of a separate Ministry of Fisheries, covering over 3 crore people, as a significant development under PM Modi’s guidance.
The Chief Minister also mentioned the success of the ‘Sagarkhedu Sarvangi Vikas Yojana,’ initiated by then Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the overall development of farmers during his tenure in Gujarat.
The Chief Minister stated further that Gujarat has always been a ‘Policy-Driven State.’ Various policies are implemented to encourage the Blue Economy, fishermen, and fish commerce in the state. The ‘Gujarat Aquaculture Lend Lease Policy’ has been introduced to provide Brackish water land leases to fish farmers. Additionally, an Inland Reservoir Leasing Policy has been formulated. The state has witnessed diverse development projects and policies in the fisheries sector, resulting in a fish production of over 80 lakh metric tons and the export of 2 lakh metric tons of fish during 2021-22, marking a significant achievement.
The Chief Minister further said that under the PM Gati Shakti scheme, the State Government’s Inland Reservoir Lease Portal – Inland Fish Reservoir Portal was launched today, which will be useful for the fishermen of the state and increase transparency. On the occasion of World Fisheries Day, Ghol fish has been declared as the ‘State Fish’ of Gujarat state today, he added.
For the first time in the country, Kisan Credit Cards were issued to fishermen and businessmen involved in fishing. This allows them to access bank loans at token rates for business growth. The ‘Sagar Mala Pariyojana’ has been launched for the development of coastal infrastructure in the country, under which various projects are underway to enhance infrastructure, including roads, electricity, and port connectivity.
Discussing the various projects initiated for the comprehensive development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, the Chief Minister mentioned that a grant of ₹75,000 crore has been allocated to promote inland fish production and aquaculture in the country, resulting in a doubling of fish production.
Expanding on the cooperative sector, the Chief Minister stated that the Sahkar Mantralay was inaugurated in the country with the motto of ‘Sahkar Se Samriddhi’. More than 25,000 cooperative societies are operational in this field across the country, providing investments and support to fishermen and fisheries industries for activities such as fish processing, fish storage, and fish drying.
The CM mentioned that under the leadership of PM Shri Narendra Modi, the country is rapidly progressing towards an Aatmnirbhar Bharat. He emphasized that the fisheries sector and the blue economy will play crucial roles in realizing the vision of PM’s vision to transform India into Viksit Bharat by 2047.
The Chief Minister also urged all the attendees to visit the Aquatic Gallery constructed at Gujarat Science City.
State Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Shri Raghavjibhai Patel :-
On this occasion, the Fisheries Minister of Gujarat, Shri Raghavjibhai Patel, said that fishing activities are carried out in 798 villages across 14 districts along the 1600 km wide coastline of Gujarat. The state government is consistently promoting fisheries. Fishermen have received relief of Rs. 250 crore in previous years through VAT relief assistance for diesel used in boats. This year, under the guidance of Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel, assistance of Rs. 443 crore has been provided, he added.
Discussing the significant schemes of the state government aimed at the prosperity of fishermen, Minister Shri Raghavjibhai Patel stated that, to date, 14,180 Kisan Credit Cards have been distributed to fishermen in the state under the Kisan Credit Card scheme, and more people will be covered under the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra. Additionally, under the Fisherman Samuh Durghatna Bima Yojana, 1,30,000 fishermen and individuals involved in the fishing industry in the state have been provided with insurance coverage.
Regarding the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, the minister highlighted that this scheme offers various benefits to fishermen, including cage culture, bioflocs, ice plants, cold storage, fish seed storage, and feed mill plant schemes.
Furthermore, the minister stated that if any fishermen from the state mistakenly cross the sea border, the government is also sensitive to their situation. Families of fishermen caught in Pakistan receive financial assistance of Rs. 300 per day on behalf of the government. In the last 5 years, financial assistance totalling Rs. 17 crore 95 lakh has been provided to 1747 fishermen families. Additionally, life-saving equipment support is provided for the safety of sea fishermen.
The minister stated that around 3,000 sessions were conducted by Sagarmitras fanned out across villages to create awareness among fishermen about welfare schemes like KCC and the I-Khedut Portal. He mentioned that under the Fisheries Infrastructure Development Fund in Gujarat, NABARD has allocated Rs. 600 crore.
The minister also highlighted that under the Digital India Vision of the PM, real craft, boat surveys, diesel subsidies, software for boat registration, and an online token system have been implemented in the state, and many services are now available online. Training is also provided by the district office for the usability of the new portal created for fishermen.
Minister Shri Raghavjibhai Patel stated that because of the efforts of the Government of India and the Government of Gujarat, 482 Indian fishermen captured by Pakistan have returned to their homeland in the year 2023-24. Not only this, “I request the Government of India to immediately release the 185 Indian fishermen and boats captured by Pakistan. Further, I request to build an aqua park in Gujarat for further development of the fishing sector”.
It is worth mentioning that the two-day Global Fisheries Conference India 2023 will be attended by more than 5000 participants related to fisheries and fisheries from the country and abroad. The conference will feature Round Table Meets, Technical Sessions, Industry Connect Sessions, G2G/G2B and B2B Bilaterals, Exhibition Stalls, and a Food Mela for various participants, including fishermen, fish industrialists, foreign fish traders and organizations, and start-ups, covering various topics. Accurate guidance on schemes and their benefits will be provided, and positive discussions will be held on various topics.
‘State Fisheries of India’ booklet and ‘Handbook of Fisheries Statistics Year 2022’ publications were released on the occasion by the dignitaries present.
Additionally, group accident insurance scheme claims cheques, Kisan credit cards, green fuel conversion kits, and transponders were distributed to the beneficiaries by the dignitaries. Various awards under different categories were also presented on ‘World Fisheries Day.’
Union Minister of State for Fisheries Dr. Sanjeev Balyan, along with Dr. L. Murugan addressed the gathering. The National Head of FAO and the Ambassador of Greece also delivered speeches. Shri Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Fisheries, delivered the welcome address on the occasion.
On this occasion, MP Shri Hasmukh Patel and Shri Kiritbhai Solanki, MLA Sarve Shri Babubhai Patel, Shri Amitbhai Thakar, Shri Dinesh Smt. Kanchanben Radadiya, Shri Kalubhai Dabhi, Fisheries Ministers of various states, Union Fisheries Secretary Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Joint Secretary (Inland Fisheries & Administration) Shri Sagar Mehra, Additional Chief Secretary, State Fisheries Department, Shri AK Rakesh, Country Heads of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, representatives and ambassadors of various organization’s related to fisheries at home and abroad, officials of the Union Ministry of Fisheries and a large number of people involved in fisheries were present.
Source: Information Department, Gujarat