Pilot project of Kori Creek can be a game changer for seaweed cultivation: Parshottam Rupala

Seaweed cultivation is an alternate for employment generation of seaweed products as it diversifies marine production and its opportunities for enhancing fish farmer income

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New Delhi: To implement seaweed cultivation on pan-India basis and emphasize promotion of seaweed cultivation, the Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Parshottam Rupala chaired the National Conference on Promotion of Seaweed Cultivation on January 27, 2024, at Koteshwar (Kori Creek), Kutch, Gujarat.
Parshottam Rupala addressed the participants, fishermen and fisherwomen and emphasized on importance of the seaweed cultivation. He also encouraged fisherman and fisherwomen for adopting seaweed cultivation considering wide product opportunities.
Rupala also mentioned that it’s a first national conference on seaweed cultivation which is an alternate for employment generation of seaweed products as it diversifies marine production and its opportunities for enhancing fish farmer income, reduces reliance on traditional fishing, and diversifies coastal communities’ livelihoods.
Rupala also informed that pilot project of Kori Creek can be a game changer for seaweed cultivation. He called upon all the stakeholders to come forward with their suggestions and inputs for making seaweed cultivation successful.
Secretary Dr Abhilaksh Likhi highlighted the challenges and opportunities of seaweed cultivation.  He emphasized on need to assess challenges and find out solutions in the seaweed value chain. He further added that Govt aims on innovations in seaweed production, deliberate on policy frameworks, regulations, facilitate networking opportunities and foster relationships. He also informed that end-to-end mapping of the seaweed value chain and addressing the bottlenecks in the value chain is need of the hour and our department is committed for it.
Union Minister along with other dignitaries visited various stalls of the exhibition installed by fisheries start-ups namely Climacrew (Gujarat) and Pukai Aquagri (Andhra Pradesh), research institutes namely ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), CSIR – Central Salt Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) and ICAR- Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) and NFDB (GoI). The stalls showcased the seaweed value added products and cultivation processes and material used. Union Minister interacted with entrepreneurs and scientists who have participated during his visit to the exhibition.
Union Minister Parshottam Rupala visited Kori Creek Project Site with High Speed Boat of BSF and observed divergent methods of seaweed cultivation viz. Monoline, tube-net and rafts demonstrated by CMFRI, CSMCRI and NFDB Pilot projects at Kori Creek, Kutch Dist of Gujarat.
On-field experiences and insights were given by scientists from Dr Divu, Sr Scientist, ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) Kochi, Dr Mangal Singh Rathore, Sr Prof. CSIR-Central Salt Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) Bhavnagar and Hari S Thivakarentrepreneur from The Seaweed Company, Lakshadweep.
The occasion witnessed the participants that includes fish farmers, fishers, fisheries cooperatives, and States/UTs Government officials involved in fisheries management, scientists, and researchers from various fisheries universities, & colleges etc. Approx. 300 beneficiaries participated during the conference. It gave an opportunity to all participants to learn about the best practices and exchange ideas with the seaweed experts. The conference envisions a comprehensive approach to fortify and expand the reach of seaweed cultivation in fisheries sector for the benefit of the entire community.
With the culmination of varied stakeholders, the conference serves as an appropriate opportunity for identifying, fostering collaboration and partnerships amongst entrepreneurs, processers, farmers to embrace the seaweed cultivation through impactful experiences and success stories within fisheries community by enhancing awareness.