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Kerala

Institute to focus on research on fast disappearing Hilsa fish

Thursday, Mar 30, 2017,17:44 IST By anju A A A

Kochi | A new centre set up in West Bengal by a Kochi-based national fisheries institute will focus on research on fish varieties, including the famous Hilsa fish, which is disappearing fast from coastal Bengal due to over fishing and climate change.

The Kochi-based Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute said its new regional research centre in Digha, West Bengal, will fulfil the research and development needs for marine fisheries in West Bengal and Odisha.

This is the 11th regional research centre of the CMFRI, a fisheries research institute under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

“The centre will primarily focus on assessing the important commercial marine fish stocks of the West Bengal including Hilsa, a popular fish variety in the region,” a release said.

“At a time when the availability of Hilsa is showing a drastic decline in recent years, the CMFRI centre will focus on research activities for the conservation and sustainable harvest of the fish species developing effective resource management practices,” it said.

The centre will provide advisories to the West Bengal and Odisha governments on the optimum number of fishing vessels and the option for management of fish stocks in the state by way of regulations, it said.

Regular monitoring of marine landings and assessment of fish stocks will be carried out under the centre to help the state in managing the marine fish resources of the region ultimately benefitting the fishermen.

According to A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI, the new centre was established to cater to the needs of marine fisheries research of West Bengal and Odisha and generate livelihood for the coastal fisher folk.

Gopalakrishnan said CMFRI has been developing fisheries management plans for each maritime state.

“The management policy guidelines are being designed in such a way that helps in scientific management of marine fisheries for each state”, he said.

He said climate change issues affecting coastal habitats and fisheries could more efficiently be addressed by the new Centre.